This month as we celebrate International Women’s Day we will be focussing on the women of Westminster Business School, highlighting their stories, achievements and successes. With this in mind, Alumni Relations Officer Bhavesh Davda recently caught up with one of our Westminster MBA alumna, Miranda Brawn, to find out more about her time both here at the Business School and post-graduation.

Since graduating from the Westminster MBA in 2001, Miranda Brawn has become an award-winning business, legal and diversity leader. Her career to-date has, amongst other things, included investment banking, working as a Barrister, and acting as Board Director and Advisor for a range of organisations. Her various accolades include being elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts (RSA) for her work in diversity and philanthropy, and being named one of the top 30 most inspirational women by Brummel. Miranda has also appeared in the CityAM Top 20 “Women in the City” Powerlist and has been the recipient of the BE Mogul award, given to the most successful and influential black business people in Britain. Miranda currently works at Daiwa Capital Markets and has recently founded the Miranda Brawn Diversity Leadership Foundation.


How did you find your experience of studying at Westminster Business School? 

My experience of studying for my Master of Business Administration (MBA) degree helped to broaden my mind and give me a different perspective. At the time, I was the youngest to graduate with a MBA Masters’ degree in my year, hence it was a steep learning curve for me. My studies provided me with the fundamental business concepts and academic tools that have enabled me to succeed in a business environment. There are huge benefits gained from investing in business and management training. The study groups and residential trips were enjoyable and gave me the opportunity to network with others while learning from their experiences.  

What did you do immediately after graduation? 

After my MBA graduation in 2001, I commenced my first management role at a top US investment bank in the City – Goldman Sachs International.  In addition, I started law school to become a qualified Barrister. Hence, my thirst for learning continued post-graduation. 

What is your current role? 

My primary role at Daiwa Capital Markets is Director of Legal and Transaction Management. I am responsible for the company’s legal risk across Europe for the derivatives, regulatory and securities financing business within an investment bank. In addition, I am on the Board of Directors as Vice Chair of the Black Cultural Archives, Patron of the Black British Academics, global public speaker and presenter.  I am also the Founder of the “Miranda Brawn Diversity Leadership Scholarship” to help the next generation of black, asian and minority ethnics (BAME) future leaders while increasing race diversity and equality in Britain’s workplace.


What advice would you give new graduates who are looking for employment?  

·       1. Think of your career as a series of experiences. The most optimistic and intelligent way to look at your career is to collect experiences throughout your career, whether that be with a few employers or ten, with one business function or five or in one country or three. The idea is that you need to be a lifelong learner if you want to make an impact, succeed and feel accomplished. The experiences you have expand your world view, give you new perspectives and make you a more interesting person.

·       2. Take risks early and often in your career. One of the important lessons this economy has taught us is that not taking risks is risky. There is so much out of our control and if we just keep doing what we did yesterday, we cannot get ahead. By taking a risk, you are putting yourself in a position to learn, whether you succeed or fail. You are also showing to your management that you are willing to put your reputation on the line to make things happen. As we become an ever more entrepreneurial society, those that take risks, both inside and outside of the corporate walls, will become more successful.

·       3. Network and spend more time with people than with your laptop. The strongest relationships are formed in person, not online. Soft skills will always become more cherished in companies so it is important to drop your technology and actually communicate with people. People hire you, not technology and you have to remember that! 

·       4. Sacrifice today to position yourself for tomorrow. You cannot have everything you want today so you need to work hard to put yourself in a better position in the future. For many years, I made sacrifices to ensure that I had the right qualifications for today’s opportunities. The more you do early in your career, the more it will pay off later in life and you will be thankful.

·       5. Locate your personal board of mentors.  I believe you need to choose the right mentor, who you can support and who has time to support you. That person should be someone in your desired industry. The “Miranda Brawn Diversity Leadership Mentoring Programme” will be discussed in more detail during the “Miranda Brawn Diversity Leadership Annual Lecture” in October 2016. 

Many thanks to Miranda Brawn for this interview. You can follow Miranda Brawn Esq  MBA  MCSI  FRSA  on Twitter and Facebook


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