How An MBA After Engineering Changed My Career Path
Amit Mahajan wanted a change in career direction after an engineering degree. An MBA from Cranfield helped him carve out a career in Management Consulting.
Amit Mahajan had worked in India and Germany before moving to the UK to follow the Cranfield School of Management MBA program and pursue a career in Management Consulting.
He admits that it was Cranfield’s training and support that helped him land a job at PwC shortly after graduating and he describes his experience at Cranfield as “life-changing”.
As key advantages of the Cranfield MBA he identifies Cranfield’s extensive alumni network, the school’s reputation as well as its career services and support that its students have come to expect from the university.
Why did you decide to pursue an MBA at that stage in your career?
Before my MBA, I was working in a technical role with one of the major insurance providers in Germany and wanted to prepare for my next big professional leap and pursue a career in Management Consulting. My previous experience at CSC made me realise that I needed to acquire a business and management education before I could work as a Management Consultant, particularly in an international setup. At that point, I felt that an MBA would help me bridge any knowledge gaps and achieve my intended goal. As an engineer I had garnered excellent quantitative and analytical skills and an MBA was definitely going to help me extend these skills and apply them across different business functions.
What separated Cranfield School of Management from other business schools?
My selection criteria included school reputation, alumni network, focus on personal development and class diversity, but it was also the funding and career services that helped me choose Cranfield School of Management for my MBA. Cranfield’s focus on personal development was surely a differentiator for me and helped me decide to ultimately pursue an MBA from there.
What are the main takeaways you got from the school's program?
The year I spent at Cranfield has been one of the best years of my life so far. I made lifelong friends from around the world and I learnt a lot about myself that has in turn prepared me to take better decisions about my career post MBA. I am now a very different person having done the MBA, as opposed to when I first joined. As they say at Cranfield, it was a 'Life Changing Experience' for me.
Would you recommend Cranfield to prospective MBA students, and why?
I would definitely recommend Cranfield MBA to prospective students, especially because of the MBA class profile Cranfield attracts. Not only that, I also recommend Cranfield MBA for the focus that Cranfield puts on the personal and professional development of MBA participants. Last but not the least, you make lifelong networks with future leaders of the world.
After your MBA, you decided to stay in the UK. What led you to this decision – and do you see any major differences in the corporate cultures between India and the UK?
I had worked in India and Germany pre MBA and wanted to work in the UK post MBA to gain some work experience, particularly in Management Consulting. I definitely see a lot of corporate cultural differences between working in India, Germany and the UK. All three countries have very different corporate work cultures and being in Management Consulting in the UK has added another dimension to my career and my work experience so far.
You also switched from a more technical-oriented career path to a more business-oriented, eventually becoming a management consultant for PwC. Was that a conscious career change or was it incidental?
This was a very conscious decision and it is my experience during the Cranfield MBA that pushed my boundaries and helped me reflect on myself and my strengths. During my MBA, I went through a lot of self-reflection exercises that emphasised my interest in working as a Management Consultant post MBA. So, I started working towards that goal by seeking advice from the alumni already working in Consulting and also from the Cranfield careers department.
How do you manage your day-to-day obligations and is there something that helps you blow-off some steam and get through the day?
I am actively involved in volunteering activities (as a coach and a mentor) in my free time. I also try to work-out in the morning in order to draw energy for the rest of the day. Finally, I love to cook and that also helps me de-stress in the evenings.