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Scientists boost careers with Warwick MBA

Originally published 16 July 2003


Amongst the Warwick MBA graduates on Friday 11th July were three scientists who have taken their careers to new heights thanks to the Masters in Business Administration degree.

Paul Smith, from Stoneleigh in Warwickshire, is a genetics graduate who has worked in the pharmaceuticals and biotechnology industry in the USA, Japan and the UK for the last 20 years. Paul collected his MBA degree certificate after three years studying part-time, two evenings per week and fitting the study in with his busy consultancy job.

“I have never regretted going straight into industry after my first degree rather than taking a PhD. Working in this industry I have learned so much about how major research can be put to practical use, and this has now been consolidated by the MBA. My belief is that scientists should consider doing MBAs as well as PhDs. This would help them learn to work with other professionals more effectively in order to translate excellent research into such vital applications as treatments for killer diseases.”

“My MBA project allowed me to research the gap between biotechnology funding and pharmaceutical research and development, and as a result I am now helping local and international companies to bridge that gap. One local life science company, Bruker Optics in Coventry, has now gained much needed funding through a strategic alliance with Teraview, a biotechnology start-up in Cambridge.”

“This is such a vibrant and exciting sector, and one in which I can now not only draw on my years of industry knowledge, but also the skills that I gained from my MBA to grow and develop young firms.”

Tas Gohir, from Kings Heath in Birmingham, invested his own money and used all his paid holiday over four years to complete the Warwick MBA through modular study. At the time he was working in sales and business development in the biosciences industry.

“The fact that my then employer was not able to fund my studies or allow me study leave did not deter me. I was determined to do the Warwick MBA as a long-term investment in my own career. Having a degree in Anatomy and Cell Biology and a Masters in Biotechnology, I was keen to use my in-depth scientific knowledge within a commercially orientated career. Future success of the biotechnology industry will not only depend on technological breakthroughs but also on effective management in areas such as intellectual property.”

“It was during one of the MBA modules - International Venture Capital Industry - that I was given the idea to evaluate commercialisation of research from the Department of Biological Sciences at the University of Warwick itself. This became my final year project and has led to exciting opportunities for the future. I now work closely with Science Ventures, a firm specialising in commercialisation of technology from universities and other public research institutes.”

“I am grateful to the Warwick MBA for challenging me into a new mind set. I have come away with much more than a qualification, I have a drive and a confidence to take my knowledge and skills as far as they can go.”

Issy Duru has seen his career take off, from his first job as medical representative to his most recent promotion to regional business manager for the UK pharmaceutical and healthcare company Janssen-Cilag, part of Johnson & Johnson.

“I embarked on the MBA programme and in three years of the course I have been promoted twice and I am now in charge of a new and exciting division of the firm responsible for the launch of Evra, the world’s first weekly contraceptive patch for busy women.”

“I took the Warwick MBA through evening study, which suited me perfectly as I enjoyed the interaction twice a week with managers from other industries. When I received my latest promotion, it meant moving south from the Midlands to High Wycombe, to be closer to Head Office. This meant a 150-mile round trip to the Warwick campus twice a week. This came at the same time as a new baby and a year’s worth of broken nights. Despite the set backs I completed the MBA successfully and am delighted with what it has delivered for me already.”

Founded in 1967, Warwick Business School is one of the most successful and highly regarded business schools in Europe. It has a turnover approaching £18 million. The current student population of 903 undergraduates, 180 research students and 3100 taught masters, MPA and MBA students, come from 112 countries worldwide.

The Warwick MBA can be studied full-time over one year or part-time by distance learning, evening or modular study over three years. Many MBA students combine different ways of studying in order to complete their degree.