Our alumni share their experiences of studying with us and discuss how our Master’s courses have supported them in their careers.

Select the course titles below to read the student testimonials for that course.

Management  |  Supply Chain Management  |  Finance  |  Strategic Marketing  |  Management and Corporate Sustainability  |  PhD programme


Kalyani Hegde

Kalyani HegdeManagement MSc alumna (2020)

Head of Supply Chain, Administration and Legal, Nandu Chemicals Private Limited

What are you doing now?
I am currently the head of supply chain, administration and legal at our family business enterprise. I lead the supply chain team in executing best practices by evaluating and measuring performance through agreed upon Key Performance Indicators (KPIs), coordinating with the purchase and sales team in identifying gaps to improve the overall efficiency of the supply chain, enabling them to achieve optimum OTD levels. I oversee verifying, reviewing, and vetting all legal documents, contracts and policies and enable the business to be compliant with all required legal standards. I also facilitate recruitment team in head-hunting and coordinate with the recruitment process.

What I enjoy the most about my job profile is the cross functional aspect; since I am involved in multiple departments, I get to meet key persons from all major teams and there is something new to learn and understand every day. However, the same gets challenging at times when it comes to coordinating with all of them to come on the same board. But with my experience and learnings at Cranfield, I am sure I will soon be able to manage this T-shaped profile that I aim to achieve.

Has does your Cranfield degree help you in your current job?
My Cranfield degree helped me gain promotion at work, more so after I completed my thesis in supply chain. It was after this degree, that I started working with the supply chain team in the company. I am now more informed and confident in understanding what happens in the supply chain. My Cranfield degree was a perfect bridge for me to move from where I was, to where I am currently/where I will be in near future. It has transformed me as a person since I am more self-aware of my soft skills and hard skills, strengths, and weaknesses.

What aspect of your course did you find most useful, inspiring, or enjoyable?
Almost all the modules have insightful takeaways because of the way they are designed; complex topics were made easy to understand with simulation activities and practical examples. For example, the Supply Chain Simulation activity was fun, as we got a gist of how a real-life global supply chain operates. The group activities in the Organisational Behaviour module were very useful to understand team dynamics and personality traits. The case studies discussed in the Strategic Management module were enriching to understand how companies strategise their objectives and perform. The Representatives meeting and get-togethers, Christmas Gala night, international food nights, the walks trekked along with walking club, the various cultural nights were some of other enjoyable and memorable events. And personally, for me, delivering my speech as the Cranfield Student voice on the graduation day was very special. What defines my Cranfield experience is my relationships with my peers, my learnings, and my personal transformation.

Do you have any advice for students considering postgraduate study?
Cranfield provides a great learning experience. With an exclusive focus on post-graduation studies, focused class sizes, and the course focuses on personal transformation. The academic research is rich in quality and its close links to industry makes it a perfect fit for management aspirants and budding entrepreneurs. The professors are world-renowned, the staff and service team are well organised, supportive, and helpful, which makes life as a foreign student much easier and the whole process worth it.

How did these facilities benefit your experience of the university?
I stayed in Fedden House along with my husband who pursued his MBA during the same time, and this was one of the best decisions we took. Living in Fedden House worked out cost and time effective than living off campus. This accommodation is neat and beautiful, has easy access to all amenities, walking distance to classrooms and is a well-equipped compact apartment for a couple with all facilities. I also used Career services for my internships, IT and library for my research, sports for group sporting events and yoga sessions and student support for all my visa and other queries. All the facilities are well organised and supportive whenever there was any urgent requirement.

Lakshme Srada Srinivas

Lakshme Srada SrinivasManagement MSc alumna (2019)

Rupa Engineering Industries

Why did you choose to study this course at Cranfield?
When I was looking to study in the UK I researched the different universities that offered the same programme, then I came across Cranfield and the rankings, I had a look at the course modules and I found them really interesting. What I was looking for was something that covered different areas of business, cross-functional, not just one area, and I thought Cranfield would be really good for that. I also had a look at the tutor profiles and I really liked it.

Which part of the course did you find most useful or inspiring and why?
For me one of the most useful parts of the course was the internship, I sourced my internship through the university at Finning in Cannock. It was really useful for me because I got real life work experience. I also got to study with a diverse cohort, I had never experienced that before because I did all my studying and undergraduate studies in India.

What benefits or impact has the course had on your career?
Because I got to work with people from different cultures and different backgrounds, it made me realise how different perspectives matter and how it can really change how you do business and how you manage business, so that was something that I took from my experience at Cranfield.

What have you learnt about yourself? Are there any areas of your personal or professional development that have been enhanced through studying the course?
Personally, I think that there has been a lot of discipline that has come from my time at Cranfield, because there was a schedule that I had to follow, even managerial discipline. We had different modules, from people management to corporate sustainability, it was cross-functional, so it was something that was really useful.

I would like to thank Cranfield for the experiences that it has given me, it is an amazing place to study. You meet so many different people from different countries, it became like a big family, and we still keep in touch. The tutors help you so much, you can email them or go and meet them anytime and they will help you. In summary, Cranfield was such a great experience for me both personally and professionally it helped me grow.

Walter Jose Korchoff

Walter KorchoffManagement MSc alumnus (2019)

Assistant Project Manager, TTTech Auto

Why did you choose to study this course at Cranfield?
So the main reasons that I chose Cranfield were first of all because of the status that the university has. I wanted something that was recognised by a lot of people, so once I was looking at Cranfield I saw that they were really high on the ranking list for their management and also their engineering achievements so the status was one of them. When I was looking at the modules, the modules seemed really interesting, one of the ones that I really wanted to take part in was the Effective Cross-Cultural Management. Especially because I come from a diverse background and I have experienced other cultures, this is one of the ones that I really wanted to do. I think the main reason I chose Cranfield was because of the three month internship programme they offered, because I was coming from a lot of years of academia, with another master’s and I really wanted some professional experience. Lastly, I would say diversity, when I saw how many different nationalities were coming in to the cohort this is something that I really liked because I like meeting people from different backgrounds.

