Phil Spooner at the Super Bowl stadium

Phil Spooner

Why did you choose Leeds University Business School?
I chose the MBA because I wanted to take a year out to broaden my skill-set. My career had been going well but I was not achieving as much as I thought was possible. My long term goal has always been to start my own company, and the MBA equipped me to do that.

Tell us about your course – why did you choose it? 
I enjoyed the challenge of working with numbers. I hadn't done it for 10 years and my lack of experience concerned me. The feeling when I realised that I was up to the challenge was a highlight of the course.

What were your career aspirations when you arrived? 
I came from an industry where an MBA is unusual and not a prerequisite for progress. I didn't do it to impress people, I did it for myself. The confidence that I acquired after completing the course has been invaluable. It made the idea of starting my own business seem easy.

How has your career progressed since leaving the Business School? 
My most recent contract was for a Series Editor job at Channel 4, a job that came to me many years ahead of schedule. I think that my career progression was accelerated considerably by the MBA, not because of the badge, but because of the changes that it made to the way I think and behave. Since leaving the Business School I have lived in Brazil, working for FIFA at the World Cup. I've also worked on-site at two Super Bowls, in New York and Phoenix.

What is your current role and with which employer?
I have recently finished a long contract working at Channel 4 and I am now working on a project of my own. I am working freelance, splitting my time between commercial work and building my own business.

What was your impression/experience of the facilities, the staff, your peers, the student union, the City of Leeds and the region itself?
In my opinion, Leeds is the second best city in the UK, and the best for students. London is my home but it is extremely difficult to live well there whilst studying, which is why I came to Leeds. Leeds offers an interesting and diverse mix of cultures, and I would recommend it to anyone thinking about studying there.