Sainsbury Management Fellows

Interview 9: Andrew Glykys

Andrew Glykys (MEng Aeronautical Engineering, Imperial College), INSEAD
Andrew started his career as a performance engineer at Rolls-Royce, before becoming an engineering programme manager, delivering technical work packages to support engine certification and flight test campaigns. His interest in Big Data and IoT, led him to a role within Rolls-Royce Digital, prior to the start of his MBA.  An aerospace enthusiast – holding both a private pilot license, and a skydiving license – he is interested in how Digital Transformations and technology will change the industry.

What inspired you to study for an MBA?
As an engineer, you are used to making logic driven decisions, but when engineering is placed into the context of a business, or a project, other factors come into play.  Sometimes it is not the most technically brilliant solution that is chosen, but the one that makes business sense, or is most likely to meet project timescales or cost. There is a fascinating world between business and engineering, and I believe the MBA will help me understand the business world a lot better.

What was the most rewarding part of applying for the SMF scholarship?
During research on the SMF, what really resonated with me, was the fellowship’s strong support for engineers undergoing formal business training, and its work in promoting the benefits that combined experience brings, to boardrooms, and to the general public.  Having attended a member’s welcome dinner, shortly after my award, I knew I came to the right place, and the fellowship really believes in its message. The enthusiasm, interest, and experience of my fellow SMF members is truly inspiring.

What does winning the scholarship mean to you?
Having thought about the scholarship a lot in the months up to the application deadline, I came to realise that the award is worth significantly more than just the financial lump sum.  The financial award brings freedom, sure.  For example, you can explore diverse opportunities, in a start-up or create an entrepreneurial venture – thus embracing all the opportunities the MBA would offer, without worrying about post MBA debt. However, the award is also formal recognition of joint engineering and business leadership aspirations – not to mention a unique opportunity to join a remarkable cohort of individuals, with a common background.

I am excited by the start-up review panel at the SMF that allows you to stress test ideas.  With the collective industry experience of the SMF Fellows, it is invaluable to listen to their opinions and guidance.

Similar to a large number of potential business partners at business school, there are also many entrepreneurial engineers within the SMF also, who share a common background, and motivation to further UK business and economy.

Winning the scholarship opens up the door to this remarkable community, and that to me is priceless.

What tip would you give an applicant for the SMF scholarship?
The paradox of business school is that it is an exploratory space, and yet in most interviews you will need a fairly clear idea of what you would like to do.  My advice would be to really understand why you are going to business school, what weaknesses (and strengths) you plan to address, and what you would like to achieve or explore when you are there.  And, how the SMF scholarship can accelerate or enhance what you are trying to achieve.

How do you think your MBA skills will take you further in your career?
The MBA allows you to view the world through different lenses. Whilst you can self-study the MBA material, you cannot replace the benefits of class debates with multi-industry multi-nationals, providing you with their unique viewpoints based on years of personal experience. This allows you to see problems through different viewpoints, and through the structured framework of a formal business education. The MBA thus provides the tools, and seismic shifts in thinking that allow you to solve a wide variety of problems, that perhaps would have taken longer to solve otherwise.


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