Full-time MBA, 2010
Country of origin: USA
Employer: Farber Strategies Ltd
This feature by Ifeatu Nnaobi was originally published by BusinessBecause on 20 December 2011. We are grateful to BusinessBecause for permission to reprint it here.
Michelle Farber is a 2011 MBA graduate from The Lancaster University Management School. She is a running enthusiast and has completed 6 full marathons and 6 half-marathons. Her time at Lancaster ended on a very high note, when she created her communications and strategy firm Farber Strategies Ltd.
In this video made by Lancaster University Management School Michelle explains why she chose the Lancaster MBA, and describes the rich international experience on the programme. During her MBA Michelle took the International Business in Context course in Mumbai, India, and also travelled to Peking University in China to take a course in Doing Business in China.
Michelle grew up in the New York suburbs about 40 minutes north of Manhattan and graduated from the University of Michigan - Ann Arbor with a BA in Psychology in 2003. Prior to joining The Lancaster MBA programme, Michelle spent seven years working in various marketing communications and strategy roles and most recently served as Managing Consultant for IBM’s US Federal Cybersecurity and Privacy practice in Washington, DC. For her central client, the Privacy Office of the US Department of Veterans Affairs, Michelle served as a strategic communications subject matter expert. In this capacity, she spearheaded the development and implementation of fiscal year annual reports, nationwide social media communications plans, branding strategy and a five-year business plan for the Privacy Office’s senior management.
Michelle enjoyed the many challenges of consulting for the US Federal Government and was rewarded with an early promotion at IBM; however, she felt a bit stagnant in her role and was thirsty for new knowledge that could marry her desire to learn about international business management with her background in strategy and stakeholder engagement. Michelle decided to pursue an MBA at Lancaster University primarily because of its multi-disciplinary approach to understanding how to manage within complex business environments. She was especially interested in the programme’s fusion of theoretical concepts with practical learning and its emphasis on understanding why and how people behave and make decisions.
During the one-year intensive MBA, Michelle especially valued her two international exchange programmes: first to the SP Jain School of Management in Mumbai, India and then to The Peking University Guanghua School of Management in Bejing, China. The opportunity to learn about Indian and Chinese business through intensive cultural immersion was invaluable to Michelle and played an integral role in her overall MBA education. “I gained a unique perspective on how to conduct business within each country by being there and learning about economic growth, business trends, and consumer behaviour from both educator and practitioner standpoints. My takeaways from these action-oriented experiences superseded any knowledge I had gained purely from textbooks, and will continue to serve me throughout my career.”
The opportunity to compare and contrast educational experiences in the USA, UK, India and China has given Michelle insight into the intricate nature of international business management. “The top-notch education I received from the Lancaster MBA, coupled with my studies abroad, have helped me to feel well-equipped to successfully tackle the many complexities involved in managing people, businesses, and processes in an increasingly diverse, complex, and unpredictable globalised world.”
Since graduating from The Lancaster MBA programme, Michelle has moved to London to leverage her prior management consultancy experience and MBA knowledge through the launch of Farber Strategies, her own consultancy that assists businesses with their marketing communications and strategic business planning development and implementation needs. She has already partnered with a Malaysian information privacy and data protection consultancy that targets clients within the South East Asian markets, and is currently developing the business growth strategy and marketing communications plan for a London-based social media start-up.
“The Lancaster MBA has bestowed me with much more than a stronger foundation of business management knowledge; it has provided me with the confidence to tackle any obstacle thrown in my path. I owe much of my success to the world-renowned faculty who taught me to always challenge the status quo, as well as to my bright and proactive classmates who continue to serve as an endless source of support. The MBA was challenging, but the overall positive effect it has had on my personal and professional growth has been incredibly rewarding and profound.”