Andrew Ponnambalam

Country of origin: Sri Lanka

CEO, Bethel C A Holdings Private Limited (Sri Lanka)

Prior to joining the Lancaster MBA programme I was CEO of a few companies and had also worked as a corporate strategist for a USD900m company. I can honestly say the Lancaster MBA changed my life in so many ways.

Firstly, I was able to refresh my knowledge and learn new and innovative approaches that can be used in the business world in various different fields. Since most classes are interactive and use case-based teaching, we got the opportunity to learn that there are many different approaches people might use to solve a problem. The Mindful Manager module rounded off the programme and pushed me into alternative thinking, reflection and at times also brought me back to ‘ground zero’.

Another aspect of the Lancaster MBA that really helped me was the large number of practical engagements with real businesses throughout the programme. We met clients and worked on live projects with starts-up, entrepreneurs and multinational companies. We were put in teams and there was no formal leader, therefore we had to ensure our contributions were grounded and legitimate. I learnt the importance of listening to everyone in a team because at times the solution would come from the least expected person. I've now made this approach a habitual part of my working life and I have seen huge benefits.

We had many business leaders from different fields as guest lecturers. This helped in gaining knowledge of different industries and meant that as a corporate leader of today I am able to contribute at many different levels. The networking events, along with friendships I have with my classmates, have given me a huge, international, highly resourceful network that I can reach out to to gain an advantage in my business. This is an asset that money can't buy.

The MBA helped to mould a better me. Today I enjoy my work... I feel and have the confidence to walk into the unknown – this is huge, since the world and economies we live in are so volatile that the game can change within minutes.