How This MBA’s Focus On Creativity Is Helping Support The UK Tech Scene
Dave Cullinane took his tech career from strength to strength after his MBA at Bath School of Management. He says the MBA degree makes you more creative
The UK tech scene is an exciting place to be right now.
Startup provisions in the UK are competitive, with VC funding hitting record highs in the first half of 2018 alone, defying fears around a looming Brexit and making the country a leader across Europe.
Brexit or no Brexit, there is ample space in the UK for innovators in technology—and for MBAs who know how to navigate businesses through a shifting industry landscape, there are many opportunities for the taking.
For MBAs, the key to supporting the growth of the UK tech scene is creativity.
“The battleground is going to be on creativity”
“There’s a lot of talent here, it’s a really exciting place to be,” says Dave Cullinane, an account director at animation, cinematics, and visual effects company RealtimeUK and an MBA grad from University of Bath School of Management.
Dave believes that the key challenges currently facing tech in the country will be weathering the challenges of Brexit while also maintaining the UK’s competitive edge compared to rising tech scenes in China.
“The battleground is going to be on creativity,” he advises. “The creative industry is one of our big strengths—it’s not [always] about developing technology, it’s about how you apply it, and China is behind [the UK] in that area.”
The creative thinking skills that the UK tech industry will require from leaders in order to remain a global competitor post-Brexit are a staple of the MBA program at Bath School of Management, where students cap their programs with a multi-project ‘suite’ designed to round out their skillsets and provoke new thinking.
Dave joined the program in 2008, after being made redundant during the financial crisis. He had previously worked in video game development with a background in graphic design, but recognized the change as an opportunity for growth and applied to Bath to facilitate that.
“When you see the bigger picture, you develop a creative mindset”
Now, a decade on from his graduation, he says that the MBA gave him a more global understanding of business and a much less “siloed” approach to his work.
By learning to juggle competing inputs, priorities, and approaches, he was able to develop creative solutions to problems. The Bath MBA instils this creative approach to problem-solving by offering a range of modules in many highly-relevant topics, from innovation and risk management to knowledge leadership in a global economy.
These skills come in handy for Dave at RealtimeUK, where he works making trailers for video games.
“I’m now working with different clients all over the world,” he says. “The MBA made me more globally-focused and made me look at the bigger picture, because I think when you’re just working on one project you can’t see the wood for the trees.
“The MBA is constructed [to showcase] all the different elements of a business—HR, finance, supply chains, [etc]. It makes you a lot more astute in terms of business.”
Dave would recommend the MBA at Bath School of Management to others looking to make an impact with a tech career in the UK. When asked what kind of person would thrive in the environment at Bath, his answer is broad.
“Anyone open-minded that wants to learn; that wants to advance,” he says. “There’s something there for everyone.
“When you put it all together and see the bigger picture, you develop a creative mindset—business school can sound very dry and business-focused, but the reality is that [the MBA at Bath] makes you far more creative.”