- Course: Full-time MBA
- Year of graduation: 2010
- Nationality: Dutch
- Job title: Management Consultant
- Company: IHS
What led you to an MBA?
Prior to doing an MBA, I spent six years as a mining engineer in Ireland and the UK. I felt that even though the role was fulfilling at the time, my life in remote mining towns was not, and I was becoming more and more of a technical specialist. I also wanted to get some birds-eye insight into what drives companies, how to manage companies and how companies should deal with macro-economic and external influences.
Why did you choose the University of Leeds?
I attended an open day at Leeds University Business School and it gave me a great first impression. The fact that the MBA is ranked highly in the UK, and the prospect of being in an extremely international group of driven, intelligent classmates, was very attractive to me. Curriculum-wise I was attracted to Finance, International Business and Change Management, all of which Leeds has an outstanding reputation in. Leeds itself is a vibrant and young city, so I was also looking forward to that aspect.
What were the highlights of your time studying at the Business School?
Once I was doing the MBA I realised that the workload was heavy but manageable, and the breadth of the MBA is fascinating. So many aspects of the business, from managing its accounts to its people, marketing its products and focusing on operational efficiencies, domestic/international expansion, all are available. It is up to the student to delve deeper in any subject and the University allows and helps you with that personal development. I also appreciated the Global Talent Centre, where they gave me realistic advice, and handy tips on how to improve my CV.
There will not be another chance (I think) where I am forced to work intensively with such a diverse group of peers (20+ nationalities) in such a short space of time. How to deal with cultural differences becomes a real part of the MBA experience. My MBA network extends to Asia, Africa, North and South America, and Europe. Definitely a strong point of Leeds!
I was also given the chance to represent Leeds at the international MBA workshop Interstate in Brussels. Aside from the intellectual topics of the workshop I also gained exposure to MBAs from other universities including Europe and the US which was really valuable and extended my current network.
How has your career progressed since leaving the Business School?
After the MBA I initially worked for a commodity research company where I focused on forecasting the trade and price movements of fertilizer commodities, based on supply and demand analysis as well as economical influences. In 2013 I moved on to a consultancy that helps petrochemical companies make strategic decisions, using market, price and trade intelligence.