A couple of weeks ago we were very pleased to announce Ben Ogden as the winner of the Manchester Young Professionals scholarship in partnership with Alliance Manchester Business School’s (AMBS). We’ve now had the opportunity to catch up with Ben and find out a little more about his life and the scholarship.
Why did you decide to study the MBA?
During my time studying the ACA, I developed an interest in theoretical business management practices. I wanted to develop a deeper understanding and felt that an MBA would be a good way to do this. Equally, having finished the ACA and explored potential new careers, I feel that an MBA is an excellent way to do this. Having dedicated career advisors to support me will also really help me to focus on what I want to do in the future.
How long has studying an MBA been in your career plan?
Studying an MBA was always something that I knew I wanted to do. I personally think that there is a benefit in completing an MBA earlier on in my career. Working on different business projects will ensure that I have explored different options and chosen the right career path for me.
Why did you choose Manchester?
For me, the three consultancy projects and the practical elements of the programme swayed my decision towards Manchester. This part of the programme sets the Manchester MBA aside from others. I know it will give me the practical experience that I want from an MBA programme.
Once I had finished my ACA, I received a few job offers. However, I wasn’t entirely sure if they were the job for me. I felt that if I had more business knowledge and work experience in different areas, I would have been in a better place to understand what career path I wanted to take, and what these jobs offered me. I hope that the projects and all the practical elements of the programme will help me to shape my career.
What advice would you give someone thinking of studying an MBA?
Studying an MBA is a major time and financial investment. I would say you have to really think about when you can do it, as you will need to take that time out of full-time employment. But overall, I believe there are huge benefits to studying the MBA that you have to weigh up. It supercharges your career and gives you the opportunity to work with a range of people you would never usually cross paths with. Some might think it is a bit of a risk, but I think if you want to really do it then it is a risk worth taking, giving you the time to explore other elements of business, as well as other options for your career.
What are your end goals from studying an MBA?
By the end of the MBA, I want to have developed my theoretical learning. I am looking forward to saying that I worked on and contributed to some interesting business projects, both in the UK and abroad. I am hoping that these experiences will give me the skills I need to really understand and know what I want to do in terms of a career, so that when I have completed the MBA, I have a solid plan of action and long-term career goals. I want to use the MBA to fully understand the road I want to go down.
What are you most looking forward to on the MBA?
I am really looking forward to the projects and having the opportunity to work with people from a wide range of cultures and business backgrounds who I otherwise would never have met. Understanding new ideas and skills and also bouncing off people to help myself develop in all areas as much as possible.
What do you enjoy the most about living in Manchester? What are your favourite parts of the city?
I have lived in the city for a number of years, I love Manchester as a city as it has everything. I travel regularly to the Peak District, North Wales and the Lake District, as I am a keen mountaineer and these places are very easily accessible from Manchester – there is countryside in every direction. I live in an area called Didsbury which is very close to the city centre, but it’s also suburban, giving me the best of both worlds with Manchester. I am part of a running club in Didsbury and there is always so much going on. Manchester is a big city but also small enough that you can walk around and not get lost. As I have lived in the city for so long, I think I will be able to help those in my class coming from other countries settle in and get to know the city.
Funding is the key reason why local professionals do not embark on a Full-time MBA. What advice do you have when it comes to funding for those who may consider a Full-time MBA?
Since I decided to study an MBA, I have been made aware of the cost and started saving towards this as I knew it was something I would end up doing eventually. I have also been very lucky to have received a scholarship from Manchester Young Professionals, which has helped massively in terms of funding. I believe there are a lot of scholarship options for those looking to apply for a Full-time MBA. I would never rule out doing one due to the financial implications though.
What have you been doing in preparation for the start of the programme?
Since finishing my full-time job, I have spent the summer months at The Royal Military Academy at Sandhurst completing the Army Reserve Officer course. I have been a part of the Army Reserves since a young age, but had not yet become an Army Officer. The course hosts people from different countries and is a very respected programme to be part of. It is a well regarded and intense two months of pure leadership training. It has really aided my skills in decision making under pressure, sticking to decisions and carrying them out effectively. Training to be an Army Officer is something I always wanted to do, so I am really happy to have completed this. I feel that as an Army Officer, the skills that I have developed will really complement my abilities as I progress on to the MBA.
Would you like to hear more about the AMBS MBA?
MYP is hosting an event with Jenni Rose on Monday 17th October at Bruntwood Bloc, Marble Street. Jenni will be giving a glimpse into what an MBA entails, with a talk titled ‘Can accounting save the world?’. Tickets can be bought here – final few remaining!