The Full-time Cranfield MBA - Real world learning

Cranfield School of Management

Real world learning

Cranfield School of Management is known for its close links with business and for the impact it has on the business world. For more than 40 years, we have been working with organisations of all kinds across the globe, pursuing our mission to improve the practice of management.

As an MBA student at Cranfield, you will benefit from our close links with industry in the following ways:

Capstone conference

The Cranfield Capstone Conference is a major event that marks the end of your course. It is an opportunity for you to discuss and debate a topical issue, and to showcase your learning to alumni and industry leaders. The full-time MBA conference takes place at the beginning of September and is organised by students.

Career development

You will receive extensive career development support and access to job opportunities through our close relationships with leading MBA recruiters. Top recruiters of Cranfield MBA students in recent years have included: Accenture, AT Kearney, BNP Paribas, BP, Emerson, Jaguar Land Rover and Saint-Gobain.

  1. Read more about our career development services

Case studies

A large proportion of learning on the full-time MBA is centred on case studies of real business challenges, which not only encourage critical and creative thinking, but also help to develop your ability to think strategically.

Consultancy project

Working in small groups, you will apply what you have learnt in your core and elective modules to a consultancy project. You will help an organisation to tackle a contemporary challenge, researching the problem, analysing data and making recommendations for action.

Crisis management simulation

The crisis management press conference simulation prepares you to deal with a crisis. Each MBA team receives a case study detailing a crisis situation and has an hour to allocate roles and prepare a response, including a two-minute statement to TV cameras, followed by 15 minutes of questioning from journalists drawn from national media. The team's performance is videoed and analysed.

European Business Plan of the Year Competition

You will be able to put your learning into practice by participating in the European Business Plan of the Year Competition, Europe's longest running business plan competition, which was hosted by Cranfield's Bettany Centre for Entrepreneurship in 2011. The competition asks participants to present a business plan to private investors and venture capitalist and is designed to encourage entrepreneurship and new business creation among MBA students.

"We are very proud to have won the 2011 European Business Plan of the Year Competition (EBPYC). It was a wonderful opportunity to showcase our business concept in front of a prestigious panel of private investors and venture capitalists. The victory has validated months and months of hard work, and has provided the founders Andrea and Fabrizio with the impetus and credibility to make their dream come true."

The Cranfield winning team, 2011

International Business Assignment

As part of the full-time MBA programme, you will undertake an International Business Assignment, either attending lectures at a partner business school and carrying out local company visits with a view to completing an independent assignment, or consulting for a non-profit organisation in a developing country with our partner, Challenges Worldwide. This International Business Experience gives you the opportunity to apply your learning in an international context.

In 2011 our students visited more countries (15 in total) and visited more organisations (well over 100), than ever before. In addition to the IBEs to Brazil, Chile, China, Cuba, Ghana, Japan, South Africa, USA and Vietnam, this year our students also embarked on a series of pioneering projects in Cambodia, Kenya, Mexico, the Philippines, South Africa, Tanzania and Uganda.

This was made possible by working with Challenges Worldwide, an organisation that specialises in providing know-how, impact investment and business support for low-income countries.

Internships and company-based projects

Internships and company-based projects allow you to apply your learning in a real business environment, get experience in a sector of interest, gain international exposure and can support your career progression. You can source an internship or project yourself, or use the school's alumni network or dedicated Career Development Services to help you find the right organisation.

Leadership speaker series

Sarah Willingham Charlie Mayfield

Throughout the programme, you will learn about different leadership styles, gain insights into the roles of directors and chief executives, and build your understanding of the components of effective leadership. As part of this you will hear from global business and financial leaders, and observe their varying approaches first hand through a series of leadership speaker events.

Speakers at the School in the last couple of years have included:

  • Dame Helen Alexander, former president of the Confederation of British Industry (CBI) and former CEO of the Economist
  • Lord Bilimoria, founder, Cobra Beer (Cranfield alumnus)
  • Andy Bond, CEO of Whitbread, former CEO of easyJet (Cranfield alumnus)
  • Lord Hastings, Global Head of Corporate Citizenship, KPMG
  • Antony Jenkins, CEO, Barclays Retail and Business Banking (alumnus)
  • Charlie Mayfield, Chairman, John Lewis (alumnus)
  • John McFarlane, former CEO, Australia and New Zealand Banking Group (alumnus)
  • Wally Olins, Chairman, Saffron Brand Consultants
  • Jessica Sansom, Head of Sustainability, Innocent
  • Stefan Stern, former FT commentator
  • Sarah Willingham, serial entrepreneur, former owner of the Bombay Bicycle Club (alumna)

Venture Capital Investment Competition

We will prepare you to participate in the pan-business school Venture Capital Investment Competition (VCIC), the premiere MBA competition for venture capital and entrepreneurship since 1998. At VCIC, the students are the investors, and real entrepreneurs pitch to them. In 2012, Cranfield students were proud to receive the Entrepreneurs' Choice award.

"The VCIC was a very hands-on experience that allowed us to develop our presentation skills and people skills that we'll be able to transfer to any role we undertake after the MBA. The Venture Capital component was a very good way to get a grasp of the key concepts quickly, and working in teams under conditions that were sometimes very intense, provided a great learning experience. I highly recommend the VCIC."

Juan Guerra Davila, MBA student, Mexican

"I wanted to complete a top MBA at a renowned school to progress my career and develop my leadership skills. My boss, a CEO in healthcare completed his MBA at Cranfield and I rated his leadership skills very highly. When I researched the course reviews and content I could see how Cranfield and leadership development were synonymous with each other and therefore the best place for me."

Paul Mcgaughey, Full-time MBA, British

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