Tag: Executive MBA (page 3 of 3)

What to expect on your first month of the Cass Executive MBA


This September it really was back to school.  A new satchel, calculator and some weighty textbooks proved useful accessories to distract from the natural apprehension of meeting new classmates. A round of 60 second introductions only whet my appetite to find out more about my forty-five or so fellow passengers on this much-anticipated journey.

Time is tightly scheduled from the beginning on the Cass Executive MBA (EMBA). The whole induction journey has been well choreographed.  It is no accident that a personal development workshop and Organisational Behaviour module are timetabled upfront to ensure study groups bond quickly.

The first professional development workshop built on a pre-course question to identify our strengths. Strengths are defined as the underlying qualities that energise us, and that we either excel at, or have the potential to excel.

These strengths may overlap with technical skills, but also recognise that you may not always thrive on your technical competencies. You may have the capacity to be detail orientated, though it could be nurturing external relationships that puts the spring in your step.

Awareness of our strengths helps to manage performance and helps team-mates spot warning signs of strengths tipping into overdrive. For example, an overwhelming focus on future scenarios and a strategic perspective could mean current realities are overlooked.  Sharing this snapshot with our new study buddies was an effective ice breaker!

The lectures that followed on team dynamics, motivation and leadership provided a rich theoretical framework to reflect on our respective team roles. Belbin’s theory describes nine team roles clustered under three headings: action; social or thinking roles.

Overlaying our Belbin scores onto Strengthscope scores and patterns started to form; a Monitor-Evaluator carefully noting scores in the Excel spreadsheet; a Shaper encouraging those who had missed a session to find out their scores; a Plant seeing the patterns between the two reports; and an early warning that we are short on Completer-Finishers!  Myers-Briggs Type Indicators, the popular personality test completed the trio of ‘type’ tests.

Early on we were invited to suggest a collective noun for a group of MBA students. The winning entry was a ‘muscle of MBAs’.  It is already evident embarking on the Cass EMBA is going to require a lot of heavy lifting in terms of textbooks, time and commitment.

It is clear the motivation for many is not the extrinsic reward (Herzberg’s theory of motivation) of a higher salary or corporate sponsorship but intrinsic drivers of personal growth and accomplishment. The textbook example of intrinsic reward is a mountaineer which is fitting as we have heard how Cass aims to cultivate an explorer’s mindset: there is even a Cass MBA Expeditionary Society.

Our cohort reflects a spirit of enquiry and respectful challenge. Executive presence sessions working in small groups and one-to-one provided immediate feedback on how I show up. It also provoked early reflections on what leadership looks like, and could look like for me.

When people ask me why I wanted to do an MBA, I explain it is to kick start my career after working part-time while my daughters were young. It is also an opportunity to brush up on technical skills; Accounting and Financial Reporting is underway. More than that, embracing the spirit of adventure and trusting in the process – I am ready to explore how I can reach my best potential.

The alchemy – in the truest sense of the word – has already begun.

Executive MBA (2020)


Leadership and innovation in a war zone

As I am crossing at the Qalandya check point between Israel and the West Bank, the huge red sign shocks me: “The entrance for Israeli citizens is forbidden, dangerous to your lives and is against the Israeli law”.

It looks like something from a movie scene and you are not quite sure what to expect on the other side. We cross, and all I see is unfortunate reality of the region and conflict between these two territories, thoroughly reminded of my childhood in Yugoslavia.

On the Israeli side we saw the prosperous modern society, full of life and colours that are reflected in almost everything from streets, to people and food. On the Palestinian side our first impressions are the ruins, wall murals of past leaders, abandoned cars and chaos.

Israel and Palestine were my choice for the Cass MBA international electives. The focus of the elective was on Innovation and Technology, which comes as no surprise with Israel being known as the start-up nation. The first month into my Cass MBA, I learned that one of the international options for study will be Israel. I knew in that moment that this will be my choice of an elective – working in technology and financial crime, my interests spans across cyber security and regtech and fintech world.

International electives are intense. You go on a trip abroad and visit numerous locations and companies daily, whilst meeting and learning from founders, owners and investors. You travel from city to city and you cross borders, or in our case – check points.