What did you find most exciting, enjoyable or inspiring about the course? And why?
Even though it wasn’t the easiest, I think having a specific team or group that you get assigned to at the very beginning of the course was really good because we get put into these teams and we need to tackle our assignments, not all of them but most in this group. It really taught me how to progress with the same team even though there might be some difficulties. Regardless of the hardships you might be going through as a team you need to achieve results and it puts it really nicely into perspective with the professional environment, that there will be a lot of obstacles, but you still need to push forward. I also liked how the modules were structured, we had an intense two or three weeks of a module and this way it allows students to focus on this topic, get it done, really understand what is going on and move onto the next topic. Also the support from all the lecturers, I would say most if not all the lecturers, if you have a question, they will listen. If you have any problem they will try to help you. They are really there to help you progress through this time, so I really felt supported by most of my lecturers.

What benefits and impact has the course had on your career?
I think one of the benefits I found, was that I got to meet a lot of like-minded people. I got to meet a lot of people that came from very different backgrounds, from all over the world. I work in Austria and a lot of my colleagues are Austrian or they come from all over Europe so we speak many different languages and our clients come from all over the world. So yes the common language is English however you need to understand each other’s cultures, so that helped me a lot. Also, since I come from a very technical background, studying management as a whole really helped push me into this project management environment whilst still keeping my technical skills really relevant.

What have you learnt about yourself? Are there any areas of your personal or professional development that have been enhanced through studying the course?
I would have said that I knew myself quite well when I started the course however, because we have a lot of opportunities to explore ourselves a little bit more during the course, I did find that I like taking the lead where possible in the projects and making sure that we achieve results in the time that we set out to do it. This practice during the course, has really helped me in my current role in keeping to certain deadlines. Overall understanding my career aspirations and being able to manage them in this professional setting, so how to speak to my project manager, how to speak to our boss, how to speak to the clients. All of these skills were really improved throughout the course and are helping me now.

How have you applied the knowledge that you gained on the course in your current role?
During the Coronavirus pandemic there have been a lot of complex situations in our team and with the clients and communication skills are very important. The overall project management, to be able to speak to all the people involved in the project, to keep track of everything, to aid each one of our teams to move forward regardless of technical difficulties that we might be having. These are skills that I definitely enhanced during my time at Cranfield.

Supply Chain Management

Mehdi Benaiche

Mehdi BenaicheLogistics and Supply Chain Management MSc (2019) alumnus

Business Analyst Consultant, Michelin

Why did you choose to study this course at Cranfield?
I selected Cranfield University for four reasons:

Excellent reputation: Cranfield University ranks amongst the global best in Logistics and Supply Chain Management and its students are sought after by industry experts. Additionally, the course is accredited by three of the best associations in the Logistics and Supply Chain industry - the Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport (CILT), the Chartered Institute of Procurement and Supply (CIPS), and the European Logistics Association (ELA)

Course modules: The modules were designed to meet the business reality and have a good mix of theoretical and practical aspects, which was exactly what I was looking for.

Professors’ profile: The teaching staff are extremely experienced and can offer valuable insights and be great referees in the Logistics and Supply Chain industry.

The mosque on campus : As Steven Covey said in The 7 Habits: ‘effective people take time to sharpen their tools which are made up of their bodies, souls, minds, and hearts’. It was really important to me to be able to live somewhere where I could visit a mosque, and I was overjoyed to find that Cranfield had one on campus so close to my classes. Once I arrived in Cranfield, I discovered that the Cranfield mosque was more than just a place of prayer; it was a place where exceptional people from all over the world with different backgrounds, cultures, and experiences gather, and with whom I am still keeping contact.

What aspect of your course did you find most useful or inspiring? And why?
There are many positive aspects about the course, but two that I benefited from the most were:

Different group simulation games: There is a famous quote by Benjamin Franklin:‘Tell me and I forget, teach me and I may remember, involve me and I will learn’. This is certainly the case for the Logistics and Supply Chain Management course. We participated in different group simulation games, which allowed us, as students, to apply the theoretical knowledge acquired in class to the practical element of collaborating with a diverse group of people as a team. It was also really fun!

Assessments: The course favours assessments (individual and group) over exams, which pushed me to read and research more. Do transverse research, which gave me the opportunity to discover and learn many more things than in exam forms. This freedom gave me the chance to discover and learn more about my different interests in Logistics and Supply Chain Management.

What benefits/ impact has the course had on your career?
This course gave me the opportunity to understand challenges and problems faced in the Supply Chain Management sector in general, as well as the chance to develop and combine this with an expertise in Software Engineering. I believe that this course has broadened my mind as a learner and has also given me plenty of ideas about new potential markets to invest in.

What have you learnt about yourself, are there any areas of your personal and professional development that have been enhanced through studying this course?
My experience at Cranfield University in general and this course in particular have helped me to develop my self-confidence and has given me the courage to constantly push my limits and explore new experiences without trepidation or fear. Furthermore, as the programme was very intense and focussed on collaborative work, I have been able to hone my teamwork and communication skills, which will be very helpful in all aspects of life

How have you applied the skills and knowledge you acquired on the course in your current role?
As Process Engineer Consultant for Michelin, I use all the skills and knowledge I acquired on my course every day in my role. The course helped me to firstly grasp the very complex supply chain of the company, identify the problems and then suggest appropriate solutions. For example, to identify areas for improvement, I make extensive use of the analytical methods I learned especially in the Analytics Techniques for Supply Chain Management and Operations Management modules.

