Sep 25, 2016

MBA in UK from Warwick Business School

I started writing this post in 2016, when I started my MBA and completing it in 2018.  I share my experience here.

People raise eyebrows when you say I am going to UK for MBA because I believe getting job is not easy.  I assure getting into MBA college in UK is easier that completing formalities for VISA.
Colleges are increasing intakes and a good essay and interview can secure place in decent MBA college.  I will recommend LBS, Cambridge, Oxford, Imperial, Cass, and Warwick.  GMAT is also optional for most of the colleges.

Tier 4 Student VISA

Start accumulating your funds in one account - on your name and if possible no sharing - so that sufficient fund is available 1 month before submitting online application.
If you are getting education loan then attach original sanction letter - on letter head and stamped.
If you are shwoing funds from multiple accounts then attach a cover letter providing details.
Indeed its good idea to attach a cover letter with VISA application proviing details of documents and other required details in concise manner -

The Visa Officer
Subject: Visa Application
Dear Sir/Madam
This is in reference to my PBS Tier 4 Student Visa application.
I would like to inform you that programme selectors have made me and unconditional offer of a place in The MBA by full-time study in xyz Business School, The University of xyz
I have x years of industry experience and I have choosen MBA course to/for .......
xyz Business School is the best place for me to receive MBA education because .....
Post MBA I wish to come back to my home country and ......
I have already paid deposit of xyz GBP and remaining fee for course is abc GBP, combined with maintenance fees of def GBP, total fees is ghi GBP.
I am providing the below documents to support the evidence of funds available to me in order to finance my education and accommodation at the University of xyz:....."

Be prepared with VISA interview questions -
1. Why MBA
2. Why UK
3. Why xyz university

If your VISA application gets refused (mine got refused first time) the reapply.  While reapplying you can choose fast track option too.

Booking flight tickets:  Book flight tickets even before you get VISA because its cheap booking in advance. Most of the flights provide extra luggage (approx. 70 Kg.) for student VISA holders but probably you need to book from their website.

Immigration: Immigration officer will ask for same documents used for VISA application so keep it handy.

Hostel Keys: Its similar to checkin into hotel. Reach hostel and collect keys.

It was beautiful morning and sunshine when I arrived. Sunshine is less observed so enjoy it most whenever wherever you find it.

Initial Weeks and First term

Networking, networking, and networking: MBA is all about networking.
In all sessions and lectures you will here this. It seems only way of getting job in UK is networking.   
The week had good sessions over Strategy: SWOT, VRIO, etc. Career Sessions and Consultancy and Industry overview.   You come to know success rate for getting job from job sites (also called open job market) is 5%. Most of the market is hidden and can only be reached by networking.   One good part of Warwick MBA is RSC project. A free visit to Royal Shakespeare Company and Shakespeare's birth place. The visit is part of strategy assignment. 

(Image sources -

I want to share my experience so that one following the same path can benefit from it and not make mistakes that I made.

Term 1 - Theories, Group Work, and Strategy

Lot of things are taught in first term:
  • Marketing - Good theories but little practical
  • Accounting & Finance - I don't remember any formula I learned
  • Operations Management - I got basic understanding of Operations, which might help
  • Organisation Behavior - No comments
  • Strategy - Though I wasn't impressed by Professor but Subject is very good as it gives good understanding of business & Strategy.  Remember, Strategy is the Business and Business is Strategy.  Strategy also helps in technology strategy or marketing or operations strategy because once you understand the concept of Value, then you can apply it anywhere. 
No doubt all are important.  Coming from IT background and willing to make a career in IT: Marketing, Operations, and Strategy were only beneficial for me.  Among all Strategy is the most important and never miss a class of strategy along with doing all the pre-readings and case studies.  Try to relate strategy to your prior experience and industry.  Term 1 is also important in terms of scoring because it is difficult to score when it comes to electives (in Term 3 & 4) because in electives many times professors are external and sometimes they are strict.  Term 1 is focused on building the foundation on all topics so it is very important to prioritize time and focus on the things which will help in achieving your target.  For example, During MBA, I wanted to move to Digital Consulting so it was important for me to understand Strategy most and then bit of Operations and Marketing.  If your is to move into Technology then apart from Strategy rest all might be useless.  Don't work hard on topics and subjects that are not going to help.  Leadership Plus consumed lot of time and it was not really that much worth.  Many networking events, leaders talk, parties, etc will happen and they will consume your time and they are not counted so avoid them unless interested. 

Term is mostly about Theories and one might learn nothing but it has 3 practical group assignments: Strategy (RSC), Marketing, and Operations.  These three group assignments are really good way to learn team work in diversified team and strategy.  Control your emotions in group work and focus on learning from others. 

