Richard Whitehouse, MBA International Business | AIB Commercial Services Ltd, Republic of Ireland

“As well as being a Russell Group (Redbrick) university, both the Birmingham Business School and the MBA programme had a fantastic reputation worldwide.”

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Richard Whitehouse graduated with an MBA in International Business from the University of Birmingham in 2010. Originally from Staffordshire, United Kingdom, he is currently employed as the Head of Client Relations for AIB Commercial Services Ltd (a subsidiary of Allied Irish Banks Plc) in Dublin, Republic of Ireland. 

He is one of a four person management team involved in designing the strategy for the business and responsible for the day-to-day performance and profitability of the company.

My career

After graduation, I secured a job with RBS where I ran a regional client management team.  After a year with RBS, I was approached to take a senior management role at a division of another bank. I now run the Client Relations function for AIB Commercial Services Ltd, a hugely challenging job as the business is pursuing a significant growth agenda. The challenge, although immense, is thoroughly enjoyable and I am given the chance to apply everything I have learnt from my MBA and prior experience almost every day. The MBA opened a number of doors for me once I’d graduated and it adds a level of gravitas to your CV.

Why Birmingham Business School?

As well as being a Russell Group (Redbrick) university, both Birmingham Business School and the MBA programme had a fantastic reputation worldwide. The school is also renowned for producing amongst the most employable graduates on the planet and the campus appeared to be a wonderful environment in which to study.

I have a lot to thank the University for but in particular, the course helped me to develop my self-awareness. This is a life skill that is invaluable and has been greatly enhanced by my time at the Business School.

All of the modules contributed to my professional and academic progression in different ways but the change management module has stood out for me the most since I graduated. The skills acquired from this module can be applied to any scenario. Whatever sector or role you go into, you will try to change things; understanding how you can do this effectively will make a huge difference to the success of your efforts.

Making the most of the support available

The careers team in particular were invaluable in the search for my first role after graduation. The support in the search was great but the real difference came when preparing for the selection process. The careers service team cannot do enough for you and they always have plenty of time to indulge you, regardless of their workload.

My highlight of the course was the week at the residential centre in the Lake District, England’s largest national park. The week was spent developing team building and leaderships skills against a backdrop of kayaking, trekking, mountain biking and the odd trip to the pub. Thanks to this experience and the diverse nature of the student body who study the MBA, I now have a group of international friends whom I might never have met.

“Throw yourself into every aspect of life at the University of Birmingham. The year is gone all too quickly and only then do you realise what you have been lucky enough to experience.”

Challenges

The degree programme was a huge challenge and if you are not committed to it then it is not the right one for you. That said, the level of support the academics and administrative staff provide is phenomenal. Whilst that does not make the course easier, it certainly helps you to meet the challenge. The tuition was first class and the opportunities to push myself were freely available.

Tips and advice

Throw yourself into every aspect of life at the University of Birmingham. The year is gone all too quickly and only then do you realise what you have been lucky enough to experience.

Find out more

MBA International Business

The Birmingham MBA