Penpaka Panthanapratez

Penpaka PanthanapratezLogistics and Supply Chain Management MSc alumna (2019)

Deputy Manager, Supply Chain Guru Co., Ltd.

Why did you choose to study at Cranfield?
Cranfield is a very well-known university, it is famous for Logistics and Supply Chain Management. What also makes it outstanding compared to other universities is that they have partner companies that we have the chance to work on our thesis with.

What aspect of the course did you find most useful or inspiring and why?
The lecturers themselves are very inspiring, especially Dr Leila Alinaghian. When she taught our class, she was always really prepared and really interactive. The environment in our classes were also very active, my classmates were all really nice, we all came from different backgrounds and different nationalities so it was very diverse.

What benefits or impact has the course had on your career?
I am working at my father’s consulting company; we provide consulting in Supply Chain Management. My thesis was about spend analysis and this is the first project that I have worked on since my graduation. I use all of the knowledge from my thesis with the partner company to contribute to my current project and in the future, I will also use it.

What have you learnt about yourself? Are there any areas of your personal and professional development that have been enhanced through studying the course?
I learnt a lot from the course and as well as my soft skills, when we first started we were allocated study groups and in our study group we all came from different cultures and backgrounds. So we first had to understand each other, we all had different working styles so we learnt little by little by doing and also when it comes to the group work we had to come to agreements and agree on the best way of doing things.

How have you applied the skills and knowledge you acquired on the course in your current role?
I am working as a Consultant at my father’s company and have been given a project around e learning, since the impact of COVID-19 we have moved from actual attendance at training sessions to online. I think this is a good opportunity for me to explore and build a website platform for Supply Chain Management tutorials. I think I will use the knowledge to contribute to my website.

Abdullah Abdulkarim

Abdullah AbdulkarimLogistics and Supply Chain Management MSc, 2022


Before coming to Cranfield, I was doing a simple job in Saudi Arabia, and my previous major was computer science, so I worked as a data entry.

I felt that postgraduate study would benefit me greatly, as the field I studied at Cranfield is one of the most important fields in the world, as supply chains are an integral part of the trade movement in the world, so I saw it as an opportunity to start a new life and a new work that helps me develop myself.

In 2020, I studied English in Cambridge for six months and had to stop because of the Corona pandemic, so I had a pre-look at the situation in the UK as it is one of the most clustered countries of different cultures and wherever you go you feel at home and do not feel like a stranger.

I chose this course because it is important in the economic movement, as it is considered the heart of this economic movement and Cranfield University is considered one of the leading universities in teaching this field.

I chose full-time because I can finish my studies completely in a whole year and it is a good opportunity because you are studying a good amount of information in a short time.

I received a scholarship from the Royal Commission for Al-Ula Governorate, which falls within the scholarship program of King Salman scholarships, as they are grateful to have paid the costs of the study, which reduced the burden of study costs and made me focus more on my studies, as I only pay for accommodation.

Cranfield University is a multicultural university with students from all over the world, which made the place feel familiar for all students and led to the formation of friendships with students, staff and academics.

I used many of the facilities during my time at Cranfield like the sport centre, where I gather with my friends to play volleyball every Thursday and I also use the gym as well. I also live in the university, as I lived in Baroness Young Hall 5 flat 1 room 1027, which was very beautiful and newly furnished. I was able to form in brotherly relations with my flatmates in the apartment. The library is the most important place to finish assignments, as it is the quietest place in the university and contains a lot of information. I used the mosque, which was well organized, and I got to know many Muslim friends there, and I found the Saudi society that I became part of there as well.

I recommend the Logistics and Supply Chain Management MSc to anyone who wants to gain a good amount of strong and up-to-date knowledge on Supply Chain Management. Cranfield University is considered a leader in the field of supply chains and helps to find solutions to some of the biggest problems faced in this field.

I think that this certificate will help me to get an excellent job because of the well-known reputation of the university, as they give you practical information, so you graduate with a master's degree and some experience in the field.

In the future, I am thinking of working in the field of warehouses, as it is a good field that is ubiquitous and can be continuously developed.

When I finish, I will go back home where I will find a job there and with Cranfield's certificate, I can be sure that I will find a suitable job for this degree because of the great reputation that this university has.

Roger Baron Pla

Roger Baron PlaLogistics and Supply Chain Management MSc alumnus (2019)

Operations Graduate, Kerry

Why did you decide to study this course at Cranfield?
I chose to study this course at Cranfield due to its position among several master’s rankings, also the accreditations from well-known Logistics and Supply Chain institutions. Also, the qualifications and expertise of the lecturers as they have worked in the supply chain industry for several years which allowed us to learn from their know how.

What aspect of your course did you find most useful or inspiring, and why?
The aspect that I found most useful was that it is a hands on master’s, which means that you learn by doing by bringing the supply chain concepts from class to reality. We implemented them through several simulation games, for example, the Just in Time simulation game, real case studies and the company based thesis.

What benefits or impact has the course had on your career?
This course taught me how to bring my career path to the next level because I learnt the supply chain and logistics concepts in detail. Which I started learning during my previous jobs but the master’s improved my knowledge in order to get a better job in the supply chain industry.

What have you learnt about yourself, are there any areas of your personal or professional development that have been enhanced through studying this course?
I learnt how to work with people from different cultures from around the world, which enhanced my personal and professional skills; it improved my empathy to understand people and different ways to work to obtain the best results. It helps you to become a better person and professional.

How have you applied the skills and knowledge you acquired on the course in your current role?
The master’s helped to further develop my leadership skills to manage people, as well as coordinating and collaborating with team members to make things happen. The master’s gives you the opportunity to develop your leadership skills.

