After six years as a stay at home mum with two kids, I was energised and ready to return to work. Unfortunately, I soon realised that in many instances, this would involve taking a pay cut compared to others who had not left the workforce – something I was not prepared to accept.
Instead, I decided to demonstrate to potential employers just how serious I was about my career by studying for an MBA. Even by mid-course with my confidence growing, my experience of going for interviews felt very different!
Employers were clearly impressed that I was so determined to progress. Having funded the MBA myself, I could prove that I was ready to invest in my career, not just financially, but also that I had committed a great deal of time and effort to improving my skills in preparation for more senior roles. The MBA showed I was willing to “lean in” to my career. From a practical standpoint it shows that you are already adept at projects, deadlines and the juggling of competing demands for time.
Crucially, it also enabled me to negotiate a higher salary. The MBA gave me the confidence to ask for more because I fully understood the value I offered to potential employees. Studying for an MBA was a seriously smart move. It made a statement: I wasn’t just going back to my career; I was going back big!
For mothers returning to the workplace – confidence is a big thing – the MBA helped me “mine” for my own capabilities.
I chose UL over other options because of the interdisciplinary nature of the course. I was eager to gain a broader business knowledge base and looking through all the topics, I was excited to better understand how departments interact in order to manage them more effectively and problem solve strategically.
One of the best things about the course was the opportunity to learn from my peers. I really enjoyed the teamwork components as this gave me an insight into human behaviour; how people in other roles or with diverse backgrounds react differently when faced with the same challenge. I also thought the international workshop was a brilliant experience. My trip to Brazil was an opportunity to see a different business culture up close, and to understand how it works in practice.
These are core skills that I absorbed, and which have benefited me greatly in my career since graduating. I am now Sales Director for Ireland at UiPath, a world-leading robotic process automation platform. It’s a position I am thoroughly enjoying, but it’s actually not the first job I accepted after completing my MBA in 2014.
Interestingly, since graduating, I’ve made three career moves. That's because the MBA gave me the skills to go for senior roles, but it also gave me the confidence not to settle for positions where I felt I wasn't realising my full potential.
I was determined to take on a role where I could really take the reins and make a positive impact on the company. When I felt that wasn't the case, the learnings I absorbed during my MBA helped me take stock and make a strategic move to a bigger and better job. Now, I work in a cutting-edge company, helping to create our market in Ireland.
The critical decision making and leadership tools that I learnt at UL have proved invaluable in my current role. Learning to recognise and appreciate what your authentic style is. I have been able to combine previous corporate experience along with start-up mentality – a powerful mix of process, discipline and scrappiness! My MBA expertise helps me understand the perspectives of all the various stakeholders I meet in a typical sales process, enabling me to communicate differently to each group to motivate them and lead them towards a common goal.
Looking to the future, there's still plenty for me to achieve in my current role at UiPath. I plan to continue pushing the company to grow here in Ireland and have plenty of ideas I look forward to seeing realised. And the same is true of my career – my MBA was a fundamental part of my growth trajectory. It gave me the core skills and the confidence to build the career I craved, and I firmly believe it will continue to power my future career success.
Download the UL MBA brochure to learn more about the programme and modules