Many won’t know that a large number of successful businesses materialised from Israel, such as Viber, Waze and Mobileye. The country prides itself as the start-up nation mostly driven by the uncertainty that seems to run through their DNA due to political and economic factors surrounding them. Success on the Israeli side, but what is going on behind the literal wall on the Palestinian Territory?

The western world often can’t understand why there are conflicts between people ‘somewhere far away from us’, and don’t really want to engage in that conversation. Most of my cohort was also confused as to why these two nations can’t be one. It just seemed logical that working in unity would be beneficial for both sides. The Palestinian side suffers a lack of infrastructure, lack of water and many other resources, yet they are as resourceful as Israel is!

The streets may look empty, but don’t let that fool you. Palestinian residents know how to live. On our first night we enter a restaurant and it is buzzing inside, the whole restaurant is packed with families and young couples dining and smoking shishas.

Our night ends in a famous bar packed with kids of American expats living in Palestine. Bizarre, you think? So did we. They are young, happy, dancing, and invite us to join them. We were not that cool to wear bandannas and lose ourselves to the sound of music, but nevertheless we did enjoy our night – we were useless at playing darts, but we proceeded to do so until late at night.


We met many successful entrepreneurs during the two days in Palestine. The Palestinian society is a lot more progressive than we are lead to believe. For example, the CEO of Bank of Palestine has fully eliminated the gender pay gap within the bank, insisting on this change himself.

There are in fact a number of factors working in favour of Palestinians. The Palestinian society has a high number of highly educated individuals, and it seems that its diaspora can fuel the culture of innovation and finance it. Of course, the circumstances of country’s occupation are also helping to kindle the creativity of Palestinians.

Speaking to a young entrepreneur at one of the events in Palestine, he mentioned the collaborations between Israelis and Palestinians. Whilst the countries are in conflict, the people seem to be less so. ‘We work together with our friends from Israel’, he said, ‘and our business is thriving.’ Of course, software has the unique ability to flow through wires and borders, but perhaps even more surprising was that he was talking about a medical business, moving people across borders and offering them medical help when needed.

I got home two days before the American embassy moved to Jerusalem. The news were full of horror stories coming from the region, and I was thinking – could successful cross border businesses help build peace in the region? Is it the organised chaos that is prevalent in the region that we need in order to innovate successfully?  Perhaps.

I wouldn’t want to attempt to predict the future of the region, but I hope that these two nations find a common language in innovation – after all making innovation happen is a collaborative process on many levels, from nations to countries, to companies, to military and teams.

Nina Kerkez
Modular Executive MBA (2019)

Driving social impact with a Cass MBA– here’s to embracing the ‘unconventional’

‘Don’t be intimidated by conventional ideas.’

Those were the words of our Course Director at our Cass Business School Executive MBA induction dinner.

There’s one conventional idea that I’ve found particularly hard to swallow: the primary purpose of business is to make profit.

Sometimes this narrative is explicit and direct, and sometimes it’s more subtle or nuanced. But it’s lurking. So it’s promising to see Cass starting to take steps to bring it into the limelight for some critical reflection.

Of course profit is essential for business sustainability. Businesses require capital to grow. Raising capital requires investors and investors require returns. That puts investors (and the profit needed to deliver the required rate of return) in the driving seat.  So yes, profit is essential for business sustainability. But profit no matter what?

The problem is not profit per se. The problem is profit as an end in itself, and the bigger problem is the pursuit of profit with disregard for the impact it has in reinforcing our social challenges and systems of inequality (or ‘negative externalities’ in economic terms).

The issue is how profit is made and how profit is used.

I’m not talking about isolated instances of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR), ‘ethical duties’, greenwashing or developing morally conscious branding campaigns to appeal to millennials (while in the background the fundamental nature of the core business continues to have negative impacts on society). I’m not talking about being pressured to respond to a heightened awareness in popular culture of environmental and social issues in order to attract staff and customers (and therefore make more profit). I’m talking about building social purpose into the heart of business: elevating social goals to a strategic level, from ‘bolt on’ to ‘built in’.