How does it feel to have been awarded the prize of most outstanding student?
From my point of view all the students deserve this prize as we all worked so hard and we worked together as a team.

Stacy-Ann Sarwan

Stacy-Ann SarwanLogistics and Supply Chain Management (Executive) MSc alumna (2016)

Why did you choose Cranfield?
Cranfield was recommended to me as a small elite institution which is excellent in the areas in which it specialises. While I didn’t know much about Cranfield before, upon doing research and realising it had the best Masters and research centre in Europe for Logistics and Supply Chain Management, I quickly wanted to be a part of it. What also appealed to me was the Executive version of the Masters which allowed me to keep my job and study part time. Being able to fund it via manageable payment schemes made it even more practical. I thought it would be an excellent opportunity to boost my career profile by studying at the best University for my field.

What have been the highlights on your course?
There were many highlights. One of which was interacting with a global classroom and learning from a global faculty. This helped me to develop myself on so many levels in terms of being able to see other peoples’ perspectives, being able to work with people from different cultures and learning about how businesses are operating in different parts of the world. This has been very valuable to me. Another highlight was the International Study Tour. This is a fantastic element of the programme because it allowed us to see in practice what we learnt over the duration of the course. It has been very insightful to actually see it all in practice for me in particular, because I’m from the service sector. Getting the opportunity to actually go out to manufacturing plants to see how they make products and how they move goods through the supply chain.. It was fantastic. I was amazed. That was the top highlight for me but there have been so many other little things like the networking sessions and dinners which allowed us to interact more closely in a relaxed setting.

Have you been able to utilise what you have learnt at Cranfield in your own work?
Yes, from the very first module I have been applying the concepts in my job and there were some specific tools and techniques which I was able to introduce into my company that were never being done before in the procurement department. It has been very insightful. Where I am from, supply chain is a growing field and we do not have any educational institutions that offer this field of study. Bringing knowledge back on best practice was extremely invaluable and allowed me to stand out and make a mark in my workplace.

What benefits will your Masters have on your future career aspirations?
For me, what I love about the programme is that you cover everything you need to know about logistics and supply chain operations from warehousing, freight and sourcing to re-designing and networking a supply chain. It’s very broad based and it gives you a lot of options to specialise in any of those areas. This will allow me to navigate and move around in my career without having to do one particular task for the rest of my life. This is invaluable to me because I love learning and doing new things while also building expertise in a particular field.

What have you learnt about yourself, are there any areas of your personal and professional development that have been enhanced through the course?
The Cranfield experience helped me to broaden my thinking by interacting with people from different cultures and backgrounds and working in teams with different perspectives based on their age, experience, country and industry. I believe this to be crucial when building a global career and is invaluable now given that the world is becoming so integrated. This course has taught me so many new ways of viewing things and approaching tasks, people and situations. These are some of the soft skills I’ve been able to develop in addition to the technical competencies of the course itself. At the start of the course we also did a personality test which enabled me to learn some things about myself and my peers so I can take appropriate steps to manage situations and develop better relations with them.

Why do you feel now is a good time to be working in the Logistics and Supply Chain industry?
It is a growing and very exciting field but in my home country it is still a new concept. It’s been a really good opportunity for me to acquire the skills now so I have a head start when it really starts to boom back at home. I now have a competitive edge and can take full advantage of opportunities as they become available. The field is also very male dominated so now is a good time for women like myself to rise up and make their mark early in the game.

How have you found the balance between working and studying?
It’s been challenging and sometimes very painful. You have to prepare yourself mentally for it and need to manage not only your time, but also your energy. It has been a challenge particularly because I have been travelling from half way across the globe to attend modules here in the UK. I coped by sticking in some extra activities while I’m here at the weekend like sightseeing and touring just to soften it up and add some fun to the mix. Back at home I tried to schedule my assignments so that I have some free time to come up for air and reconnect with friends and family.

What has been the impact so far that your learning has had on your career?
The course has really opened up a lot of doors for me and although I’m not finished yet, I’m already being shortlisted for several job opportunities senior to my current position. On the job, I’ve also been able to perform tasks that supersede my current role and expectations.

Was the decision to begin studying the course yours or your employers?
It was actually my decision and something I’ve been working towards for a few years well. I saw it as the next logical step in my career and personal development and embarked on this journey as a self-funded student. I just fell in love with the course to be honest and was determined to make it happen one way or another.

Has your employer commented on what you have brought to their organisation?
Yes, I have been able to bring a lot of new ideas and approaches. The organisation I work for is a state owned enterprise; the culture is very rigid in terms of change so they aren’t very receptive to ideas or doing things in a different way. But I’ve been able to bring new perspectives and apply best practice and therefore the results spoke for themselves. Now I believe they appreciate what I can bring to the table.

Investment Management

Jakkrit Kingchum

Jakkrit KingchumInvestment Management MSc alumnus (2019)

Investment Analyst, Bangkok Bank

Why did you choose to study this course at Cranfield?
There are three main reasons why I chose this course, firstly because of the reputation of the course. I had a look at the rankings; Cranfield is very impressive to me and is ranked among the top universities, not only Europe but around the world. Additionally I love the course structure at Cranfield, because we had 14 modules in one year and the thesis, which is very intense, but I can learn a lot from that. Lastly, I talked to alumni of the course and she said a lot of good things about Cranfield and I was really impressed about that and after graduation I recommended the course to my friends too.

What aspect of your course did you find most useful, enjoyable or inspiring and why?
The course is designed to focus not only on the theoretical knowledge but focuses on the practical knowledge as well. In almost every module, we have a chance to do presentations, group work. In addition, the lecturers have a number of years’ experience of working in industry, such a banking, consulting, asset management or private equity so I can learn about what is actually happening in the real world.

