Erol Ozenbas - Imperial

On an MBA Course

Erol is currently enrolled on the full-time MBA programme at Imperial College Business School. He studied for a BA Accounting & Finance at London Guildhall University and has occupied a number of roles since graduating. He now wants to work internationally and hopes getting an MBA will help him do so.  

What have you been doing since graduating from your Bachelors degree?

I've done a few things: 

  • 4 years Property Development Company – Owner/Manager
  • 3 years Audit and Financial Services – Manager
  • 3 years Financial Reporting, Banking – Manager

Why did you decide to study for an MBA?

  • To work internationally, widen my scope and change job function.

Why did you apply to Imperial?

  • Its reputation, the people, the great admissions staff and programme director, and I got a good impression of their alumni.

How did you research where to study?

  • I went to QS fairs, read the Financial Times and Economist and listened to what people had to say.

What did you write about in your admissions essay?

  • I genuinely just laid out my plans and the motivations for my goals and how Imperial College could fit in, and described how I would interact with the college.

Do you have any advice for people struggling to write their essay?

  • Be honest. Really ask yourself why you are taking the career and the financial risks. Focus on the positives that the MBA will make on your life, as opposed to the negatives (i.e. I hate my job so I want to change it and do an MBA).

What are your family’s and friend’s opinions on you embarking on such a challenging programme?

  • Those that really matter were fully supportive, and those who wouldn’t have the courage to do it criticised my intentions.

Are you enjoying the programme?

  • Love it. Learning new things every day and meeting people I wouldn’t have the opportunity to come across.

How much flexibility do you have to specialise?

  • The course is very flexible. The elective courses and side projects mean that there is freedom to shape the course as you need or see fit.

Do you feel the programme will equip you with the skills to apply your business knowledge in the global environment?

  • Without a doubt. The practical applications matter more than the theory – how are things applied and measured. It gives you a holistic view, as opposed to being specialist departmentalists which is what happens over time.

How many hours outside of class are you putting in?

  • Anything between 25–30 hours a week. This includes networking as well as studying.

How is your work/life balance and do you have much time to socialise outside of class, whether with fellow students, friends or family?

  • I always make time – it’s essential otherwise performance will dip.

Are the school and staff well connected in the business world?

  • Yes – networks and alums are effective, especially for me as I need international connections.

Do you feel that the programme will meet your career requirements?  If so, how?

  • Absolutely, I knew that the MBA badge would open up doors for me and make things happen.

What’s your plan for the future and how do you feel an MBA will impact this?

  • Move abroad, stay in banking and move into a different function. The MBA will open up doors that would otherwise be unavailable to me. Moving abroad with an international MBA carries so much more weight than a homegrown one.

Find out more about the full-time MBA at Imperial