This is of course already reflected in an array of existing business models in the ‘fourth sector’ like social enterprises, benefit corporations, community businesses, cooperatives and models of community ownership, which are growing in the UK and around the world. These alternative structures are part of the vision of a ‘social economy’, and there are forms of both debt and equity finance cropping up to support them, like social investment and community shares.

The problem is, these alternative models upset the neoliberal, capitalist apple cart that our current economic system is based on.

As our economics textbook put it: the ‘clear risk’ in governments becoming shareholders of banks following the financial crisis is that they could direct banks to prioritise social objectives over commercial ones. How outrageous!

Critical theory would have us ask: why are things the way they are, and whose interest does that serve?

Traditionally the corporate sector is paid enormous executive salaries and bonuses to deliver profits to shareholders, which works as a beautiful self-reinforcing cycle allowing the wealthy at the top to become wealthier.

Meanwhile, 14.3 million people live in poverty* in this country– that’s 22 per cent or one in five.

One. In. Five.

Sixty per cent of those people are in in-work poverty (they remain in poverty even while working). Is it just me that finds that profoundly shocking and completely unacceptable? Never mind the housing crisis, the environmental crisis … this list goes on. These aren’t faceless ‘negative externalities’. They are real people. Real lives.

Most people start with government and the welfare system as the solution to social challenges, but while there are many opportunities for change in Westminster, the government only controls around 40 per cent of GDP. The rest is in the hands of business, and it’s our interactions with business that dominate our day to day experience.

There are positive signs of a shift in conventional thinking. Blackrock’s recent letter called ‘A Sense of Purpose’ said that ‘companies must benefit all of their stakeholders, including the communities in which they operate’. In a similar vein, Deloitte’s 2018 Global Human Capital Trends survey showed that businesses are no longer measured solely on their financial performance but on the support they give to the communities in which they operate and their impact on society as a whole.

There is indeed much businesses can do to realign spending priorities away from bonuses and dividends to shareholders already firmly within the 1 per cent. For example they could: increase wages for their lowest paid staff, reduce prices so more people can afford their services, offer apprenticeships, cap the wages and bonuses of executives, procure from social businesses in supply chains, abolish zero hour contracts, and create affordable childcare for working parents.

Of course none of those suggestions come without complex trade-offs, but many of these options can generate a win-win. Take Michael Porter’s concept of shared value, where, for example, supporting marginalised communities to produce coffee beans on fair wages generates a sustainable and affordable supply chain for a coffee company while lifting a whole community out of poverty.

Two of my classmates recently asked me for ideas on how they could support charities, specifically disadvantaged children, and it got me thinking about we can do at Cass as students and faculty.

One of the reasons I applied for the MBA was to bring the principles of good business into the third sector and share them with the network of 600 community businesses we support at Locality.

Because the third sector has an unfortunate ‘conventional idea’ of its own – that business is greedy, uncaring and often corrupt. I’ve heard many a snide comment about ‘people in suits’, some of which were very justified and others which were simply a regurgitation of an accepted narrative without reflection. There is work to do to change the perception of business from a self-interested vehicle for free market capitalism to an agent for change.

But importantly, the education process can also work in reverse. We need to bring the social principles from the third sector into the world of business.

Because there are indeed things that business can learn from the third sector. Doing good and doing business can in fact be intrinsically interlinked. It doesn’t have to be either/or, it can be both/and.

What would happen if we removed the separation between ‘business’ and ‘not-for-profit’ and explored the grey space in between? As the Director of the Community Shares Company said: ‘the economy is not simply made up of charities and hard-nosed capitalists’.

The ‘social sector’ doesn’t have to exist in some kind of parallel universe far away from the world of business with the only bridge being CSR initiatives. CSR (done genuinely and well) is great, but there’s no net benefit in a business giving a cash hand-out to a food bank when it doesn’t pay its staff the London Living Wage; or a bunch of corporate volunteers from a bank going to paint a fence when the interest rates they’re charging on the charity’s loan means the charity can’t afford to hire a painter; or a confectionery company that sponsors a children’s charity when it’s core products increase childhood obesity.

In fact, this only reinforces and embeds the structural causes of our social challenges. It also keeps the third sector small – Dan Pallotta’s Ted Talk sums this up well.

