Mid-career professionals describe their journey from India to Cranfield & what they have learnt along the way…
Conventionally fresh undergraduates are seen as individuals with the mindset that the world is full of opportunity, and for them choosing to study a master’s degree is a natural progression. Typically, it is this type of class profile you’ll find on many MSc courses
For mid-career professionals, like us and many others, choosing to study again takes a leap of faith. It was never a question of whether it’s too late for a master’s degree abroad, as we were confident that furthering our education would be a foundation for a better future and career. It was more the decision to take a career break in order to pursue this dream.
With considerable years of experience in the workplace, we have re-entered the learning environment with a different, dare I say more worldly, perspective and the lectures and assignments are easier to understand as a result.
We were fortunate enough to initiate our educational plans in the pre-pandemic world, when we had no idea what lay ahead, so we have found ourselves studying to improve and set ourselves up for a post-pandemic world rather than in industry jobs at one of the most challenging times for business in decades. Sometimes it’s only when you look back on life decisions you can see how you just happened to make the right choice at the right time.
I have over eight years’ experience in global growth and performance marketing in business to customer (B2C) and business to business (B2B) markets. I worked with both FTSE100 global companies as well as high paced start-ups backed by Rocket Internet and others. Being an engineer by education and marketer by profession and stepping out of both worlds for a time in order to further my education, has made me realise how the pandemic has given a different perspective to companies and changed the way of using technology as a medium to reach the consumers.
As the world grapples with COVID-19, it is imperative to take into account what the post-COVID world is going to mean for those in the marketing realm. The unstable situation has accelerated the speed at which global and regional companies are “going digital” and is shifting the marketing landscape from traditional to digital, which had given new power to many online industries. The dynamic nature of digital has provided opportunities to those who didn’t have them before, to continue to learn around their busy lives. It was clear to those who were looking to climb the corporate ladder that taking the opportunity to go back to university to do an MSc would cement their career progression. The current economic problems could, however, be a blessing in disguise as it provides the right time and opportunity to pursue more education and be ready and prepared when the economy does bounce back.
Having worked for almost a decade in one of the most sought-after career paths – marketing, I decided to build further on the solid foundation that my experience provided me. The journey to Cranfield was not an easy one, but the quest for knowledge prevailed.
Coming from a fast-developing nation, I enjoyed a rewarding job back in New Delhi, India. I was torn, when it came to deciding what my next step in life should be, between- building a home or studying a masters. The previous experience of working as a brand manager across several industries, and the strong desire to catapult my career to next level, were the reasons that I made the decision to apply to Cranfield School of Management to study Strategic Marketing MSc.
I felt confident by the time I arrived at Cranfield that it would be a safe place to be in the pandemic and that they had/have put all the measures in place to keep staff and students as safe as possible in these challenging times. Enriched with fresh perspectives (and a few grey hairs); I am now halfway through the master’s and feel that I have surpassed everyone’s expectations and developed a lot more resilience than before.
Why we chose Cranfield…
When choosing the right institution to study at it is important to consider both the way it should enhance one’s career and the quality of education. To upskill ourselves, we firmly believed that we should choose a university which has a globally accepted accreditation, along with a curriculum that teaches us relevant theoretical, practical knowledge and the right skills to be ready to be a part of the new emerging growth. Cranfield gives us immense opportunities and learning that can help us to modify our strategic roadmap to plan our career in future leadership roles. It gives a real-world learning environment that allows us to develop as professionals and later transfer the knowledge to the global economy.
Life at Cranfield School of Management and the importance of time management
Every week is a new chapter in our journey on the Strategic Marketing MSc ., All of the modules on this unique course are compulsory and are interwoven together to help learn all facets of marketing in an integrated manner. The course requires a great deal of time commitment and rigour. Every module has assignments coupled with case discussions and supplementary readings, making it overwhelming at times. Luckily, the diverse cohort and the experience of working with our learning team, helped us get better with managing our time along the way.
On mentors and Professors
Taking a career break at a mid-senior level was not an easy decision; but to be coached by the best in the industry makes it a breakthrough year for us – a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity that will stay with us forever. From the time we joined Cranfield to our lecture with Professor Malcolm McDonald’s, it has been a terrific experience. Anurag has even created himself a desktop wallpaper to feature and celebrate all of the teachers he’s found on this journey, listing what he has learnt from each of them.
Learning needs in diverse set-ups are well recognised and case studies from all over the world are discussed in the class, for an inclusive experience, shaping us as well-rounded professionals. The Cranfield experience is enabling us to build stronger foundations in marketing and management; and provide skills that will help us progress our future careers.
He who is not courageous enough to take risk will accomplish nothing in life.
Muhammed Ali, World Heavyweight Boxing Champion (1970s)
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