“There was a lot of emphasis on leadership skills in the MBA curriculum and it really helped me become more aware of my leadership style and shape my vision of the type of leader that I wanted to be.”
I currently work within the Group Tax team of Barclays, as a member of their Indirect Taxes team. My responsibilities include assisting in ensuring that the Group meets its reporting, forecasting and compliance obligations, working on the development and implementation of our risk control framework and identifying opportunities that would result in a tax efficient structure and generate tax savings for the Group.
My MBA experience helped my development in several ways. I had the opportunity to develop my knowledge in different areas (e.g. Strategy, Marketing, Ethics, etc) and this motivated me to pursue a career that would enable me to develop a deeper understanding of how an organisation operates. I therefore decided to push myself out of my comfort zone and shift my focus from working in professional services firms and apply for a role in industry. This led to interviews with several prominent organisations and I was fortunate to receive an offer from Barclays, to work within their Tax team.
There was a lot of emphasis on leadership skills in the MBA curriculum and it really helped me become more aware of my leadership style and shape my vision of the type of leader that I wanted to be, working within my Tax specialism. Being a global and dynamic organisation, Barclays is extremely supportive of internal mobility and providing opportunities for individuals to move within the organisation and work in different department so as to develop their technical and commercial acumen. Therefore, when a vacancy was announced in our Indirect Tax team, I seized the opportunity to move into another team and develop my technical knowledge in an area that I had not worked in before. The support from Senior Management was overwhelming and resulted in a seamless transition and the start of a new journey for me.
Why Birmingham Business School?
One of my best and indeed unforgettable memories was an event that the Careers Service team had organised with Proctor & Gamble (P&G). The event involved a competition which included preparing Sales and Marketing plan within 45 minutes and making a 5-minute presentation to the P&G team. Not having a Sales or Marketing background, I found that I had to really push myself to be creative and use skills that I never really knew I had. As we were in a room full of people with years of Sales and / or Marketing experience, our group was confident that we had no chance of winning and therefore we agreed to give it our best shot and have as much fun as we could whilst coming up with our plan and presentation. So, you can imagine our surprise when we were announced as the winning team.
"The University is well-known for its diverse international student base and I was keen to be part of a MBA Cohort incorporating students from different parts of the world"
Making the most of the support available
I was fortunate enough to have a supervisor who had exceedingly high expectations and continually pushed me to think outside the box. With the help of my Supervisor and the Alumni Relations office, I was given access to Senior Leaders of prominent organisations who were happy to make the time to share their experiences and thoughts on the topic that I was preparing my dissertation on. I still pinch myself sometimes when I hear them speaking in public forums as it makes me feel so humbled to have had the opportunity to have met them and have had their support, without which, my dissertation would not have had the impact that I wanted it to have.
Tips and advice
Make the most of all opportunities you have to work with people. I think what I miss the most is the brainstorming sessions that we used to have on our group assignments. It was wonderful hearing people share their experiences and it was amazing to have the opportunity to see how different individuals interpreted the same situation. Looking back, I think these were the moments that I cherish the most as I don’t think we would have been able to perform as well as we did without these sessions.
Find out more
MBA International Business
The Birmingham MBA