The business models that foreground social impact need to be discussed and explored not just in third sector echo chambers, but in business schools. Not only to create new start-ups, but to adapt and transform current business models to build in genuine social purpose and explore what responsible business looks like in practice – to improve people’s lives and make profit.

(Needless to say I was thrilled to see a whole lecture dedicated to social business in our corporate strategy module!)

As MBA students, we can ask why things are the way they are, what can be changed, and how this can be done.

Rather than abdicating responsibility for business’ contribution to social challenges Milton Freedman style, or seeing the solution as a hand-out to charity, we can look inside our businesses to create more fundamental change.

We can challenge the conventional idea that profit is an end in itself. We can grapple with the complexities of realigning business models to include social outcomes. Then we can get to work in changing our own organisations to start giving business a genuinely deserved reputation as an agent for positive change.

Cheers to that!

*Living in poverty is defined as having ‘relative low income’, that is, people living in households with income below 60 per cent of the median in that year, after housing costs.

Tara Anderson
Executive MBA (2019)


My first five weeks at Cass

So, you’ve made the jump. You’ve signed up, paid your fees, cancelled all social engagements hence and whence appropriate, deleted Instagram and invested in a Microsoft based laptop (curse Apple and their pesky social functionality apps). You’re ready! Either by self- narcissism, or by a sociopathic employer, you have been accepted into a one year Full-time, or two year part-time Executive MBA to improve and enhance your life and management skills, and have entered into engagement with other like-minded, intelligent people. You clever person you!

Cass was established in 1966; it’s pretty safe to suggest that they have a lot of experience in education and how to get the best out of people. Unlike other London business schools’ (no pun intended), Cass encourages development by engaging heavily with your cohort, as well as self-enhancement. This means working with groups. Of people. Like you, but not quite you. Yes, I did just type that. You must consciously engage with other people in order to achieve a portion of marks based on group coursework, and equally, reserve enough brain power to listen, learn, and enjoy lectures.

With that in mind; below is a snapshot of my first five weeks, which I hope you enjoy with as much merriment as I did whilst typing:

Week one:

With great power comes great responsibility. With extensive learning after many years of being educationally unchallenged comes a great sense of acute awareness to be near the closest outlet of alcohol (it served one so well for so many years). Fortune would serve that the ‘local’ carries very reasonable prices, including a bottle of prosecco for £20 (with up to 4 glasses and an ice bucket).

Downside of the week: Three hours of post-lecture dissection (drinking) on an empty stomach leads to multiple walk-around(s) of the Barbican roundabout.

(Lack of signs = impossible to navigate without SAS training).

Moral of the story: One must not rely on the skills established during undergraduate learning in order to pass said MBA.

Week two:

Upside: The lecturer knows my name (and therefore I am a valued member of this school).

Downside: The lecturer knows my name (and will therefore call me out when drawing an escape plan on lecture notes).

Week three:

Cognitive functions seem to be awakening. The learning process element of your brain has finally sprung back to life, refreshed after a long period of siesta, and seems ready to expand and dilute masses of information, ready to be processed into more tangible details.

Downside: That post lecture pub visit, in which you ordered the £20 bottle of prosecco with one glass, drunk on an empty stomach, and then spent 4 hours marching around the Barbican roundabout, trying to work out which exit to take (they really should signpost or number them).

Week four:

The windows look pretty triple glazed and probably won’t act as a decent escape route.

Week five:

The end of your two First-year lectures. Things slowly seem to be coming together, including financial accounting, and equally a sense of feeling smug at being able to express, in detail, the difference between a balance sheet and an income statement (although the person at the bar didn’t really seem to care).


The bar-lady knows your name and your pin code.

And we’re all still standing! And engaged, and very ready for a coursework review, submission, and onwards to the next assignment.

With all bravado follows humility, and mine very simply is that making this leap into Cass has been by far the best choice I have made in many years. One must consider the stresses and strains of the global economy and give praise to establishments that, even in such testing times, still retain the skills and strengths to envelop such commitment to people who want to learn. Cass employs an impressive collective of people who are at the top of their game; in fact, my first five weeks have been a sheer delight.

It is a true test of our freedom, democracy and fair sense of our need to improve which has, I do truly believe, led us to study at one of the best business schools in the world. For that, I commend you, you clever person you.


