Country of origin: United Kingdom
General Manager, Skyeskyns
It was a long time since I had studied for anything that took longer than a few weeks, so committing to the amount of time that I knew would be required for the Executive MBA was a daunting step.
I had several reasons for embarking on the programme. Firstly, I felt I wanted to validate the practical knowledge that I had picked up on my travels through a career in management. Secondly I wanted to extend that knowledge into areas where I knew I had less experience. Finally, and most importantly, there was the challenge: could I really do it? I chose Lancaster because of its excellent reputation and the fact that it promised to make me think more about how I did things, rather than just give me lots of tools and techniques.
When I started the Executive MBA I was working for a small training consultancy called Symbiosis. I had spent all my working life in the training and consultancy field and knew that the deeper knowledge and broader experience developed on the EMBA programme would help in my job. But part-way through EMBA I took the opportunity to move to a new job with Business in the Community – an organisation dedicated to helping businesses to make a positive impact on society.
I started as Area Manager for Cumbria and have since moved on to the role of Regional Programme Manager for rural action in the North West. It's a high-profile campaign area, which attracts much interest from the senior management of the organisation and its patron, HRH The Prince of Wales.
For me, EMBA has made me think much more about what I do, why I do it, and how I do it. The Executive MBA has increased my confidence in knowing that what I do is well thought-out, both in terms of my management and the development of the strategy for my region. It has also made me take much more of an interest and developed my understanding of what is happening in the business world around me.
Both organisations I have worked for during my time on the EMBA programme felt that the MBA benefited them too – because the work I completed allowed me to look at the organisations in a different, more detached way. Though my employers may not have accepted or agreed with all my conclusions or recommendations, it has made them take a step back and think. This has enabled them to focus more on what they do and to do it better.
Since writing this profile, Dave has moved up to the Isle of Skye, where he manages Skyeskyns, one of only two sheepskin tanning businesses in the UK.