Thirty-year-old Skaiste graduated with distinction from the Leeds MBA programme in 2005. Originally from Lithuania, she was working in the public sector in the Ministry of Finance, but wanted to change her career path and saw an MBA as being crucial to her aspirations.
“I wasn’t sure exactly what I wanted to do, but I knew that I wanted a career in the private sector and would need a broad understanding of business and its elements, so an MBA was a perfect match for my needs.
“Many programmes I looked at were offering only theoretical knowledge, however, at Leeds, the MBA’s theoretical elements were illustrated by practical examples. We were given case studies and encouraged to analyse them in the light of our newly gained theoretical knowledge. We also had to present our conclusions to the entire class, which improved my self-confidence and presentation skills enormously - and these skills have been very valuable in my current career.
“My peers were very friendly and we all became close, had a lot of fun together, and I’m still in touch with many of them. There was a competitive spirit among us in terms of grades but this was a positive thing as it simply encouraged everyone to work harder! All my peers were happy to help each other, share notes and knowledge.
“After studying, I realised that there are many interesting fields I can work in. I have formed strong opinions about business and the way it works and knew which sectors I would like to work in. My new-found confidence allowed me to apply for jobs in various international companies and secure the position I wanted.
Skaiste is now Communications and Public Relations Manager at Procter & Gamble. “My MBA taught me exceptional discipline and patience, as we were working against tight deadlines, in work groups that were formed from people with different backgrounds and from different cultures. Everyone had a different understanding of the same subject, just like in real life situations. My MBA has taught me to take into account multicultural, personal and business factors, to evaluate and apply them to achieve desired results.
“Without a doubt, everything I learned on the Leeds MBA will help me in my future career. Before coming to Leeds, I didn’t really believe that I could achieve a career change, yet I graduated with distinction, and secured a fantastic job. Gaining confidence in my own abilities has been a wonderful thing. I’ve proved to myself that I can achieve my goals if I really want to and work hard!”