Meet Warwick Business School’s MBA Class Of 2022

Warwick Classroom in London’s Shard

P&Q: What are two biggest differentiating features of your MBA program? How does each of these enrich the learning of your MBA students?

KB: “One of the differentiating features of our MBA is the emphasis on sustainability. It is not a separate module, but is embedded in all our required modules and a big reason why we are consistently ranked among the world’s top three business schools for sustainability by Corporate Knights Better World MBA Ranking.

At the beginning of the decade, the University of Warwick declared a climate emergency, laying out plans to reach net zero carbon from our direct emissions and the energy we buy by 2030, with the aim to include indirect emissions by 2050. The Warwick campus already has its own local energy system, but we are now putting in plans to develop sustainable transport, energy, and a green campus.

Saving the planet and tackling climate change is so urgent that it needs to be a core focus of every subject and be part of every module from accounting and finance to innovation. It is a hugely complex and multidimensional topic that has a different focus depending on the discipline in which it is contextualised. We have decided to reflect this difference by embedding the topic within each of the core modules.

A second unique feature of our MBA is our Professors of Practice. As well as learning from some of the world’s leading academics, our students benefit from Professors plucked from the very top of their industry and with many years of board-level experience. We have John Colley, who was managing director of a FTSE 100 company leading it through several mergers and takeovers, and Professors of Practice like John Lyon, who is an Angel Investor and a serial award-winning entrepreneur. Their practical knowledge gives valuable insight along with the theory and the confidence to become a business leader themselves.”

Entrance to WBS at the University of Warwick

P&Q: In recent years, there have been several areas that have gained increased prominence in business school programming, including STEM, analytics, artificial intelligence and digital disruption. How does your full-time MBA program integrate these concepts across its curriculum?

KB: “AI is a technology that touches many subjects and we have experts in every field that it has become a major part. Our Gillmore Centre for Financial Technology looks at the role of AI, blockchain, machine learning mobile payments, cryptocurrencies and crowdfunding platforms on financial activities. The AI Innovation Network brings together academic and industry research into how human and machine knowledge and intelligence are being transformed through Multi-agent Systems (MAS), Neural Networks, image recognition, blockchain, VR, AR, MR immersive systems, and Cyber-physical systems (CPS). Academics from these research centres teach and bring their research to the MBA students in modules like Innovation and Strategic Entrepreneurship, Digital Innovation Analytics for Leadership, and Digital Transformation, while students have the chance to explore these areas at a deeper level through their strategic consulting project or dissertation where one of our world-class academics can supervise them.”

P&Q: What have your employers told you are the two biggest strengths of your graduates and how does your programming bolster these differentiators?

KB: “The two big points of strengths that employers love about our MBA graduates are their leadership qualities and strategic thinking. When we talk to the likes Aston Martin, Unilever, Barclays, and Microsoft, the thing they want from MBAs is first of all that strategic understanding of the business they are joining and the environment. Our students are taught the latest tools and research around strategy, from understanding the process of building a strategy and positioning a company through to the implementation, on how a company needs to be fully aligned behind its strategy if it is to succeed and build a competitive advantage.

Leadership is also a big area for our MBA graduates and something corporates want to see. Typically our MBA graduates will be moving into positions where they are leading a big and diverse team under pressure to achieve important strategic targets. Our LeadershipPlus required module helps students reflect on the leadership style that suits them and how to have challenging conversations with stakeholders in those difficult moments when leaders have to influence and drive an idea forward. These skills are developed in workshops so that our MBAs are ready to fulfil challenging leadership positions and projects.”

Warwick Lecture Theater

P&Q: Your MBA program is well-known for professional development, particularly with its LeadershipPlus module. Tell us what makes this module such a differentiator for Warwick MBAs? Also, how does Warwick leverage its career services and alumni to enhance the professional prospects of your graduates?’

KB: “This is really a personal journey for each student where they have time to reflect on their own leadership style and are given the building blocks to develop into the leader they want to be.

This is done through a series of experiential workshops where we use actors to recreate challenging scenarios. These sit alongside lectures, seminars and case studies to help students reflect on what they personally stand for.

As part of the module students have the opportunity to apply and develop their leadership skills within a live business context, where they will undertake a client project over nine weeks within a corporate, SME or not-for-profit organization. They will lead an investigation into a current business issue and present practical recommendations to the organisation’s management.

Coming at the start of the MBA the LeadershipPlus module underpins the rest of the student’s year of study, ensuring they continue to develop confidence and the ability to achieve their career ambitions while driving positive change as a leader.”

P&Q: What are your two most popular elective courses among MBAs? What makes it so unique and so attractive to MBAs?

KB: “One of the most popular elective routes is our specialism in entrepreneurship, where students do two electives and their dissertation in the subject. This is perfect if you have a start-up idea that you want to get off the ground, although it is also ideal for those wanting to develop an entrepreneurial mind set in a corporate setting.

Students gain a letter of acknowledgement from the Dean to confirm their success in entrepreneurship to go alongside their MBA certificate.