Term 2 - Travel, Case Competitions, and Job Applications

Term 2 had several travel including Vancouver and Dublin and those were the best part of MBA.  Though time get wasted in flight and etc but one can make most of the trip by visiting new places. 
One of the most important module in this term is "Managing in New world" and this is really good because it is all about International Business - This is next step of business.  This is also right time to participate in case competitions, which are really fun and exciting.  This is time when Job applications begin.   Leadership Plus was not good but attendance is marked.  Ethics module was also time consuming but better not skip classes and not spend much time on it. 

Term 3 - Electives and Job Applications

This is where Job Applications and Job search must begin.  The reality of jobs is very different from what you might have assumed therefore, it is important to understand the market on right time.  May be the kind of role you want is not much available in UK.  May be some role is suitable for you based on your background that you have not thought of.   Try to finish electives in this term that is 5 weeks of classes.   

Term 4 - Dissertation and Interviews

I had 3 modules in term 4 and I was unable to find or apply for job in term 4 because I was too busy with modules and project and dissertation so better finish electives in term 3 only.  Dissertation is marked most in MBA and focus on that.  Pick a topic or subject that you want to learn like I choose Machine Learning and some people choose their startup.  I will suggest to choose your startup if you have any idea in mind because you will get 3 months to do research, prepare business plan, and so on.

Things you might regret not doing

Walking & Running in Campus

One year is good time to enjoy the green campus and good health.  One might not get similar beautiful land to run every morning.  I reduced my waist by 4 inches during my MBA by eating right and walking lot. 


Download the app in the first week and start exploring the events in London, Birmingham, and nearby.  Search for free events that allow networking and learning and may be food and drinks.  The speakers in London events are great and definitely build an opportunity to learn and network.  Be very selective for events and do not sacrifice much time and money on events.  Focus on free events that are on spare time. 


Travel and explore places in and around UK.  Its great fun to travel alone or with friends.  

Museums, Castles, Libraries, Parks

Most beautiful attractions and Museums, Castles, and Libraries.  If you don't like any of them then start liking them - they are amazing in UK.  Visit especially all free ones. 

University Library

Start spending more and more time in library.  Its best place to learn.  I miss library most. Especially in my dissertation time, I used to spend 11 am till 11 pm in library.  Library became my best friend.

Building on your background

Never forget your background, your skills, your experience, your previous companies, and your past colleagues.  Keep updating and keep refreshing them throughout year.  After MBA completes job interviews are mostly focused on your background.  If you had a technical skill then keep on updating it rather than getting lost n buzz words such as AI, Machine Learning, and Blockchain. 

Things you wont regret not doing during MBA

Language classes 

The language classes are held in the first term - once or twice every week.  Taking language class is mandatory but even if you skip all classes nothing happens.  One can take advantage of the opportunity to learn new language but for me it was too cold to attend 2 hr class form 6:30 PM till 8:30 PM.  I attended probably 7/10 classes.  If I had attended 8/10 classes, I would have got a certificate of attending classes but no use unless I can speak that language.

Networking Events 

MBA course has huge focus on events.  One can set aside 5000 GBP for events during MBA course.  One will be told from very beginning to attend events.  In the first week mba candidates attend events and start networking.  I myself spend lot of time and money on events - travel to London, overnight stay in London, paid events, networking dinners, and so on; AND nothing helped.  I didn't got any benefit from most of the events.  Events are like gamble, you lose most of the times but you might hit a jackpot.  To be safer side attend events in which you can learn such as I was from tech background and I attended events on AWS, Google Cloud, AI, and so on; therefore I get an opportunity to learn.  Select events based on learning not based on networking.

Focus on Dissertation and not on Project 

Note dissertation is marked, project is not.  When choosing P&D most of the time focus is on choosing company but in very rare cases that company offers job.   There is a conflict between the company's expectation from project and supervisor's expectation from dissertation; therefore my recommendation is if one is interested in desk based then it is better option. Company project can be avoided.  I did my project with Capco and Capco didn't even shortlisted my CV for any position.  Capco offered jobs to people who probably didn't do project with them.   

Electives in Shard

Shard is good place to visit for events but classes in Shard will be hectic. While choosing electives one can avoid giving preference to Shard.  Most of the executive & distance MBA candidates come to Warwick to attend the electives.


Some things you better know early regarding finding job in UK (Relevant 2017-2018 most)
  1. One page resume will cause rejection in many companies
  2. There is limit imposed on total number of Tier 2 work visa; therefore, it is competitive
  3. Set limit to grandiose words (CEO, MD, 500%, etc.) in resume
  4. Put technical terms: CRM, ERP, Salesforce, AWS, etc. to attract


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