Suzanne Steele - MBA Sustainability and Energy Transitions

Suzanne Steele
Suzanne Steele, an experienced marketing professional from Forfar, is celebrating graduating with an MBA and with it ticking off the long-held ambition of doing so before hitting the big 4-0.

Having been at the University once before when studying Business Management with Marketing in 2008, the 39-year-old decided to make the leap back to university by enrolling in MBA Sustainability and Energy Transitions at RGU’s Aberdeen Business School.

“The first and most important reason I went back is that in the energy industry, despite having more than sixteen years of experience in marketing and communications, I continually hit the proverbial ‘glass ceiling’ in terms of achieving a senior leadership role.

“My intentions to study for an MBA were therefore to try and breakdown this barrier through further study to develop my own skillset, and through networking with the connections I make along the journey.

“I was very interested in the sustainability and energy transitions focus that the course offered across several core modules and also the consultancy project completed at the end of the course.

“I felt that achieving an MBA would give me the best chance to hit my career goals and future success whilst honing my broader business skills such as finance and accounting, and people and organisational development. Lastly, I turn 40 next year and gaining an MBA was on the ’40 things to do before I hit 40 list’!”

Coming from a respected and well-established background in the energy industry, Suzanne elected to study full-time online which gave her the flexibility to also work as a freelance consultant alongside her studies. She’s positive that her experience will pay off in the years to come.

“Having first been an undergraduate, it was the knowledge gained combined with the placement that cemented my passion for marketing and provided my route into employment and started my network that I still engage and connect with today.

“I feel that now, at the level of experience I have, being able to study further business understanding and application of theories to resolve an organisation’s challenge has boosted my skillset and will stand me in good stead for future career opportunities - much as my undergraduate experience delivered.

“It has helped me to realign my goals and ambitions, cement my learning and develop areas I had little confidence in approaching – such as economics. It has taught me to perhaps be more content in my career journey and not feel defeated when I feel I am not moving up the career ladder quick enough. It has also taught me that I am more competent than I maybe feel I am at times – so to have more conviction with my skills and abilities.”

The now two-time graduate made use of support services at the University and is grateful for the support on offer to students like herself.

“The study skills team are second to none! A big shout out to everyone there for the online tools and one-to-one support they provide – make use of them!

“The highlights have been several of the teaching staff and their delivery, particularly where summative assessments and group work are part of the teaching methods, as this helped me to dissect and understand and verify the learning outcomes before I applied my knowledge to the summative assessment.”

And for the future?

“I hope to be successful in a leadership role and developing my commercial skills moving forward – whether that takes me away from the North East of Scotland or not!”

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