What have you learnt about yourself, are there any areas of your personal and professional development that have been enhanced through studying the course?
I learnt how to work with people from different cultures, backgrounds and experiences, there were students from China, UK, Germany, Italy, Columbia etc. I learnt that we had different opinions, we had discussions and I learnt a lot from them. Additionally in the Organisational Management module, I improved my skills significantly in areas such as; presentation skills, negotiation skills and team working.

How have you applied the knowledge and skills you gained on the course in your current role?
At the moment I am working as an Investment Analyst, Cranfield has given me the solid knowledge and background to work in this role. In the third term, we are required to do valuations so I had to use Bloomberg, Thomson Reuters and Datastream so it was really useful for me because I have to use it almost every day.

How does it feel to have been awarded the prize for most outstanding student?
I’m really happy, I worked really hard.

Strategic Marketing

Cristina Gavilan

Cristina GavilanStrategic Marketing MSc alumna (2019)

Marketing Manager, AvaCare

Why did you choose to study this course at Cranfield?
I decided to study at Cranfield for different reasons. One is because it was the most convenient University for me. When I applied, I was living in Bedford, where a few people who previously studied at Cranfield highly recommended the University to me. I finally decided to study the Strategic Marketing MSc because I have always been passionate about marketing and the reputation of this course made me decide that this course at Cranfield was the right one for me.

What aspect of your course did you find most useful or inspiring? And why?
I will say that the profile of the class together with the practical exercises/consultancy project were the key points of the course.

The class profile is one of the things I like most about the course. There were around 50 of us in the class, from 13 different nationalities and with a young atmosphere. Working with people from such diverse cultures and backgrounds made me enjoy every day I spent at Cranfield.

As per the practical exercises and consultancy project, we had to give a presentation and work in teams for each module we had. We also developed many practical exercises gathered from the best universities around the world. I really enjoyed having to complete a varied case study, especially the Marketing Consultancy Project, which was a real-life consultancy assignment that we had to complete in four working days. We had to define a strategy for the British footwear manufacturer Fitflop about how to enter the Chinese market.

What benefits/ impact has the course had on your career?
This course has helped me to achieve my professional goal of working in Marketing. I wanted to work in Marketing since I finish my Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration in 2015. However, after living in the UK for one year, I applied to entry-level jobs in this industry, but I couldn´t find a company that wanted to give me the first opportunity due to my lack of experience. I thought that a good option was to invest in a Master’s course in the UK to get more insights about this science and be able to demonstrate a deeper knowledge to potential companies.

Then, in November 2019, two months after completing my MSc course, I was offered a Marketing Executive role in a company that manufactures British vitamin supplements. And now, after seven months in the company, I have been promoted to a Marketing Manager.

What have you learnt about yourself, are there any areas of your personal and professional development that have been enhanced through studying this course?
When I was studying my Bachelors in Spain, I would never have imagined doing a Master’s course in English in a foreign country. Through this course, I have learnt that I am capable to do more than what I thought I could do. We are sometimes our worst enemy and do not value ourselves. However, I think hard work has always been my mantra and seeing that I am achieving my goals makes me feel really happy.

How have you applied the skills and knowledge you acquired on the course in your current role?
As a Marketing Manager, I am working on the development and launch of new products. All knowledge I acquired together with research, analysis and branding are crucial when developing the best-in-market products that the company want to achieve, without forgetting the brand message and values we want to provide to the market.

Moreover, I had to design a three-year Marketing Strategy for the brand; this is the reason why the Marketing Consultancy Project as well as the Marketing Communication modules were really useful and helped me to define the best option for the brand.

Finally, I believe that critical thinking is one of the skills that I indirectly developed throughout the course, especially during the thesis project. Being capable to form my own judgement is essential to demonstrate my supervisors that I am developing a high standard work, as well as my attributes as a professional.

Adam Mullen

Cristina GavilanMy Cranfield journey: Strategic Marketing MSc student to doctoral researcher

Following the completion of the Strategic Marketing MSc last year I was honoured to be one of the School of Management’s first recipients of the wonderful Vice-Chancellor’s Prize. This is the only prize awarded across all postgraduate taught master’s degree students at the University. It was a great way to complete my master’s experience, and I am delighted to be continuing my journey with the university. I’d like to share my story…

Why did I choose Cranfield?
Cranfield was originally recommended to me by a past professor whom I greatly respect. Following his recommendation, I began my investigation into what the university had to offer, and I was not disappointed. Upon discovering the Strategic Marketing MSc programme, I realised that this was exactly what I was looking for; an in-depth, challenging, and diverse course steeped in the world of practice. Coming from that world myself, I found this aspect to be highly appealing and one of the key reasons I joined the university.

After exploring the quaint yet idyllic campus, meeting the faculty members, and getting to know my fellow students better, I knew I had made the right choice to join the university.

The MSc programme allowed me to lead a team of talented individuals, develop creative solutions for several company projects, and participate in debates, masterclasses, and field trips, all of which helped to enrich my knowledge and skillset.

Ultimately, I chose to study at Cranfield as I believed the university would offer me an enriching, friendly, and diverse learning environment that would help to fulfil my future career aspirations.

After completing the taught modules, I progressed onto the thesis project which I thoroughly enjoyed.

My Thesis Project: Engaging the C-Suite: Insights into Executive Engagement Strategies
Upon being assigned my chosen thesis brief, I was partnered with Dr Sue Holt, who was a fantastic mentor and friend throughout my thesis journey. Other members of the faculty were also incredibly supportive throughout this process and the course as a whole, which was of great help for a developing academic.

