Carsten Engh

Country of origin: Norway

Vice President, Aker Solutions (Oil Services)

The reason why I enrolled on the Lancaster MBA was not unusual. I was standing at a crossroads, wondering in which direction I should develop my career. Not an easy question to answer, so I decided that this was the time to pursue my old ambition of studying for an MBA.

I came to the course with a relatively short but diverse career in procurement and human resources, founded on an even more split education in physics and business. What appealed to me when choosing the Lancaster MBA was the action-oriented approach of working with actual clients – testing, applying and contributing with the knowledge obtained through lectures, research and, in particular, class discussions. In fact, it is this element of learning which Lancaster has influenced me the most.

It’s intense, but then again that is why we pursue an MBA. Rather than being strenuous, it was life-changing. I had studied overseas before, but never had I worked so closely with colleagues from so many countries and backgrounds. The Lancaster MBA was a fantastic learning experience and truly motivating. 

Learning for the real world

Some of my best memories are from working on projects with various companies, whether a global NGO, a local textile wholesaler, or a start-up. It is why I strongly recommend Lancaster. This applied knowledge model is completely integrated in the programme, so that all the modules have a practical application. It all culminates in the summer project.

My project was with Apple Europe working with the procurement team. It wasn't just learning from the company – I also found it fascinating to link academic research with the real-life challenges of the project. This was our opportunity to go beyond the typical “industry best practice”, and investigate how to employ the latest research with our clients.

These competencies were immediately applied in my first job with management consulting firm A.T. Kearney in Oslo. A.T. Kearney is a global firm assisting clients in areas from corporate strategy to operational improvement.

Lancaster has a great position in management research, and of course the MBA ranking. However, more important is the dedication of Lancaster University Management School to make the MBA programme truly unique. I can strongly recommend the Lancaster MBA if a challenging but life-changing year appeals to you.