Month: January 2020

How my Executive MBA transformed my career in music

Choosing to study an Executive MBA is uncommon in the entertainment industry.

Having spent the majority of my career working in the music industry, I knew it was not an obvious choice. Working in music requires no formal education and many people simply don’t have one. Many roles within music require little to no specific training, regulations or practices in order to start – some basic industry knowledge, great networking skills and a good ear will get you started. This does, however, provide both a benefit and a hindrance… the benefit being that anyone can be anything, and therefore if you’re intelligent you can get very far very quickly. The hindrance being that occasionally you find yourself working with cowboys and there were many days when I felt I was in the Wild West. All success stories in music involve a certain degree of luck.

Soraya Sobh

I became curious about traditional business theory and desired to broaden my skill-set to see what I might be missing and not much else provides the breadth of learning quite like an MBA. There was a period of about 18 months before I started my MBA, when I tried to tackle problems regarding the business models of artist management agencies and found myself flailing. The music industry is cut-throat, exciting and intense and artist management is as close to the action as possible. I couldn’t understand why the industry was bouncing back, but management companies were starting to shrink and in the last few years I saw many either consolidate or disappear.

However hard I tried I couldn’t find the answers. Having now spent some time learning about business models through our corporate strategy modules, it’s crystal clear why this was happening.

Soraya Sobh and her cohort at a Cass MBA networking event

I’ve found Cass to not only be the most dynamic in terms of the cohort but also the only business school which genuinely asked me what I wanted from the investment. I wasn’t 100% sure what I wanted when I started, I just knew I wanted something different. Studying the Executive MBA provided me with a new way to progress my career. Which, with the help of the Cass careers team I’ve been able to do successfully.

Soraya Sobh at the Women of the Future awards

An Executive MBA is not for the faint of heart, but I can now confidently say it is definitely for the entertainment industry. In fact, if more people in the music industry had an MBA, it might be a very different landscape today.

Soraya Sobh, Executive MBA (2021)

Medical leadership: why I’m studying an Executive MBA as an embryologist

The benefits of studying an Executive MBA as an embryologist 

Studying for an Executive MBA as an embryologist is not very common.

I decided to study the Executive MBA in Dubai  because I noticed a skills gap in my field of work. In the IVF field (in vitro fertilisation), most of upper management do not have a medical background. I strongly feel medical leadership is necessary as it is all about understanding patients’ needs and winning hearts and minds, which is my aspiration.

I also chose to study at Cass for the opportunity for career progression. The IVF market is very competitive and having a managerial role in this field is very challenging as it requires good management and leadership skills. Moreover, a promotion in my current organisation is a great incentive.

In addition, the alternative opportunities that arise from studying an Executive MBA at Cass are a great motivation. The wide knowledge taught by the programme and the problem-solving skills and confidence that I will gain can help me have a more flexible career. I may even consider starting my own business in the future!

Last but not least, building knowledge and personal growth was one of my crucial motivating factors. Having a solid background in IVF, the programme allows me to diversify my skills and build confidence in every element of a business of this field.

Why I chose the Cass EMBA in Dubai and my thoughts on the programme so far

I chose the Cass Executive MBA in Dubai because I believe it is the right course for me: it is a triple-crowned MBA and Cass is ranked very high globally for career progression, which makes it stand out among the majority of business schools. Also, the flexible structure of the programme, as well as the location in Dubai, can allow me to remain in employment while studying.

I am really enjoying the programme so far. The whole Executive MBA is full of networking opportunities, as there is interaction with my cohort, with the faculty, the staff and alumni. Thanks to the focus on teamwork and group work, I have built strong relationships with many members of my cohort. This has not only helped me make more contacts but also many friends from different backgrounds and countries.

The programme adds big value in improving my skills, which helps me a lot in building confidence. I have learned to identify my strengths and weaknesses and build emotional intelligence, which is a key characteristic of a leader.

How I balance work, social life and studies?

Although the demands of the course are high, there are ways to balance work, social life and studies. Time management and discipline are essential and necessary for achieving the right balance. I make sure that I allocate specific time for work, family/friends and studying. I usually make a weekly schedule to prioritise and optimise my time and ensure efficiency.

I avoid wasting my time in activities such as watching television and social media, I ask help from friends and family when needed and I make sure I take care of myself. Focusing while studying is crucial and maintaining a healthy mind and body is essential.

Maria Banti, Executive MBA in Dubai (2021)

 

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