This project allowed me to explore the concept of executive engagement, using modern strategies such as account-based marketing (ABM), to engage customers and prospects at the executive level. This was the first time I had ever undertaken a qualitative research study, and through a partnership with the IT Services Marketing Association (ITSMA), I was able to interview several senior practitioners who work at some of the world’s most renowned companies.

Moreover, during the start of this project in April 2020, the global Coronavirus pandemic emerged, plunging the world as we know it into a period of turmoil. Although it wasn’t originally part of the research plan, I felt compelled to explore how Covid-19 had impacted the marketing function, and also, how senior practitioners were using their tools and strategies to keep their relationships alive during a time of crisis. The results were most insightful, and I am grateful to have been given the chance to develop and present my findings in regards to this ambitious brief.”

My Cranfield journey continues
In February 2021, I was accepted onto the Cranfield School of Management PhD programme, where I have been warmly welcomed by my supervisors, the PhD team, and the supporting faculty at the Centre for Strategic Marketing and Sales.

My proposed PhD topic builds upon my Master’s thesis, where I will be looking to investigate the topic of ABM in a more detailed capacity, to identify the enablers and barriers to its successful implementation in B2B organisations, along with the frontier technologies that will drive this strategy into the future.

All in all, Cranfield has given me the perfect platform to develop and pursue my ambitions.

Lauren Archer

Lauren ArcherMy Cranfield experience: Strategic Marketing MSc student to Marketing and Insight Executive

The Strategic Marketing course provided a well-rounded curriculum covering the many facets of marketing, including branding, retailing, marketing communications, and sales management, while encouraging us to think critically and apply our learning to real businesses. Outside of academic knowledge, the course also gave us the opportunity to build the ‘soft skills’ employers look for like experience working with commercial practitioners. Equally importantly, my ability to work constructively, within ‘Course Learning teams’ comprised of fellow marketing students; with diverse backgrounds - ethnically, linguistically and in terms of previous education in marketing/business. At the same time, the experience tested and enhanced the effectiveness of my communication skills.

Coming to Cranfield I was confident in my academic capabilities but lacked specific marketing knowledge. I wanted to learn how to effectively apply my new knowledge in real business settings. Cranfield allowed me to do this.  I was able to apply and develop my professional skills through projects such as the Marketing Consultancy Project and the Unilever Innovation Accelerator Competition in which I was a Finalist. I also acquired professional qualifications including the Market Research Society Certificate and JMP (statistical software) learning badges. Finally, by completing the Cranfield Competency Framework throughout the year I was able to reflect on my growth as a professional and use this reflection during job interviews. It was crucial in aiding me in verbalizing and visualizing my progression as a young professional. I feel confident in my professional skills and marketing knowledge to further excel in my next step as a Marketing & Insight Executive in London.

Management and Corporate Sustainability

Alejandro Palacios Strooman

FranciscoManagement and Corporate Sustainability MSc alumnus (2019)

Founder and Senior Consultant, Statera Sustainability Consulting

Why did you choose to study this course at Cranfield?
So when I was looking for a programme, I was 100% sure that I wanted to study a course related to sustainability, so when I started to research sustainability related programmes I found that the majority of programmes are delivered by faculties of humanities or public policies. When I found this programme at Cranfield, it was very suitable for me because it was delivered by the business school so it has a business approach that I was looking for. Another reason I chose to study at Cranfield is because in my opinion, the UK is leading in sustainability transformation. The multicultural profile of the cohort was also really appealing for me.

What part of the course did you find most useful or inspiring?
The first term of the programme is 100% focussed on management modules and for me it was really useful because I studied a business related course in my undergraduate degree so for me it was like a re-fresh of the content and it was really useful. Also during the course, we attended a lot of talks with people who are involved with sustainability, people that had a lot of experience, people that were in senior roles in private companies and organisations, people that were pioneers of pushing sustainability into corporate organisations. To hear those people talk about their experiences of sustainability transformation that is required in society was really inspiring.

What benefits or impact has the course had on your career?
Firstly, I think the impacts are that now I am able to understand all these concepts around sustainability. For me circular economy, sustainable development, corporate sustainability were all concepts that we were very similar. Now I am able to understand those concepts, to organise those concepts and to understand how to apply them in a project, in a company, so I think for me that has had a huge impact on my knowledge. Another benefit is due to the multicultural profile of the cohort, I benefitted from the other students’ backgrounds, their different ways of approaching problems and challenges. I learnt a lot from my classmates and that benefitted me a lot in terms of working with diverse teams so it was a huge benefit in terms of personal growth and professional growth.

How have you applied the skills and knowledge you gained on the course in your current role?
I am now working on projects that are related to sustainability so without the programme I wouldn’t feel the confidence that I feel now working on those projects because I understand the concepts, I understand how to apply them into a corporation or a project. I am also aware of the experiences of people dealing with the same problems that I am dealing with right now. Thanks to Cranfield and to the programme, now I am very confident working on sustainability projects.

How did you find the application process? Where were you studying before?
The application process was very simple, I had an interview with the Course Director then I had another conversation with him. I did my undergrad at the Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile. I did a course in Business Administration. It is different in Chile so my bachelor degree is like a bachelor’s and a master’s, it takes five years to complete and is orientated around business, administration, finance and marketing.

I am currently working with a private university here, which wants to use sustainability as a core value.

How does it feel to be a prize winner?
I do feel really honoured; I didn’t know that these prizes existed so I was surprised. I had a really great experience at Cranfield. I do really believe that Cranfield is a good university. The programme is very necessary for today’s professionals. I would like to help and I want to collaborate with Cranfield to increase its awareness and its brand recognition.

Debora Widjaja

Debora WidjajaManagement and Corporate Sustainability MSc alumna (2016)

Business Integrity Associate, Facebook

I chose sustainability because it complemented my background. I was co-founder of a start up company in Indonesia.

