Sainsbury Management Fellows

Interview 2: Imogen Rey

Imogen Rey (MEng Hons, University of Oxford), Stanford Graduate School of Business 
Imogen has spent the last three years working as a management consultant at Bain & Company, where she was responsible for key strategic projects for a number of global engineering firms. Her favourite experiences included developing a long-term strategy for a multinational tobacco manufacturer, and building a business case for factory redevelopment for a large UK-based engineering firm.

Prior to this, Imogen worked as a sustainability engineer for Jaguar Land Rover, focusing on the life cycle impact of their vehicles. She developed tools and processes to allow estimation, monitoring, and design for reduced environmental impact. She will complete her MBA at Stanford GSB.

What inspired you to study for an MBA?
Working as a management consultant taught me that in order to bring about meaningful change in an organisation or industry; you need to understand the people and the business. Having the technical skills to improve operations or systems is a necessary but not sufficient skill for making successful improvements. I, therefore, decided to spend some time focusing on improving my broad business understanding and leadership skills. I was attracted to the MBA’s focus on these soft skills and its breadth, allowing me to learn about areas of business I have no experience in to date. I am also very excited to live and work in another country, studying alongside peers with experience around the globe. Having always been based in the UK, I want to gain more understanding of different cultures and geographies and what I can learn from them.

How did you learn about the SMF scholarship?
I attended an MBA admissions event where I met an alumnus who had, like me, studied Engineering at Oxford University and gone on to work across both engineering and business. As we chatted about the benefits of an MBA for someone with our shared background, she suggested I look into the Sainsbury Management Fellowship.

What was the most challenging part of applying for the SMF scholarship?
Explaining to the SMF panel what I would gain from an MBA and from receiving the scholarship, and why I was a suitable candidate in only 500 words each was the most challenging part of the application for me. The word limit really forces you to be clear and concise. I recommend using the same approaches you use when writing your MBA essays to make every word count!

What was the most rewarding part of applying for the SMF scholarship?
The most rewarding part of the application process was getting to meet current SMF recipients and fellows during the interview. It was really inspiring to see what other fellowship recipients had gone on to do since their MBAs, and really interesting to discuss my experiences so far and what I hope to achieve in the future with others who are passionate about British engineering.

How do you think your MBA skills will take you forward/further in your career?
I believe an MBA will enable me to become a leader who can truly influence organisations. I would like to help engineering firms improve the way they make decisions, and embed the flexibility and agility needed to succeed in today’s ever-changing technological world. The opportunity to learn from peers from a diverse range of situations, geographies and industries will allow me to gain a lot of experience quickly and learn from best practices from around the world.

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