“Whether it’s new skills, contacts or a new way of thinking, I use my MBA every single day.”
Coming straight from the Royal Air Force (RAF) to an MBA at London Business School (LBS), Charles Sudborough MBA2016 felt he needed more specific business skills to successfully transition into industry.
“Military people are lucky in some ways at LBS,” he says, “Our training and experience in leadership and management means we come with a good grounding for business school. But I felt I was lacking knowledge in many areas and wanted to be in an immersive business network before I entered industry. The MBA positioned me really effectively for my first job.”
Charles says he chose the LBS MBA because he wanted a solid, practical schooling in the fundamentals of global business. He now draws on the knowledge he gained at the School every day in his job as a management consultant: “As a military engineer I relied on an engineering degree; as a business consultant I rely heavily on my MBA. Whether it’s new skills, contacts or a new way of thinking, I use my MBA every single day.”
When he was applying for the programme, it dawned on Charles that there was more financial help available than many applicants realise. He’s especially keen to let military people know that on top of the designated military scholarships, there are others – like the CAP Scholarship – which he received from an anonymous donor. “It can be hard to transition out of the military,” he says. “It’s a life change and people worry about how they will afford the fees. I want to let them know that the School can and does help.”
The number of people that the School supports with scholarships has made Charles realise that financial awards at LBS are about more than just money. “There are so many people involved with the School who are dedicated to realising its vision. That affected me directly with the scholarship I received – it allowed me to do the MBA – but the generosity of the sponsors and their faith in the School’s mission goes deeper than that. It’s a great motivator.”
Charles was equally surprised by the dedication of his fellow students. When he started the MBA, many of them were already busy making their marks on the world through successfully running entrepreneurial companies. One of them, not satisfied with owning a business with a £1 million annual turnover, had come to LBS in order to start a new business.
“The fact that someone can come to business school in their twenties and already be doing something like that was eye-opening. The impact he’s making on the world by employing a large team of people, adding value for the economy and doing good for society is so powerful. Taking the MBA has made me realise just what you can do. There are so many opportunities.”
6 years since graduation
After graduating from London Business School, Charles had the opportunity to further expand his horizons through a Consulting role at Boston Consulting Group (BCG). “I worked on a huge range of projects across the public sector, commercial organisations and charities. No matter the organisation, I found that people, culture and technology underpinned my best work.” That passion for digital transformation leadership led Charles to Microsoft, as an Account Director. Leading a large team, Charles has delivered cutting edge technologies, high revenues and growth in the public sector business. “It's great to see the empowerment we have given people and organisations through this work.”
“Microsoft lives and breathes a growth mind-set. I often reflect that the MBA has allowed me to grow into my role today and given me the foundations of strategy, business, finance and people skills that I use daily.”
Charles Sudborough was a recipient of the MBA CAP Social Impact Scholarship