US view is asset in the UK

December 3, 2004

Rob Haslehurst, 26, left Imperial College London with a first in electrical engineering to work with the UK-based strategy consulting firm L.E.K. Consulting.

Its operation in Boston has a strong relationship with the Tuck School of Business in Hanover, US. "The London office recruited a couple of 'Tuckies'

in 2001 and I went on secondment to the Boston office where I met more, as well as colleagues applying the year ahead of me."

His Boston experience convinced him an MBA was the right choice. He also had offers from the Kellogg School of Management and the Stern School at New York University. "I thought Kellogg was great, but Tuck was more grown-up. NYU was a good school but I didn't get the same impression of community and the cost of New York put me off.

"Memories from my first visit to Hanover (in New Hampshire) were of a couple of bars and a Gap store. But my first impression when I started far exceeded that. The town has pretty much everything I need, including variety, and it is so beautiful."

He rates the teaching highly and found students and fellow prospectives "welcoming, intelligent and fun".

There are seven British nationals in his class, plus a few in the second year.

Small classes are a benefit, too. "It does mean that individual attention is possible and that we can get to know and work with most of our classmates. That said, there are enough people for variety of experience and outlook."

Mr Haslehurst has a partial scholarship, which reduces the substantial investment. But he isn't looking for short-term returns.

"I think that any business-school experience will continue to pay dividends throughout one's career. Even if all I got was the chance to spend time with the people, it would almost be worth it."

Ultimately, he intends to return to the UK to work in a globally active UK company in the technology, transport or retail sectors. In the meantime, he is looking at complementing his consulting experience with something on Wall Street.

A US MBA should be an asset in the UK employment market, he said. "Within the firms that hire MBAs by default (for example, consulting and banking), the school has a good reputation.

"Outside of that sphere, I think it is less well known, although I think that a US-style MBA, and particularly a Tuck one, could bring fresh insights across a range of UK companies."

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