Cranfield MBA Broadens Experience Of “Third Sector” Managers

At a time when increasing numbers of senior managers in the voluntary sector are looking to do MBAs, Cranfield School of Management and The Cranfield Trust are offering scholarships to outstanding “third sector” candidates.

{mosimage}Middle and senior managers in charities and other voluntary organisations have traditionally looked to programmes in voluntary or public administration when it comes to postgraduate study. In contrast, the Cranfield Trust MBA Scholarships are targeted at high fliers in the voluntary sector who want to expand their skills.

The next applications cycle opens 1 September 2007 and the deadline for submissions is 31 October 2007.

Eligible candidates for the scholarship must be working for a European voluntary organization involved in issues of poverty, disability or social exclusion and have the potential to become a leader within the sector as a result of the ‘Cranfield experience.’

{mosimage}Liz Neal, Director of Mencap for Wales, is nearing the end of her two-year (part-time) executive MBA programme after being awarded a full scholarship worth £26,500 in 2005. “I chose the MBA because I felt I had a lot of experience of the voluntary sector. Sector-specific programmes could teach me more of what I know, but the MBA could teach me more of what I don’t.”

Liz continues: “I really wanted to broaden my horizons and thought the best way was to choose to study with people who could free me from some of the basic assumptions of the voluntary sector and question them.”

Michael “Spike” Hudson has just begun an executive MBA on a full scholarship this year – the culmination of years of hard work building his way up after a “misspent youth” marked by homelessness, drug addiction and prison. Spike is founder of Community Consultants on the South Kilburn Housing Estate, which promotes social enterprise projects delivered by local people, for local people community.

He believes the MBA will enable him to grow the organization further by moving into other areas beyond South Kilburn. “The idea of Community Consultants is self help, communities helping themselves. I’ve spent the last few years testing out the model on a local level. Now I want to take it up a level by moving into other areas, by ‘social franchising,”

The Cranfield MBA places heavy emphasis on personal development as well team dynamics and leadership. “It’s a journey of challenge and reflection,” says Executive MBA Director Graham Clark. “It’s about lifting your eyes above the detail of what you do in your day job and understanding more about yourself to become an effective leader. The MBA gives you permission to think strategically.”