Country of origin: United Kingdom
Head of Cost Management, Laing O’Rourke
When I commenced the Lancaster Executive MBA (EMBA), I was Head of Programme Controls and Business Management for the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority. Following a career change during the EMBA programme my current role is Head of Cost Management for the London 2012 Olympic delivery programme, where I work for the programme management delivery partner, CLM, assigned from my employer Laing O’Rourke.
I chose the Lancaster EMBA because the modularised delivery and the action learning elements, combined with the programme structure, were best suited to my learning style. In addition my decision was informed by the excellent credentials that the Lancaster EMBA has both nationally and internationally.
The intention was to develop my strategic learning and knowledge in order to enhance my ability to operate at strategic level within organisations.
The EMBA experience was thoroughly enjoyable, highly memorable and will remain with me forever. I learned how to structure my strategic thinking – in particular I realised the importance of change management and leadership in the context of making strategy happen, which is particularly relevant to my current role. I also developed many lasting friendships with members of the cohort.
It was particularly rewarding to be part of such a vibrant and stimulating environment of fellow students, with high intellects, from varying walks of life and with so many different views and perceptions. This dynamic helped to broaden my understanding of complex situations. In addition, being able to see things from different perspectives has helped develop my empathy.
The modular approach of the programme enabled me to disconnect somewhat from both home and work life, and allowed me to focus better on specific learning topics, with minimum distraction. For me, the most challenging part of the course was to remain focused on the EMBA requirements when both life and work threw constant challenges and pulled me in different directions. Although the home study elements were both academically and time-challenging, these were achievable with the support of conscientious, dynamic and insightful tutors and tutor groups.
Having got to the other end, I feel that the Lancaster EMBA has helped me to see life and business in a far broader context which I consider invaluable in the work place. It helps me to input valuable strategic insight to my business life and therefore to improve the optimisation and prioritisation of business decisions.
One of my major projects has been to work on the £9bn London 2012 Olympic Programme, to ensure delivery of the Olympic park and games venues on time and to budget. In this high-visibility, complex political environment, with its multiple stakeholders, the Lancaster EMBA definitely helped my understanding and ability to overcome Olympic-sized strategic challenges.