The MICL chose me.
After working for almost five years at EY Russia, I decided that it was time to pursue a master’s degree. So, I quit my job, started to prepare for the IELTS exam and applied to a few different universities. I began receiving acceptance letters, but I was anxiously waiting for a response from Cass. As soon as I received my acceptance letter, I rejected all the other offers and announced to my family and friends that I was moving to London. That night, when my friends asked me why I chose that specific programme, my answer came down to instinct. I just had a gut feeling that the MICL* was the one for me.
*Masters of Innovation, Creativity and Leadership, aka the MICL.
The MICL life.
I really didn’t know what to expect from the programme as it is so unique in its format and content. The first day was very exciting, and I was eager to find out what I was in for. I still remember our lecturer’s words to us: “My job here is to rewire your brain.” While it might sound odd at first, once you get into the MICL, you begin the work of unlearning old habits and way of doing things, and opening your mind to the world and to learning new things.
Like everything in the MICL, the classes were unique and diverse. The most important thing for me was that every class gave you an opportunity to engage with your classmates and teachers. The MICL is really a place where you are expected to share your thoughts and opinion. Your voice matters and is heard.
This whole year was also a great exercise of getting out of my comfort zone. And this also happened to all of my classmates. The MICL has something challenging for everyone, whether it is performing on a stage, inventing a new use for VR technology, or doing an academic research project. Generally, all the modules are a combination of business and creativity. One of the memorable examples for this was using LEGOs in Leading Creative Design module, where we used the building blocks to express our ideas, visualise them and discuss with the team.
Life outside the MICL.
The programme also offers a unique opportunity to work part-time on projects of the Centre for Creativity in Professional Practice. During the year, I worked on two projects that allowed me to use the acquired skills and learn new ones from professionals. One of the projects consisted of creating a prototype after doing some reaching and then testing the prototype with actual potential users. The second project was international, so I had the opportunity to connect with different people. My task was to help out with presentations and then to review pitch ideas for a contest. Even though my official work for that project is over, I still follow the news from the competition.
What truly stuck with me was the people I got to meet along the way. Everyone in our class came from different countries, backgrounds and working experiences. We have a lawyer that now wants to shift to service design and a business owner who just wants to take things to another level. The program really helped with making self-discoveries and a better understanding of your values, needs and preferred working styles.
The best thing was, that everyone in the class was in the same mindset. This allowed us to instantly connect, help out with classes, and enjoy typical British pub culture after class. One of the best traditions we created was organising Cultural Dinners: once a month, one of us would find a restaurant with our country’s cuisine. At the restaurant, we would enjoy the food while the host would tell us stories about their home country and the culture.
This year spent at Cass has been incredibly special to me. At times it was tough and stressful, but always enjoyable. In the end, I got so much more than I ever expected— and I say this even though I still have to finish my dissertation to get the actual degree!