Jon Abbatt

Country of origin: United Kingdom

Associate Director, ADAS

I had thought about completing an MBA for some time having reached a stage in my career where I felt I was ready to take on the challenge of an MBA and stretch myself academically and develop the skills I needed to take my career to the next level.

The reputation of Lancaster University and LUMS, as well as the MBA rankings made the course a clear first choice. The course content seemed ideal, with a focus on applied learning that could be used immediately in the workplace. I also received a high-potential scholarship that played a significant role in securing funding from my employer.

The academic rigour and the high standard of critical thinking that was required on the course surprised me. Having completed a Bachelor's degree and Master's degree, I was confident in my academic ability but the EMBA course went to a much higher level. However, I thoroughly enjoyed this challenge and the course has enabled me to expand my thinking and develop new approaches to tackling the complex management challenges that I face every day at work. The strategic management, strategic change and corporate strategy modules were all excellent.

The intense and challenging nature of the course meant that the cohort of students developed a really strong bond as the course developed. Whilst the course was challenging, we were able to have a great deal of fun at the same time.

With three other students, I completed a strategic marketing project for Sedbergh School. This was a really enjoyable and challenging week and we were able to make several useful recommendations to the School. Highlight of the week? One of my colleagues pretending to be a rich Indian businessman whilst being taken on a tour of the school by one of the pupils or listening to 500 pupils singing at full volume at Friday morning practice in the school church!

To summarise my experience at Lancaster would be to simply say, life changing! I was expecting to learn a lot but did not expect the complete reformatting of my brain and the changes that I have made as a result in my approach to life, business and relationships.

I am now an Associate Director at ADAS and manage the environmental consultancy business as part of this larger group. The MBA has enabled me to develop a strategic plan for developing and growing the environmental consultancy business in the future. In addition, it has enabled me to contribute effectively at board level to a number of key strategic areas - HR, Strategy, Marketing and Business Development.