Claire Georgeson
Executive MBA (2019)


Reflections on the first month

Within a blink of an eye, the first month of our Executive MBA at Cass is complete. It therefore is an appropriate time at ‘reflection week’ to look back across our first two modules.

In that first month, as a group we have experienced a vigorous but rewarding induction, and have already completed five-week block lectures. In such a short space of time we have bonded as a collective group and within our coursework groups of five or six, are fully immersed into our first group submission (Financial Accounting), as well as extra-curricular activities such as executive presence and media skills training. The cohort is very diverse with regards to background and experience, which is one of the key reasons I chose Cass.


What more could one need to survive the next 2 years?!

With Cass regularly mentioned in the wider press (only this week moving up the FT Executive MBA rankings) it feels like a very topical time to be completing an MBA. It already feels like the correct decision in selecting Cass and I know the reputation of the institution was a key reason in gaining support from my employer (I am a sponsored student), along with the optional real estate investment modules which can follow in Year Two.

The recruitment sessions at Cass are definitely worth exploring and are a great indication as to how professionally run the programme is too. I personally attended a breakfast seminar, which took on the format of an informal roundtable discussion with past and present students and senior members of staff. It was very informative and welcoming and was also a great chance to experience the excellent facilities at 200 Aldersgate. The location is fantastic for me as my office is on the same street; but it is worth travelling for, trust me!

There are also many opportunities to attend lectures as a guest, which is another option I took and one I would also thoroughly recommend (we have already had our first prospective future students join us in a lecture to consider an application for next year). If an institution doesn’t offer them, then what are they trying to hide?

There are people who applied for the programme nearly a year in advance, or others like myself who flirted dangerously close to the deadline date. Another piece of application advice I would offer to candidates is if they are looking for sponsorship from their employer, is to start the conversation early. I am somewhat fortunate that I work within a small team (but in a large organisation). It is not uncommon for companies to have several layers of approval for further education requests and each stage can require multiple conversations.

Cass is mindful of this too. I found the published document about asking for financial assistance from your employer very worthwhile. It is certainly not a conversation you can go into without preparation.

Another great perk of the programme is the number of digital and physical subscriptions you have access to, which are already proving useful for wider reading. From the FT to Orbis (a global online companies archive), along with Bloomberg terminals, it really is top of the range. The library is still in existence in a physical form, but much changed from my days as an undergraduate; my back is certainly thanking me for the number of books available electronically!

A cause for celebration! The opening weekend induction


Now the first block of modules are completed it feels like the momentum is building, and the lecturers are warning us of the uptick in assignments. We have several weekend sessions coming up and with the first exam timetable published it is certainly now feeling ‘real’. It certainly felt that way this week when I finally got around to updating my LinkedIn profile!

It’s also great to be receiving the amount of support that I am experiencing too, both professionally and personally both inside and outside the programme. Without both the entire process would definitely be more of a struggle. As it stands I am thoroughly enjoying the programme, but I would be lying if I wasn’t a little bit apprehensive about what is around the corner. Fortunately we have been paired with some great former students as our mentors who have proved invaluable already.

The group work begins – it is more exciting than it looks honest!

Here’s to the next month!

Thomas Narraway
Executive MBA (2019)


Lisa Sohanpal on her Executive MBA Experience


Lisa Sohanpal graduated from an Executive MBA programme at Cass Business School in 2008. She now runs her own business Nom Noms World Food. Founded in the UK, Lisa manages the business remotely from her home in Toronto Canada. The business came from wanting to feed her children authentic international cuisine that was aimed at kids but flavoursome enough for the whole family. Nom Noms World Food is the first family focused brands in the UK and every meal purchased feeds a hungry child in India. So far Nom Noms has served over 400,000 meals to school children in India, to keep them off the street and in school so they can gain an education.

Lisa says ‘‘Nom Noms allows families to be able to enjoy international cuisine together. We’ve secured a deal with 550 stores with Carrefour across France and a major international airline which is amazing for the brand’’.

