Andrew Daer, MBA
The MBA was an excellent opportunity to step back for a while and think about what I wanted to do in the future and how to get there. The Birmingham MBA allowed me to broaden my skills and develop a more holistic view of the business environment, giving me the chance to switch job sectors and move into a different role at a top tier company in Chile.
Andrew Daer "Today I'm working on two major strategic projects and applying a great deal of what I learnt on the MBA, from Cooperative Strategy and Change Management to Stakeholder Management and Project Management. "
I chose Birmingham for three main reasons. First being the diversity and background of the student body - the opportunity to interact and learn from a group of high achievers from all over the word is an amazing and truly valuable experience. Second, and quite important, was the international and local reputation of both the University and Business School. Third, the place and overall student experience was highly recommended by its alumni.
Facts and rankings (which are very favourable to Birmingham) are not enough to understand and capture the experience of learning and living in a multi-cultural community with a strong "can do attitude" that reflects its constant commitment to excellence in everything they do. Moreover, all this packed in a stunning campus which is home to 8 Nobel prizes was a major check mark on my list.
Andrew Daer "There's really something special about Birmingham - it's like a big family where students and staff interact in a very friendly and supportive environment"
I really enjoyed my time during the MBA, the programme is very challenging - it's hard work and late hours of study, not to mention that there's a lot of team work, which requires good cross-cultural skills - but it's extremely rewarding. On a personal level, the friendships and the experiences outside of the classroom were very memorable. Moreover, today I have friends from countries such as England, Norway, Germany, Italy, the United States, Iran, Japan, Peru and New Zealand, just to name a few.
Andrew Daer "I believe that the collaborative nature of the Birmingham MBA, which is embedded in all elements of the programme, gave me a fresh new perspective on the importance of team work and understanding differences in culture, background, work, attitude and individual preferences."
I found that the MBA degree was very helpful in advancing my career. I am now leading strategic projects and developing new business models at the third largest bank in Chile. Taking into account that my pre-MBA background is in Brand Management, this is clearly a result of my MBA experience.
Andrew Daer "Overall the UK is a great place with so much to offer for students. Birmingham, in particular, is a vibrant city with something for everyone"
While you should be aware of costs, if you plan carefully you should be alright. University accommodation is usually the best option, prices are very competitive and housing services are included. Shopping, food and transport (with a student pass) are quite standard and surprisingly even cheaper than many other European countries.
The MBA is a unique opportunity to get to know more about yourself and what you want to do in life. Make new friends and network - you will learn a great deal from your fellow MBA students. The programme is very demanding, especially during the first semester, and you should start planning before you arrive to the MBA. You can always find information on last years' programme through alumni or the MBA office - that should give a good idea of what to expect and how to prepare."