Aneesh Batra was looking to propel his career forward when he applied for an MBA. In this issue, Aneesh explains why one particular course stood out from the crowd and how it took his career to the next level.
“Soon after graduating, I took up an internship with a brokerage firm, before becoming a Senior Research Associate at a market intelligence firm. Having worked for a few years, the idea of studying for an MBA took root as I was looking to accelerate my career and take up a more strategic role.
“An MBA is a huge commitment to make, especially when you’re self-funding, so ensuring I made the right choice was paramount and I considered my options carefully. Whilst researching courses, I contacted several business schools and talked to alumni, soon one MBA stood out from the rest – the University of Glasgow’s Adam Smith Business School.
“As one of the most established MBAs in the world, the university has a robust track record in delivering the course, but in offering the course today, the faculty do far more than draw on their outstanding reputation.
“In making enquiries about the MBA, I was impressed with the time and consideration the team at Glasgow took in answering my questions. I found the team at the Adam Smith Business School consistently and repeatedly go the extra mile for their students.
“Keen to receive external endorsements for the MBAs I was considering, I also contacted alumni of various business schools and the feedback I received about the Adam Smith Business School was overwhelmingly positive.
“Former students had great things to say about their time at Glasgow and about the impact the MBA had on their career. These findings reinforced the impression I’d received through my work as I’d been impressed with the skill of the Glasgow MBA graduates I’d encountered.
“Having received three MBA offers, I chose the Adam Smith Business School because it was the most well-rounded course and the one about which I’d received the most positive endorsements. Before long I was on my way from Delhi to Scotland.
“An MBA is not something to be undertaken lightly. It’s a demanding course which runs over two years in some countries, so the one-year courses in the UK are particularly intensive. Yet I still found time to enjoy myself.
“Glasgow is a friendly city which has a distinct vibe. When I’m at home, I describe it as the Mumbai of Scotland. I was overwhelmed by how welcoming everyone was both within the university and without. You can walk into a bar in Glasgow and strike up a conversation with someone which simply wouldn’t happen in some cities.
“A great place to live and study, Glasgow provided me with ample opportunity to explore my interest in music too. You can go out any night of the week and find a bar playing the music that you love. There are lots of open mic nights too. Sometimes a friend and I would sing for a free drink, but mindful of the demands of the course, we usually opted for a cup of tea!
“You can walk everywhere in Glasgow and although I never grew to love the weather, I did love the architecture and sometimes I felt as though I was walking through a movie set. The university buildings are particularly stunning.
“The MBA itself was very different from my earlier experience of education which had been book-based, where you studied a topic, crammed for an exam, then sat the exam. Courses at the Adam Smith Business School are based on a model of learning which is strikingly different and there is a lot more opportunity for debate.
“The high level of interaction between the faculty and students is possible due to the small intake on the MBA, meaning each student receives a lot of individual attention. Where some universities accept hundreds of students on to their MBAs, Glasgow takes a different path, accepting around 30 students on the course each year.
“This small cohort makes a huge difference to the quality of the student experience. From helping students make the most of their time at the university to providing careers guidance, advice on CV writing and interview technique, the mentoring that students receive is outstanding.
“The small yet diverse intake, means students come from a wide range of professional backgrounds, providing a wealth of insights in class. Given the course attracts students from around the world the multi-cultural environment on the MBA is hugely beneficial. It changed my outlook completely.
“I learnt a lot from the students for whom English wasn’t their first language. They taught me to listen effectively and to hear more. I realised it’s the idea not the medium that’s important and this gave me a better appreciation of the value of diversity in business. This in itself has been central to my ability to build good working relationships with a diverse range of stakeholders and to lead a multi-national team, as I do today.
“Finding solutions for real problems is what the MBA is all about. Students are encouraged to relate the theory they learn to their work experience, bringing it alive and making it relatable. By doing this, you learn from your experiences and see how you might have done things differently.
“Working as consultants with businesses on real-life problems was another invaluable aspect of the course, meaning all the students have tangible experience of putting into practice the theory they’ve learnt.
“The methodologies we learnt in managing business challenges have helped me in my subsequent career. The Glasgow MBA taught me to look at potential problems in a different way, to stay calm, to think through a problem, to look at it objectively rather than emotionally and to always have a plan.
“A fantastic experience, which was extremely enriching, the Glasgow MBA was an investment worth every penny as it propelled my career forward. Glasgow changed my mindset in a lot of ways, but more than anything it taught me to look at the bigger picture, enabling me to take on a strategic role.
“Before finishing the course I’d found a new job despite the economy being in one of the worst downturns of all time. About 18 months later I moved to American Express Global Business Travel, where I’ve worked for nine years in a variety of roles. Today, I lead a team located across Asia and the Pacific, managing commercial relationships for the business.
“Looking back, I see my life in three distinct phases, pre-Glasgow, my year at Glasgow and post-Glasgow. The friendships and network you make during the course inform everything you do afterwards, they are invaluable.”