Nom Noms World Food launched in February 2017 with the world’s largest online grocery retailer Ocado, and sold out within 50 minutes of going live. The brand has gone on to win 18 global awards including the Great British Entrepreneurs award 2016 for the small business category and is sponsored by BMW, Natwest, Diageo  and AXA insurance. Lisa credits her family upbringing, extensive international business experience complemented with the Cass Business School, London’s Executive MBA as a factor in her business  and career success.

How would you describe your overall experience of the Executive MBA?

Overall it was excellent. It was workload intensive, but that is to be expected from an MBA. The programme is open, collaborative and the professors are very approachable.

The course began with an intense team building activity at HMS Bristol, which involved saving your team members from a sinking ship and it allowed us to get to know each other. Among our cohort it felt like a family including academic staff. When you go into an MBA you know that we are all here to achieve similar things so we supportive of each other.

What made the Executive MBA the right choice for you?

I chose the Executive programme because I wanted to improve my business knowledge and move into a more senior leadership role. The EMBA also enabled me to continue working full time while studying. This worked really well as I was able to take the things I learned from lectures and apply them immediately to my day to day work.

Are there any life lesson you have taken from the experience?

One key lesson I learned is how important time management is. With so many deadlines and the time pressure to achieve everything, you find you are just constantly on the go trying to meet every deadline. Going through all this whilst managing a full-time career meant that when I became a mum to three children in three years I was able to adapt to the fast paced demanding role and I now believe that anything is achievable for me and my business.

Do you still keep in contact with members of your class and what do you think is the value in maintaining those relationships?

I do yes. We all got to know each other really well during the programme. I feel like I can always pick up the phone and call friends from the MBA and it doesn’t matter if we haven’t spoken or seen each other for years. In terms of the value, well one of my MBA colleagues is the CFO for a major retail brand and that brand is one of our targets to get our products into. There is an immediate connection from the programme that could prove invaluable.

What was the most rewarding aspect of the MBA for you?

At the time of starting my MBA I was quite clear on my goal, and that was to triple my salary and get into a business leadership function in a highly reputable and credible global organisation within the medical devices industry. The most rewarding aspect for me is that the Executive MBA enabled me to achieve this goal. It is an extensive programme especially if you are self- funding, I wanted to make the most of it and I feel proud that I have achieved my return on investment.

What advice would you give to someone considering to do an Executive MBA at Cass Business School?

One of the biggest reasons for me choosing to join the programme at Cass was that they were very encouraging for women to join. The cultural, gender and sector diversity among the cohort was strong.

My advice would be to look for a programme with strengths that align to your goals rather than your current position. You have to expect that when you embark on an MBA programme that you will be expected to step out of your comfort zone and be challenged many times over. I would also advise going to the information sessions and speaking with alumni from different and similar industries to your own. This will allow you to hear about what previous students have achieved and the value they’ve received from their own Executive MBA experience.


A bit about us:

Executive MBA: Achieving your potential weekend


Edward Dixon Executive MBA 2015

Edward Dixon
Executive MBA 2015

This post is a reflection on the “EMBA Achieving Your Potential Weekend” held after exams at the end of the first semester.  The weekend is held in a conference venue outside London and is attended by the whole cohort, one week after the first round of exams. It is an intense 48 hours and proved to be a real turning point in the first year…

When they first told me we’d be going away for the weekend after exams I wasn’t sure what to make of it. After five months of slogging through the first six modules and a week of exams, the prospect of decamping to Buckinghamshire to reflect on my career wasn’t the most attractive. To make matters worse, the weekend fell on Valentine’s Day, which meant partners alone at home after what had been a pretty tough few months.

The launch on Friday night was well received, an icebreaker which worked well to get us all in the mood, but still left a few skeptical faces around the room wondering what it was all for. I think at this point we were still completely unaware as to where the weekend would take us. You can imagine how Friday night ended with 44 EMBAs away from all their responsibilities with their cards behind the bar; I won’t go into it.


Saturday morning started early and we got straight into groups of around eight, meeting with our coaches for the weekend. The coaches are typically behavioural psychologists or professional coaches and are a mix of ages and backgrounds. The groups are structured in a clever way, with a blend of your old mentor group and new. This marks an important point in the MBA because you’ve been with the same six people for the first semester and grown pretty attached to them, so to set out into the new semester with new faces seems like a big deal. EMBAs are as much about the cohort as they are the subject matter and it’s this sort of interaction that really helps you to learn from each other.

