Meet the MBA Class of 2022: Leila de Saude, Warwick Business School

Leila de Saude

Warwick Business School

“Proudly a South African lawyer. Obsessed with breakfast cereal.”

Hometown: Cape Town, Western Cape

Fun Fact About Yourself: I make fantastic eclairs – if I do say so myself. Clearly a foodie!

Undergraduate School and Major: University of Cape Town, Bachelor of Arts majoring in isiXhosa Communication and Bachelor of Laws

Most Recent Employer and Job Title: Bowmans, Associate

What word best describes your classmates and give an example of why? Bold. My classmates bravely embody dedicated curiosity, backing themselves and taking the risk to pursue their MBA full-time with a view to grow, transition, or adapt their careers.

Aside from your classmates and location, what was the key part of Warwick Business School’s MBA programming that led you to choose this business school and why was it so important to you? I was drawn to Warwick’s LeadershipPlus core module, which focuses on self-reflection and development of leadership skills. In practice, I have learnt that a leader’s ability to diffuse potentially catastrophic situations is largely dependent on their interpersonal skills and internal leadership profile. It has been extremely valuable (and challenging!) to reflect on my own leadership style and think carefully and critically about how I will adapt and build on that going forward. That way, I can ensure that I am the kind of leader I want to see in the workplace.

What course, club or activity have you enjoyed the most so far at Warwick Business School? Syndicate Groups. We are placed in pre-determined syndicate groups each term and are required to work together on weekly tasks and on graded assignments. Our syndicate groups are diverse in background, skills, and culture. This encourages different perspectives on tasks and enriches collaboration and individual learning. Having worked in largely hierarchical teams in the past, I have been challenged and motivated to consider my working style within a mutually responsible and accountable team. Having experienced the highs and lows of the MBA and the adjustment to living abroad as a group, I have truly made life-long friends in the process.

What has been your best memory at the Warwick Business School so far? Why? It was experiencing the cultural diversity of our MBA class first-hand by celebrating Diwali together. Diwali was about a month into starting our MBA and many of our classmates were away from their families for the first time on this auspicious day. Realising this, a project group was quickly formed, and they arranged a venue, food, and decorations. We dressed up (many of our classmates providing gorgeous traditional outfits to the masses) and gathered in the evening after the class to sing, dance, and of course, eat!

Describe your biggest accomplishment in your career so far: Receiving a favourable finding in a highly-politicised disciplinary enquiry for a senior executive, which spanned 18 months.

What do you hope to do after graduation? Having worked as an employment lawyer and having seen the consequences of discriminatory (and other unfair) workplace practices, I hope to work in a role focused on diversity and inclusion. My further areas of interest include innovative industries which promote economic and financial inclusion, particularly of women and people of colour.

What advice would you give to help potential applicants gain admission into Warwick Business School’s MBA program? Do your research as early as possible to give yourself the best chance at applying for scholarships (there are many internal and external) and preparing for application requirements (GMAT test / admissions test(s) / application essays etc.). Then, think deeply about your reasons for doing your MBA. Impressive academic transcripts, career progression, and high GMAT scores are common (and expected). What sets you apart is your motivation for pursuing your MBA and how that speaks to your inner ChangeMaker!


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