Hi! I’m Liza Franchi, Westminster MBA alumna. I began the full-time MBA programme in February 2004, graduating in Spring 2005. Choosing to study an MBA is of course a big investment, and to help you make this decision, I wanted to share my own stories of the course. I’ll be blogging over the next few months, highlighting my time on the MBA, talking about my experience post MBA, and pointing out opportunities for further engagement with Westminster Business School. For my first blog, a brief introduction and overview of my time at Westminster:
Why an MBA?
My motivation to study an MBA originally came from hearing one of my bosses from Abbey National Bank Italy, and another of my bosses talking and friends in Canada talking about how much they enjoyed their MBA course. Learning how much they’d gained from it, I decided to take the plunge. Additional reasons for studying an MBA included: to have better career opportunities, top up my business skills and knowledge in an academic environment, strengthen my CPD, increase credibility and recognition in the workplace and of course the salary increase!
The class of 2005
Within a class of 18 there were 14 nationalities, which enhanced the cultural learning within the classroom. I really enjoyed the holistic approach and module content training that an MBA brings. Debates in class from such a varied group proved interesting and challenging. I also gained a lot from joining forces with classmates to form mini study groups, which was especially helpful at exam time for Strategic Management – something I highly recommend! I love research and used multiple resources, including researching and working within non-Business School libraries on a frequent basis. Within the first week of class, my classmates voted me as Class Representative, something which I enjoyed throughout my time at Westminster.
Modules on the Westminster MBA
It’s not easy to identify which were my top favourite modules as the list included: Strategic Management, Developing as a Manager, Managing People in Organisations, Marketing Design and Products, Strategic Marketing, Law and Corporate Governance – as well as Foresight and Future Studies. Each module brought great learnings and were rich in content.
The residentials for Strategic Management (Sicily and London) and Developing as a Manager (Brighton) were definitely highlights of my MBA. As well as developing new skills and building your knowledge, you learn so much about yourself and it was great to learn during the Developing as a Manager residential that I have an ‘inclusive’ leadership style. I strongly believe that understanding each person’s motivational needs are essential when managing teams, as it helps when empowering each individual to perform at their best.
Researching Women in Business: My Thesis
My thesis was entitled “Critical Success Factors of Successful Women in Business.” The primary data was conducted by selecting and interviewing 25 successful women in business within London and the secondary information was attained through extensive analysis and comparison of numerous items of literature (over 100 academic articles, plus other online and offline publications). Grounded theory was deemed appropriate for this study as it allows exploratory investigation; data gathered from one interview was cascaded into the next in a waterfall approach. Lewin’s Force Field Analysis was used as a tool during the interview process to aid the interviewees to reflect upon the progress of their careers. Mindmaps were used to transcribe the interview content, which proved a kinder way of working. The results and findings covered some general trends, additional topics discussed: motivational variables for self-employed; motivation and leadership trends; additional skills and habits; obstacles alias challenges; being a woman in the business world today; the Glass Ceiling; Equal pay, legislation and segregation and women do things differently. Ten critical success factors of successful women in business were identified. I’m very proud of receiving a distinction for my MBA and 82% for my thesis and a hardcopy of my thesis is available from the University of Westminster’s Harrow library.
MBA networking opportunities!
The networking opportunities that I have attained through my MBA have been tremendous. I’ve travelled with some of my classmates and still remain close friends with some of them. Since the MBA, I have continued to engage with Westminster Business School in various ways that will be discussed in future blog posts – I particularly enjoy organising networking drinks for Westminster MBA alumni, students and faculty and look forward to seeing newcomers as well as ‘regulars’ at future networking events. The next networking drinks dates are being arranged and you are welcome to join us – just keep an eye on our social media for updates!
Until next time
I’ll be back shortly with a new blog, but in the meantime, if you’d like to find out more about the Westminster MBA, here are a few options for you:
- You could take a look at the course webpage.
- Join us for our next MBA Online Information Session – a great opportunity to find out more if you are an international student unable to travel to us in person.
- Questions about the MBA? Contact our dedicated Programme Administrator, Anuradha Acharya, or MBA Director, Dr Kellie Vincent.
Thank you to MBA alumna, Liza Franchi, for this great blog. We look forward to reading future blogs and to finding out more about her experience with us here at Westminster.
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