Karim Boguspayev

Country of origin: Kazakhstan

Business Development Manager, Unipharm

Before the MBA I was working as a Business Information manager in Novartis's world-leading pharmaceutical company. I was in charge of an international team who were engaged in the development of the business information system. In addition to that, I was also running a company that provided services, such as tutorials and lecture notes, to university students. Having an ambition to turn around my career and grow my own business further, I realised that I needed a solid educational and skills base to reach my goal.

I wanted to do a one-year MBA because I did not want to leave my business and have a gap in my career for more than a year. This is why I was looking into European business schools, the UK in particular.

The Lancaster MBA attracted me more than other UK business schools for three reasons. Firstly, it is a top business school in the UK with excellent teaching staff and facilities. Secondly, the Lancaster MBA curriculum includes three live projects with different kind of organisations. And last but not least is the location. I wanted to study outside the big city to concentrate on my studies and get a chance to network with the cohort.

The Lancaster MBA exceeded my expectations of a business school. The first thing I would like to highlight is the faculty. Everybody in Lancaster University Management School is extremely friendly and helpful. From the first day you feel you are part of the family. That was very important for me as I was one of the youngest students in the cohort.

In addition to that, the Lancaster MBA provides students with theoretical knowledge and encourages them to apply it in action. Within the one year I worked on projects with a Community Interest Company, the Football League Trust and Reebok. This is an experience which is almost impossible to get anywhere else. In just one year, I was exposed to challenges that different companies were facing. This helped me put my knowledge into practice and gain an international business perspective.

There is a stereotype that an MBA student’s life cannot be fun – this is not true. As a director of sports and social events, I have to say that the Lancaster MBA pays serious attention to students' lives outside the classroom. There were plenty of events during the year such as the MBA Christmas Party, a Potluck party, BBQs and the MBA Ball. The Lancaster MBA also participated in the Cranfield Cricket Tournament, the Manchester Football Challenge and the Paris MBA Tournament. All these events foster networking opportunities with other top business schools such as LBS, Oxford, HEC, etc.

Overall, Lancaster is a fantastic place to do an MBA, meet new friends and have fun. If I were to do an MBA again, I wouldn't go anywhere else!