MBA (Master of Business Administration)
Rising to the challenge: meet Marcelo Affonso
Marcelo completed an undergraduate degree in business at the University of Toronto before working as an account manager for HSBC in Canada. After completing his MBA, Marcelo was employed by Amazon UK where he now works as Operations Manager.
I wanted to come to Glasgow for several reasons. The university has a strong international reputation and a high calibre of teaching staff, many of whom are highly regarded in their research fields. Research is a big deal for me, as I hope to go on to complete a PhD at some point. Glasgow is an exciting, thriving urban environment and I wanted to experience a city.
I’d completed a placement at HSBC during my undergraduate course, and when I left, I took up a position there, working in personal financial management. It was a steep learning curve, and there were lots of opportunities to progress but eventually I felt it was time to move on, to look for the next challenge.
I wanted to do an MBA, in the UK preferably, but it is a huge commitment, so you have to work out the best time to do it. I was only 28, and have no children, so I was at the stage in my life when I could do it full-time. It was been enjoyable and rewarding.
It has everything in it – from strategic management, to human resource management and marketing – and tackles a wide range of relevant, current topics. Those are its key strengths, in fact – its relevance to current issues and its diversity of topics.
For example, we looked at everything from how to keep employees motivated to issues surrounding energy and renewables.
We also benefited from visits from a wide range of managers and experts who come in to share their experience and expertise. That is extremely valuable.
It is important to specialise in business, but you have to be flexible, particularly given the current unpredictability. It takes commitment to complete the MBA. It is, after all, 12 months of non-stop work. But those who work hard, who are open to new ideas and are flexible, do well.