"The UoB has a strong reputation, has one of the highest ranked business schools in the UK, is a Redbrick university and an MBA from such a highly regarded university sends a strong message to prospective employers."
Andrew Dale graduated first in his class with a Master of Business Administration (MBA) from the University of Birmingham (UoB) in 2010. Originally from the United Kingdom, Andrew spent nine years working for PricewaterhouseCoopers and KPMG in Melbourne, Australia.
Having decided he wanted to change industry and his area of expertise, Andrew returned to the UoB where he had studied his undergraduate degree to begin an MBA. He is currently a Director at HSBC’s head office in London, United Kingdom where he is responsible for advising the bank on complex financial and strategic solutions for corporate customers. We recently caught up with Andrew to find out the impact the MBA is having on his life and career.
“Shortly after graduation,” begins Andrew, “I applied for my role as Director of the Commercial Loan Management Unit with HSBC. I work in a challenging role where I provide financial and strategic solutions to corporate customers. I knew that obtaining my MBA would enable me to move between sectors and embrace a new role. While the MBA was a necessary credential, it was also important that I could support my qualification with relevant skills already developed from my previous roles, together with demonstrating a continued willingness and enthusiasm to learn.”
Having decided to pursue an MBA qualification, Andrew explains why he chose to return to the UoB:
“The UoB has a strong reputation, is a Redbrick university and an MBA from such a highly regarded university sends a strong message to prospective employers. I also studied my undergraduate degree at the UoB and, as I had many fond memories, I wished to return to the university to continue my academic experience.
"My experience at the UoB and gaining my MBA helped shape me, further building my confidence, independence and cultural awareness."
“There is an extremely supportive and positive environment for postgraduate students at the Business School; the careers service offered much welcomed advice and the academics, as well as the administration team, were ready to help me achieve my goals. I had a strong interest in banking and wanted to move into the banking sector, I was able to work alongside academics specialising in this field, which was a wonderful opportunity for me.
“My experience at the UoB and gaining my MBA helped shape me, further building my confidence, independence and cultural awareness. Whilst my MBA contributed to my skill set academically, it was my involvement in the broader university experience that showed employers that I had talents beyond the MBA qualification. If you make the most of the opportunities available to you at the UoB, you will be able to clearly differentiate yourself from your competitors when applying for jobs.”
Looking back over his experience at the university, Andrew recalls the challenging nature of the course:
“The MBA degree itself is not an easy programme to undertake. The workload is intense and demands an exceptionally high standard of work and commitment from you. However, with a positive, inspirational and enthusiastic academic team supporting me, I achieved my personal objectives.
“I believe that your success is determined by your attitude. The more energy you put into the MBA the more rewarding the achievement of completing it.”
Beyond the challenges, Andrew looks back fondly at the opportunities for personal and professional development that were available to him away from his academic studies:
“The social side at the UoB has a real impact on your overall student experience. As well as having the opportunity to meet a large number of people from different cultures and backgrounds, I had the chance to get involved in a number of student societies. Whatever your interest – sport, the arts, charity work – participating in such societies provides an important balance to the intellectual demands of the MBA. ”
In recommending the UoB to potential students considering joining the MBA programme, Andrew says:
“The UoB MBA is an investment. Undertaking it provides an opportunity to learn new skills, deepen understanding of familiar subjects, challenge conventional thinking and enjoy new experiences. Keep an open mind, maintain a positive attitude, as this will help you stay motivated, and take advantage of the opportunities to involve yourself in the entire university experience. Enjoy every moment as the time passes far too quickly.”