Can you tell us about your role within Cranfield School of Management?
I am the new course director for the Senior Leader Apprenticeship: Management and Leadership PgDip + MSc and a lecturer in Organisational Behaviour in the Organisational Behaviour and Applied Psychology department in the School of Management at Cranfield University. I am currently the module lead for a number of the leadership modules on the Executive MBA (EMBA) and full-time MBA.
I am also the Cranfield University Regional Expert Group Chair for North America. In this role, I help to establish, maintain, and facilitate international relationships with research institutions, universities and alumni in North America, including the United States and Canada. This role has allowed me to be able to utilise my relationships and contacts in North America to help create and establish new opportunities at Cranfield University. Most notably, I have helped to facilitate the creation of a Memorandum of Understanding with the University of California at Davis, which is a top ten university in the United States of America. I have also helped to facilitate the creation of a co-lead international business module between the EMBA programmes at Cranfield University and Purdue University, located in Indiana in the United States of America.
Can you tell us what makes the Senior Leader Apprenticeship: Management and Leadership MSc at Cranfield different from other courses?
I am exceptionally proud of the senior leader apprenticeship and Management and leadership MSc programmes here at Cranfield University. Coming from the United States of America, I’m in awe of the fact that companies and their employees have the opportunity to develop their leadership capacity and obtain a top-level education through the Apprenticeship Levy. I see so many opportunities that can come from gaining access to this type of programme. Not only do students upskill themselves through the valuable skills that they learn on the programme. They also get to build networks that will serve them throughout their career. I truly believe that this social capital is what distinguishes the Cranfield experience from other universities with similar offerings.
What do you see as the current challenges facing the industry?
I personally believe that all industries are facing a significant leadership crisis. The way that organisations have approached leadership traditionally is increasingly becoming obsolete as new generations of workers come into organisations with new values and different ways of working.
Organisations are going to need to understand the shifting dynamics and start to create leadership pipelines that reflect these changes. Organisations also need to understand that when they are sending their employees off to programmes for upskilling, they need to scrutinise the type of leadership that is being conveyed through these programmes and really ask themselves, is this the type of leadership that is maintaining the status quo or are our learners going to be challenged and taught leadership skills that are going to prepare them for this new reality.
This is something that I believe we are actively pursuing here at Cranfield University. Especially within the context of the leadership modules that I lead on and that I teach on, we are taking a future focused approach to leadership, making sure that our learners understand, both the context of their organisation and the demands for leadership, as well as their own personal self-reflections and preferences for how they want to build their leadership brand.
I believe that this is how we’re going to enable leaders to be more dynamic and better able to flex their leadership style going forward as the demographics of employees change over time.
What types of roles do students studying the management and leadership programmes usually go on to do?
Having interacted with a number of the key employers who send students onto the Management and Leadership programmes. I am continually impressed with what the graduates go on to do once they finish the programme. Most significantly, the vast majority of our graduates go on to be promoted upon completion of the programme. For some students, completing the programme also represents that steppingstone that they needed to make a career jump or to move into a new leadership role. However, regardless of whether our students are simply looking for a promotion or looking to make a career transition, all our students find value in being able to apply the skills they learn on the programme in their careers.
Why did you choose to work at Cranfield?
When I was considering the job offers that I had from different universities. The distinguishing factor that made Cranfield University stand out to me as my employer of choice was the level of friendliness and collegiality in my department. From the interactions that I had in the interviews, I could tell that the people in my department genuinely liked each other and were genuinely supportive of each other. And because I personally value collegiality and support, I felt that the environment aligned with these values and that it would make the best choice for my future employer. And I’m very pleased to say that I believe I made the right choice.
What is your favourite part of your job?
My favourite part of my job is being in the classroom with the students, and being able to share my passion for leadership and psychology with them.
Do you have any advice to offer prospective students who are thinking of coming to Cranfield to study management and leadership?
My advice to any prospective student considering whether Cranfield or the Management and Leadership MSc is right for them. I would say, It’s definitely the right place for you. We aren’t just a programme; we are a community. Coming to Cranfield means that you’re going to have lifelong friends, lifelong networks, and lifelong learning.
And finally, what do you do when you’re not working?
I enjoy engaging in creative writing, specifically short story writing. I also like collecting vintage psychology texts and cooking spicy food.