The Saturday session is split into two parts; learning the basics of coaching which gives you the techniques you need to get through the rest of the weekend, and analysing your own report results, based on a ‘Happiness at Work’ questionnaire filled out the week before. The questionnaire doesn’t work for everyone but for me it really hit home, asking some tough questions. Do I honestly enjoy my job? Am I good at it, or might I be better at something totally different? Asking these questions and giving yourself an honest answer sets you up for Sunday, which is something entirely different.

IMG_0991The premise of the Sunday session is that if you find your energy at work, if you can recognise the moments when you have flow and build on those, ultimately you will be happier. For some people this is about extrinsic rewards but the nature of the EMBA is that most people have accelerated in their careers to a point where money doesn’t cut it any more – people are looking for something deeper. What you’re looking for is not a job or even just a career; it’s a calling, something which helps you to find your life purpose and work towards fulfilling it. I can’t honestly say that one person had their life purpose defined but we certainly left knowing more about what it might be.

The really tough part of the weekend is halfway through Sunday morning. Tired and under-prepared you present your predicament to your peers. Where are you? What do you want from your life, from work? This is fairly routine but the tough part is turning around and hearing the rest of the group discussing your case. For some reason having your back to the room makes the rest of the team talk freely and openly about where they think you should be going. Of course everyone is supportive but it really hammered home the whole reason most people are doing the EMBA in the first place – to learn more about what they are really capable of.

By the time the exercises finish on Sunday afternoon everyone is completely exhausted, physically and emotionally. For me the weekend served as a wakeup call, a reminder that if you want something more from life then you need to go out and make it happen. Great careers, happy relationships and a perfect home life don’t just materialise, it takes planning and it takes hard work. You have to know yourself and understand your strengths and weaknesses – you have to understand what you really want.

“The modules give you a dartboard to throw something at but these weekends are the flight on the dart which helps you to land where you want to be”

edPutting this weekend in the context of the MBA, it’s this sort of learning which helps you to make the decisions you need to make about what to do after graduation. The modules you study are useful but you’re not learning finance, you’re not learning accounting or strategy; you’re learning about yourself and finding out what you really like to do. The modules give you a dartboard to throw something at but these weekends are the flight on the dart which helps you to land where you want to be. Cass definitely knows how to get this right and I left the venue knowing a little more about myself, a lot more about the cohort and a whole lot more about where I want to be.




Are you ready to transform your career with Cass Executive MBA?

New Year is always a good time to think about your next career move. Whether you are looking to accelerate your career or change direction, the Cass Modular Executive MBA programme will help prepare you for your next business challenge, taking you on an unforgettable transformational journey personally and professionally.

Delivered over a long weekend (Friday to Monday), once a month over a 24 month period, the Modular Executive MBA programme gives you the flexibility to work full-time yet acquire new business skills, knowledge and expertise which you can apply in your work place immediately.

With over 20% of the current class commuting from Europe, our city location with excellent transport link is a great option for those based outside of London.

 “I was motivated to do the Modular Executive MBA as I wanted to consolidate what I already knew and add new, more structured ways of looking at the world of business. I selected the Modular Executive MBA because of its practicality, given I was already working long hours and travelled internationally for business, the monthly weekend option was more feasible. The programme gave me an opportunity to put some of what I had learnt in my existing career and in the lecture rooms at Cass, into practice. I was promoted shortly after completing the Executive MBA. It was hard work, took great commitment and sacrifice, but if I had to do it again – without a doubt, I would”.IMG_3862_APPROVED

Shelley Doorey-Williams, Modular Executive MBA alumna (2011-2013)

Head of Wealth Planning and Sales Management, UBS Wealth Management


We have a limited places left for March 2016 entry. If you are interested, please get in touch.  I can provide you with personalised feedback based on your experience; advise on your eligibility to the programme; walk you through the admission process and answer any questions you may have. I can also arrange for you to come and sit in on an Executive MBA class and put you in touch with an EMBA alumni.

Are you ready to transform your career?

Executive MBA – International Consulting Week in Chile 2015

5 people, 5 reasons for choosing the Cass MBA

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