Interview 9: Rebecca Grady

Rebecca Grady (MEng, University of Oxford), London Business School2020 SMF Scholarship Awardee

Prior to starting her MBA at London Business School, Rebecca worked at Ramboll, a global engineering consultancy, progressing from graduate engineer to principal project manager. She had the opportunity to lead some of their most exciting projects including British Antarctic Survey’s Rothera Modernisation Project. On this, Rebecca led the development of a consolidated masterplan encapsulating all future needs for the station for the next 25 years. She brought together a team of multi-disciplinary engineers, architects and BAS stakeholders to develop concept design solutions appropriate for the unique logistical and operational challenges of Antarctica. Rebecca set the vision for value-driven design and was an advocate for innovation. She initiated the development of a bespoke energy modelling tool, interactive decision-making dashboards and a unique snow deflector.

Why did you decide to do an MBA?
I embarked on a career in engineering to help shape a better world. An MBA is an opportunity to step back, reflect and develop my leadership skills and network so that I am equipped to take on senior roles effectively in the future.  Such roles will allow me to maximise my positive influence on society through engineering and major projects.

What stage in your career were you at when you decided to do the MBA?
I began my MBA  after seven years of work post-graduation.

How will you use what you learned on your MBA course to further your career?
There are three  key aspects I will gain from the MBA that will help to further my career:

  • Broader thinking: After my undergraduate engineering degree, I looked at the world in a different way, with an engineer’s perspective.  An MBA will add thinking from a business and leadership perspective to my outlook.
  • Extended Network: The LBS community is truly global, with alumni from 155 different countries, bringing together people with a wide range of experience in different roles and industries. As the value of diversity in decision making becomes more and more evident, first-hand experience of working in diverse teams will be invaluable. The reach of the LBS network will also be a huge asset when building teams in the future.
  • Insight: I will gain insight into different industries and sectors, from classroom case studies, completing internships to attending and leading student clubs. All of which I will be able to draw upon to inform decisions and partnership opportunities in future.

What was the most important or surprising thing you learned from your business school experience?
The culture of collaboration at London Business School is amazing. Everyone is willing to go out of their way to help each other and there is a huge amount of energy behind creating new initiatives that will benefit the whole community.

What are your expectations of being part of the SMF network after business school?
The SMF network provides the perfect complement to the diverse and global LBS network.  I hope to engage with other SMF fellows regularly to share knowledge and be motivated by other peoples’ stories and to identify collaboration opportunities.

How do you hope to support SMF after you graduate from business school? 
I look forward to supporting initiatives to inspire and support the next generation of engineers. From attracting young people to the profession in the first place through to supporting them in their education choices.

What did you learn by going through the scholarship application process?
The process of applying for the scholarship was simple.  The guidance on the Royal Academy of Engineering website is very clear. Both the application process for the scholarship and MBA are great opportunities to reflect and consider what difference you would like to make in the future and the opportunities you would like to pursue to achieve this.

What difference has the scholarship made to you?
The scholarship has made a huge difference to me.  It has greatly reduced the financial burden of the MBA and will give me much greater flexibility with internship and full time job choices.  I will be able to take on roles that are in line with my values and careers aspirations without having to give too much weight to financial considerations.

What tip would you give to someone seeking financial support to do an MBA?
Don’t let the finances put you off applying for an MBA. Focus first on submitting a strong application and then work with the schools and external organisations to put the finances in place.  There is a lot of support to help you access different financing options once you have an offer.

Find out how to apply for a scholarship.


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