I knew things about making a profitable company but I thought profitable companies and companies that are doing good for society are two different things. We can’t have it all; but then I was curious reflecting on the biggest company in the world – that is Unilever. I realised that you can do both things; you can be a company that is doing good but is also doing well.  

So I was curious and I looked at several sustainability courses in the UK and I found Cranfield. It seemed like a no brainer to choose Cranfield in the Corporate Sustainability field because Cranfield is simply the leading university in the UK and when I joined here, it turned out that I was right. 

There were only 11 people in our class made up of 11 different nationalities, which was amazing. The classes were intimate and small, like a discussion rather than a one way conversation. For me the best thing about studying in Cranfield is you are really close to industry – for example, my thesis project was a joint project; a joint venture with Cisco and also a branding agency in London.

One of the most memorable things was attending the Corporate Sustainability conference in Barcelona. Besides the sun and the sea in Barcelona, my favourite thing about the conference was realising that we are not alone.  I met like-minded people who care about building a company that is not only profitable but is also doing good for society and the environment as much as I do. Right now I am working at Facebook in community operations - I don’t exactly work in the sustainability department but I think it is even more important to implement the sustainability principles such as thinking about long term instead of just short term profit for example. It is more important to implement those things in all departments; in all positions, rather than being in a secluded sustainability department and trying to change the light bulb tomorrow to an environmentally friendly one and trying to change people’s behaviour when they don’t really care.

Studying in Cranfield has been a life changing experience for me. 

Michael Agenga

Michael AgengaManagement and Corporate Sustainability MSc alumnus (2015)

Senior Research Associate, Datamaran

What does sustainability mean to you?
It is the ability to ensure a business can withstand the critical issues around the environment, its social impact and its governance which can have an impact on its operations and long term existence.

Why did you choose to study a course in sustainability?
After several years working in the financial sector in Kenya, I wanted to gain knowledge in this field and to learn some of the best practices provided by the case study method, which is predominately used throughout the course. I chose to study at Cranfield because I wanted to study sustainability alongside management. Cranfield offered this blend of two disciplines where I could top up my skills in general management -  people management, management of finances and operations management - but at the same time become expert in business sustainability.

What were some of the highlights of the course?
One great benefit has been the connections that I made. When you come to Cranfield you meet people from different backgrounds and different walks of life and the connections that this brings is long term and goes beyond your life at Cranfield.

In addition, the Careers Department was very supportive. They are willing help you from the word go when it comes to CV writing, job applications and identifying suitable job opportunities.

What types of activities took place on the course?
In a couple of modules, we were given the opportunity to work with a real client on a real business problem. In the ‘Sustainability in Practice’ module, for example, we were able to help a client develop a sustainability programme for businesses within the community. This was an amazing experience because besides being able to offer assistance to the client, we were also able to gain some critical skills in management consulting. I also had an opportunity to directly participate in local community activities such as environmental conservation.

What happened next?
I’m now working in London for a consultancy Datamaran, which advises the largest market cap companies on their environmental, social and governance performance. The course was a great help in enabling me to get that post – and to do the job! It’s rewarding to feel I can now do my bit to make sure the business world looks after people and the planet.

Ricardo Weigend

Ricardo WeigendManagement and Corporate Sustainability MSc alumnus (2015)

Head of Circular Economy, ECOR

What is sustainability and how does it impact the work that you do?
The definition I always give when explaining this concept is to use the resources of today in a way that we do not compromise or put in peril the same resources to the next generations. It impacts my daily life, including my work by reflecting in my consumption patterns, in the way I do business and influence people around me.

Why did you decide to study a course in sustainability?
In my role, prior to my Master’s Degree in Management and Corporate Sustainability, I was in charge of the measurement of CO2 emissions in distribution at Heineken México. I felt that during this time I had the right tools to carry out a measure of emissions but not the capability to monetarise sustainability projects and to do it corresponding business cases. I was also looking for the best theories around Sustainability and the best examples out there to implement after finishing my studies.

Why did you choose this course here at Cranfield?
I knew that UK was one of the best regions pushing Sustainability in the world. I did enough research to know that Cranfield was the best institution to study my master’s degree based on the university’s reputation, its ties with the private industries, government and society, not just in UK but worldwide.

What benefits has the course had on your career?
It has had many benefits. On one hand, it gave me what I was initially looking for; the capabilities and tools to perform exceptionally in an organisation. For example, after 3 months back after my masters, I was promoted to an area in Heineken México with more impact and responsibility, as the head of circular economy. The new position that I convinced the organization was needed to have a positive impact as a company in México, not just economically, but social and environmentally.

How have you been able to apply the knowledge that you acquired during the course in your subsequent roles?
Absolutely, especially what I learnt in the Accounting, Strategy, Marketing and Sustainability consulting courses.

Please tell me about any activities that took place on the course that allowed you to apply the knowledge that you gained in class.
I believe that the Barcelona trip and especially the trip to the MIT summit trained us to see and know what was going to happen after finishing our degree. I remember having a conversation at MIT with Ken Webster, the head of Innovation in the Ellen MacArthur Foundation (which Cranfield University is a founding member of), and being able to ask him questions based on the theory I learnt during the modules I studied at Cranfield. I was able to create a network of students and professionals that I’m still in touch with.

What skills did the management consulting module give you? Have you applied these in your subsequent roles?
The sense of urgency of giving quality results in time and in full. To realize that we as students can deliver a professional performance as if we were already working as real consultants for companies in need of revamping their offers to consumers or society. I currently work as a Circular Economy Business Developer and have been able to apply the skills that I obtained across all the modules.