The entrepreneurship specialism teaches students how to make calculated decisions between seizing opportunities and managing risk, equipping them with the skills to find creative solutions to day-to-day problems.

Students can continue their start-up idea after graduation and as alumni can attend monthly entrepreneurship clinics, access to incubator and pre-accelerator programmes, join a network of more than 3,900 entrepreneurs, student entrepreneurs and investors, and join a mentoring programme.”

Warwick MBA Students


1) LeadershipPlus: “Having an introspective disposition, I was drawn to Warwick’s flagship LeadershipPlus course that runs throughout the MBA. It represented an opportunity to dig deep into my personal preferences and to challenge my pre-conceived notions of how people should workhow people should lead, and what it actually means to lead. It also promised the opportunity to develop soft skills in non-conventional settings, with challenges ranging from external client projects to role-playing with professional actors to time-pressured blind-folded situational challenges.

It’s helped me to become comfortable adopting different leadership styles depending on the situation rather than just reverting to my natural preference. I’m also more mindful of discovering what motivates an individual, and of how important this is to know if you want to lead than just direct. As a leader, I feel much better equipped to empower others and to transfer authority to where it can most effectively be used.”
Georgios Matolis (‘22)

2) Sustainability: “When I was doing my research on business schools, one of the most important elements for me was their view on sustainability and how it was approached in class. Climate change is the biggest challenge of our generation and companies play a huge role in the ‘green transformation’ the world needs. Warwick is a top-ranking university in sustainability. During our first term, we used our knowledge and skills to propose solutions to real-life business cases that address the challenges of the Sustainable Development Goals. It was very interesting to see how my classmates approached this task and the very creative solutions they came up with.

A great example of this approach is an exercise we completed during the module ‘Managing in a New World’, where we were asked to come up with a scenario to change enough public policies to achieve the established 1.5° C goal established in the Paris Agreement. Whilst this proved to be a challenging task, it helped me realise all the business opportunities that will arise from the massive changes needed in the world as we move forward to a more sustainable economy. I’m happy to say I’m in the right place to become a Change Maker of the world.”
Fernando Yllanes Almanza (’22)

3) Core Values:This is my second time being a student at Warwick Business School as I resonate with the CORE values of the school (Curiosity, Openness, Restlessness, Excellence) in every way. Having the opportunity to grow and share ideas with an international cohort, being in an environment that challenges you and stretches you to be the Change Makers of the future is something unique to Warwick.”
Nupur Gadkari (’22)

4) Coventry: “[You don’t have] to go to London to have fun! It couldn’t be further from the truth – between hidden-gem authentic restaurants, live football (soccer) at 6 of the UK’s top stadiums, axe-throwing bars, historic cathedrals, castles and arts festival there’s so much going on in Coventry that it was actually hard to keep up.
Georgios Matolis (‘22)

5) 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.”
Leila de Saude (’22)

Warwick Business School Interior


“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!”
Leila de Saude (’22)

“My interviewer asked in our video call what my teammates on the MBA would think of me if I were to be accepted. In response, I showed to camera a poster that some colleagues from my previous workplace had created. It featured a portrait of me in the style of a revolutionary which read, ‘BE MORE JEFF’. I think that convinced my interviewer of the positive opinions team-mates generate about me.”
Jeff Slater (’21)

“Being authentic in the interview. I shared examples about formative challenges that I had faced both in my personal and professional life leading up to the point of applying to business school. For instance, how as a new manager, I’d helped a colleague through a difficult period where he had suffered a bereavement. I explained how I had myself felt overwhelmed at the time and unprepared for that degree of responsibility. By not over-preparing answers, I feel that the conversation really brought to life what matters to me and where I was in my personal journey.

On reflection, I was able to be vulnerable after that connection had been made (between myself and the interviewer), explaining how I had struggled with close friends and colleagues telling me that leaving my job had been a mistake but that I still felt that going to business school would help me to achieve my career goals.”
Georgios Matolis (‘22)

MBA Student Hometown Undergrad Alma Mater Last Employer
Melisa Abimbola Camden, UK University of Leicester BMG
Ramsha Ali Karachi, Pakistan Lahore University of Management Sciences (LUMS) Delivery Hero
Rumennigge Alexandre Cardoso Luanda, Angola Universidade Autonoma de Lisboa Asda
Juan Carlos Concha Santiago, Chile Universidad de los Andes FEMSA Salud
Manan Dahiya Karnal, Haryana National Institute of Technology, Kurukshetra Indian National Congress
Leila de Saude Cape Town, South Africa University of Cape Town Bowmans
Himanshu Jagat Ludhiana, India Punjab Technical University Medanta – The Medicity
Lorraine Maodi University of Pretoria University of Pretoria Gauteng Partnership Fund
Shriya Savlani Amritsar, India Panjab University AXA XL
Safiya Sule Lagos, Nigeria Bowen University Iwo IHS Nigeria Limited
Monica Vargas Rojas Lima, Peru University of San Martin of Porres Banco Sabadell
Fernando Yllanes Almanza Mexico City, Mexico Universidad Panamericana Yllanes Ramos

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