MBA class diversity prepares students for the future of work – Halley’s story

A young woman working at a whiteboard.

The nature of work has radically transformed over the last decade. We don’t have careers for life anymore; we have lives full of different careers. Today, teams working on a single project are often geographically dispersed, diverse, and increasingly agile.

Halley Liao worked as a freelancer for over two years before embarking upon the full-time Bath MBA. During this time, Halley analyzed the international publishing industry for the founder of Acer, worked as a young curator for the largest photography exhibition in China, and helped Taiwanese independent brands to enter international markets.

Her multi-faceted experiences provided a prism through which she learned to formulate innovative solutions to business problems. While Halley doesn’t plan to freelance after her MBA, her experiences have enabled her to excel in multicultural, multitask, and ever-changing workplaces, requiring ease with ambiguity and uncertainty.

Ranked in the top 100 programs of the world, the Bath MBA champions such diversity of experiences that inevitably adds nuance and creativity to class discussions. In 2017, the cohort was composed of only 51 students, coming from 23 different sectors and 16 countries. Bath attracts students from traditional business profiles, but also candidates from highly creative backgrounds which consolidates its reputation for design thinking and entrepreneurship.

Here’s Halley to explain:

Tell us about your career journey.

I have worked in event planning, consultancy, international sales and branding. My most exceptional experience was revitalizing a brand to reach out to a more global market. Achieving this required me to reflect upon my previous work experience, take time to explore different angles, quickly adapt feedback from distributors worldwide, and synergize various market strategies into a global business practice.

What skills did you gain while freelancing?

The skills I gained focused on adapting what I have learned from one situation to another, in particular situations with a distinct paucity of financial resources. These situations require a much more proactive approach compared to working in a larger organization.

Why did you decide to pursue an MBA?

I wanted to learn more about leadership, decision making, and critical thinking. I believed that the best way to learn it was through interacting with other professionals, within the safe space to explore and voice many viewpoints that academia provides.

Why Bath School of Management?

I chose Bath because of the University’s reputation and its proximity to London. However, I grew to love Bath much more than I had expected, even after living there for just a year. I have never felt bored walking around the beautiful city and the astonishing scenery has helped me unwind from the intensity of the MBA program.

What are your post-MBA plans?

My plan is to work for a small to medium enterprise in Europe and expand their business globally. The MBA has given me a holistic view to approach business activities and frame strategy in different assumed scenarios. It has driven me to think outside of the box and generate ideas from much more diverse perspectives when making decisions. It also aided me in understanding myself and how I should work alongside a diverse magnitude of individuals.

What stands out from your MBA at Bath School of Management?

The experience of learning with people from very different cultural and professional backgrounds has stood out. I especially enjoyed the modules in which we mingled with Executive MBA students, understanding how passionate individuals acquire leadership skills and crave continuous personal development in unfamiliar subjects.

This article was originally published by Business Because.

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