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Homepage / Get to know Michelle Jia Ou, MBA Class of 2021-22

Get to know Michelle Jia Ou, MBA Class of 2021-22


“Upon completing the Cranfield MBA, I aim to become one of the women leaders who bring diversity, social impact and shape the future of work to be inclusive and equitable for all,” says Michelle Jia Ou, current MBA student and 30% Club Scholarship winner.

For Jia, winning the 30% Club scholarship was much more than financial support, helping in her personal and professional development and building confidence.

Keep reading below to find out more about Michelle’s inspiring journey and her advice for prospective students.

Why did you choose Cranfield?
There were two reasons for me to choose the Cranfield MBA. Firstly, my one-on-one conversations with Helen Knight and Jules Barton convinced me to pick Cranfield University as my number one choice. I visited the Cranfield School of Management before the 2019 Christmas break. Sitting in the reception lobby, surrounded by images of prestigious Cranfield alumni, Helen and Jules revealed deep insights on how the full time MBA runs and its transformative approach to leadership. Secondly, after conducting a series of research, the outstanding characteristics of Cranfield MBA that appeals to me the most are: business and industry explosion and unique real-world learning environment; small class size courses and lots of one on one conversation; strong international alumni network; students voice first; experienced professors and expertise.

How did you find out about Cranfield?
I knew Cranfield from my husband who found a job at Cranfield University,
School of Aerospace, Transport and Manufacturing (SATM). After a series of research and conversations with a few Cranfield alumni, we soon realised that Cranfield School of Management is one of oldest and pronounced business school in the UK. By knowing that Cranfield accepts only post-graduate level students and its mission of transforming the practice of management, I knew that I would receive high quality of education from Cranfield MBA.

What were you doing before you started the Cranfield MBA?
After a post-graduate degree in professional accounting at the University of Wollongong, I headed for Sydney to embark on my accounting experience; first in a national corporate catering company followed by a stint at a leading global aesthetic medical device company. I like challenges, and I take overcoming obstacles as a chance for improvement. For the last two years, I have been on maternity leave and this gave me time to decide that studying an MBA during Covid-19 will enhance my career resilience.

What is your aim for after you complete the MBA?
My intention upon completing the MBA is to become one of the women leaders who bring diversity, social impact and shape the future of work to be inclusive and equitable for all.

What does the 30% club mean to you?
The 30% club’s culture of increasing gender diversity at board and senior management levels inspires me to be a future woman leader post MBA. It offers a great opportunity for women to break the glass ceiling quicker and more smoothly.

What does the 30% club scholarship mean to you?
The 30% club scholarship enabled me to support my advancement without compromising my finances. It truly has helped me not just in my personal and professional development but also in building my confidence.

How has it helped you on your MBA Journey?
The 30% club scholarship inspires me to nominate myself to be the chair of Women in Leadership (WIL) club and I won the competition. In my role as women leader, I have led efforts to help other female full-time MBA colleagues and provided an environment to support each other. In addition, I have been able to enhance my organisational skills and communications skills through organizing the WIL online events.

Any advice/messages for the next 30% club scholarship winner?
An MBA with the 30% club scholarship provides many benefits to women working in leadership positions. Embodying the spirit of the 30% club by helping women to explore future leadership roles would be an excellent start to create the new gender balanced business environment.

At Cranfield School of Management, we are proud of our long history of championing diverse boardrooms and senior management teams. If you are interested in applying for a Women Leaders scholarship for the Cranfield MBA, please take a look here and find the scholarship that best suits you!

Kierah Hamilton

Written By: Cranfield University

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