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Friday, March 24, 2017 at 4pm

Opting for a Master’s in Management in London

Alexander Guerra Perales discusses his experience of the master's in management program at UCL School of Management

This year has been a journey full of challenges and changes. After working for a couple of years in Mexico, I decided to take a step forward and go back to school to advance my career and strengthen my managerial skills. Why? Because I believe that going to business school helps you gain a competitive edge in the job market by improving your leadership abilities, business knowledge and networking opportunities.

My decision about where to study was not easy. First, I looked for an MBA, but I had concerns about the cost of the degree – just a one-year MBA can cost about double that of a master’s in management (MiM)! Honestly, return on investment was my priority to achieve my mid-term goals. I needed a program that could provide me with similar content and international exposure [to an MBA]. Therefore, I decided to look for a one-year specialized master’s in management program.  

Choosing UCL School of Management’s MiM program

I found out that University College London (UCL) was launching its new business school in Canary Wharf, one of London’s financial centers, and knew that this would be a perfect environment for my preparation. Thus, I applied, left Mexico, and here I am one year later.

The MiM program at UCL School of Management has challenging courses that not only require active participation, but also a high level of critical thinking to expand business acumen in order to approach case studies, question the status quo of conventional wisdom, and lead consultancy projects. I have greatly enjoyed its collaborative learning atmosphere.

Living in London has also been a great experience. This cosmopolitan city has everything you need – from traveling by the ‘Tube’ [London Underground] to visiting free museums. London has a way to differentiate itself from other cities in the world – it’s certainly different to the way of life in Mexico!

I’ve also noticed that the educational system has its particular differences when compared to the Mexican model. The British learning framework requires you to go further in order to get grades beyond the expected. You have to demonstrate initiative, time management and creativity to outperform others.

My best advice for anyone looking to study abroad in a business school is to seize all the resources you have. In particular, seize those that can offer you real-world experiences and prepare you to get a job with the best competencies such as leadership, commercial awareness, and teamwork. Attend all the competitions as well as networking and guest speaker events you can because those will help confirm where you want to work next.

My plans for after the master’s in management

After completing my studies at UCL School of Management, I would like to work in a strategic management position as a consultant or manager. I have already started the process with McKinsey, and I will also explore as many opportunities as possible in companies such as BCG, Simon-Kucher & Partners, or Bain & Co. Competition is intense, but I feel confident that the preparation I am receiving from my master’s in management program will help me succeed. I am determined.

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Alexander Guerra Perales is a master’s in management (MiM) candidate at UCL School of Management

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