Please tell me a bit about the social aspects of the course outlining any social activities that took place.
We were a small group of international students studying the Management and Corporate Sustainability MSc and that allowed us to bond quickly not just as classmates but as a group of friends. We are still in touch and visit each other when we can. I particularly remember a trip we went on to Berlin and Munich, because two of our classmates/friends lived there. Another social activity I happily remember was the invitation to the Guardian Sustainability Awards, a trip that some of us went to along to with David Greyson and where we met Jo Confino and people from WRAP.

Francisco Sierra

FranciscoManagement and Corporate Sustainability MSc alumnus (2016)

Deputy Director, Agribusiness

What does sustainability mean to you?
At Cranfield I realised that sustainability is all about how companies earn their money so it impacts on every part of our business model from operation to marketing, from finance to stake-holder engagement.

Why did you decide to study a course in sustainability?
I decided to study a course in sustainability for two main reasons:

  • Firstly, because by speaking I believe we can change the way we have been doing business since the first industrial revolution from one just focussed on growth to one focussed on prosperity.
  • Secondly, professionally speaking, I believe in ten years’ time, hopefully less, every CEO should understand sustainability in a way to use it as a lever and create more value.

Why did you choose the course here at Cranfield?
I chose Cranfield over others because I was looking for a business school with a strong background in Corporate Responsibility as well as addressing real business problems. You can find both at Cranfield.

What benefits has the course had on your career?
The main benefit that the course has given me is a new set of management tools to lead on sustainability no matter the industry; an important requirement of being a professional in this field is that you should be able to talk to people within your organisation at all levels and from different areas such as operations, human resources, marketing and finance.

How have you been able to apply the knowledge that you acquired during the course in your subsequent role?
I am applying everything. Currently, I am developing a set of lectures for managers in co-operation with Deloitte Chile to help business here to lead the transition from early stages in CSR to embedding sustainability in their strategic objectives.

Were there any activities that took place on the course that enabled you to apply the knowledge that you gained in the class?
An example was a tree planting exercise. During our trip to Barcelona we felt proud to be studying at Cranfield because of the prestige the Doughty Centre has in the corporate world.  With everyone we were speaking to, in every language, they knew perfectly well about the work the centre has been doing.

What skills did the management consulting provide you with? Have you applied these in your subsequent role?
One of the most interesting experiences for me was the management consulting module.  This module has given me the opportunity to develop my analytical and communication skills one step forward.  Now I can say I am prepared to engage with clients, identifying what the real problem is and providing useful advice. 

Please tell me a bit about the social aspect of the course outlining any social activities that took place.
In terms of the social aspects of the course, I really appreciated the opportunity to meet with relevant activists in Corporate Sustainability such as John Elkington and David Grayson.  For me it was really important to understand their opinion about the future of sustainability and how we should take those challenges into account for our career.

PhD programme

Imran Zawwar

ImranPhD programme alumnus (2017)

Regional Director Middle East, Cranfield Executive Development

What were you doing before you started your course at Cranfield?
I am an Ex Naval Aviator and took premature retirement at the rank of Lieutenant to pursue higher studies. Prior to starting my PhD at Cranfield, I was serving in Saudi Arabia as Director of Executive Development programmes with a leading executive education government entity.

What sparked your interest in this field and why did you choose this course at Cranfield?
As part of my job, I was working closely with top executive business schools and was frequently in touch with leading academics. I had a keen interest in economic development and entrepreneurship as a field of study and this is such a unique niche that not every University had the expertise to support my research in this area. As I filtered potential institutes with expertise in this field Cranfield was on the top of the list and naturally my first preference.

Has your course or job led to any particularly interesting activities?
My course has allowed me a unique skill set to contribute to the developing economies utilising the power of entrepreneurship. Further, as part of my job with Cranfield, I have made a pronounced effort to connect with the Middle East and have helped to take our short courses into the region and support executive development. 

What are you doing now?
I am serving as an Executive Development Strategist with Cranfield Executive Development, and I am also a member of faculty with the strategy department at the school of management. My teaching, research and consulting interests include helping my clients with their business strategy, strategising in the digital context and innovation. I enjoy the diversity and freedom I have in my current portfolio. I work on exciting new challenges with my clients, and I must keep myself updated with the latest developments and knowledge in the field which is the most challenging aspect of my job.

Has your Cranfield degree helped gain employment / secure a promotion and how does it help you in your current job?
My degree has equipped me with the required knowledge and scientific skills that are required as part of my job and therefore I could not have qualified for this position unless I had taken the course of study at Cranfield.

What aspect of your course did you find most useful, inspiring, or enjoyable? And why?
At Cranfield, we have a unique balance in the PhD programme which provides enough freedom and enough structure to help you keep focused while also being genuinely creative at the same time.

If you are still involved with Cranfield University, please describe how and what this means to you?
I adored Cranfield the moment I landed at this awe-inspiring place and ever since it has kept me captivated and in love with its beauty, calm, peace, and tranquillity. Whilst still pursing my PhD, I got lucky to be employed by the University and ever since I have been working here in various roles and positions.

Do you have any advice for students considering postgraduate study?
Cranfield is a unique place to enjoy the forming moments of professional development. It not only offers a world leading education delivered by world leading academics but also takes pride in the strong industrial relationship and position it enjoys globally. All in all, it offers its students a unique package which is difficult to find with any of our competitors.

How did you fund your study at Cranfield, and do you consider the experience and resultant qualification valuable?
I received a full merit scholarship from the University.

How did campus facilities benefit your experience of the university?
The services at the University make it look like a home and not just an educational institution. It has a congenial environment for families and at the same time for single students as well. The family accommodation was a blessing, and my eldest son started at Cranfield Pre-School the same day I started with the School of Management.

What was your group or individual project (thesis) about?
My thesis focused on entrepreneurial economics and how developing economies use entrepreneurship to catch-up with the developed world.