Sainsbury Management Fellows

Interview 7: Jacob Mills

Jacob Mills (CEng, MSc Imperial College London, BEng Hons University of Bristol) London Business School

Prior to reading for his MBA at London Business School, Jacob spent five years leading deal teams for an infrastructure investor. He bid rail, road and bridge public-private partnerships for a Grupo ACS company, closing one of Canada’s largest rail concessions in 2018. He started his career as a civil engineer with the Atkins graduate training programme. To achieve chartered status, he project managed design and construction elements of the UK’s largest infrastructure projects including Crossrail, HS2 and the London 2012 Summer Olympics.

What do you hope to achieve through your MBA experience?
I’m hoping to develop a comprehensive European professional network through my MBA experience, as well as to academically underpin the strategy, business and finance knowledge gained leading deal teams overseas.

How will you use your MBA to further your career?
I will use the MBA to further my career by analysing and enhancing my leadership skills, building up my finance knowledge and getting to know the school’s extensive alumni network. I plan to fully explore the infrastructure investment market outside of North America to position myself to invest in the European or African infrastructure markets on my exit from the programme.

What are your hopes/expectations of being part of the SMF network after business school?
I hope to be a key part of the SMF network after business school, inspiring future SMF fellows as much as I’ve been inspired by those who mentored me and inspired me to join the programme. As the award is only the start of a lifelong partnership, I look forward to the new perspectives and support that I can contribute throughout the rest of my career.

How do you hope to support SMF after you graduate from business school?
I hope to support SMF after I graduate from business school by participating as a mentor to young engineers.  Since the award provided me with such opportunity to build on my own engineering background, I’m looking to work with and inspire young engineers to follow a similar route into business leadership.

When did you start thinking about doing an MBA?
I thought about doing an MBA after obtaining my chartership. I had the opportunity to work overseas at this time, however, and pursued this over applying to business school. After gaining international experience, I used the MBA as an opportunity to re-join the London business community.

How did you learn about the SMF scholarship?
Two members of my graduate scheme were awarded fellowships, and after meeting with an alumnus (who was also an SMF fellowship awardee) during my work abroad, I was encouraged to apply for the scholarship.

What difference has the scholarship made to you?
It has given me the freedom to consider extending my MBA over a longer period (as the LBS programme is flexible), and it’s released a financial burden, allowing me to consider a broader range of career prospects.

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The Sainsbury Management Fellows is registered as a charity: Engineers in Business Fellowship, charity number 1147203 and is a company limited by guarantee : 07807250