Meet Toby Stoddart who used his MBA course to strengthen and diversify his skillset. He currently works as the Global Commercial Director for the Clinigen Group.
|Current job role||General Manager|
|Year of graduation||2014|
|Course of study||Masters of Business Administration|
Strengthen and diversify
Before studying the MBA, Toby Stoddart was already working professionally in a junior role he enjoyed in the Pharmaceutical industry. The role was mostly sales oriented selling pharmaceutical products to doctors. He was about to be promoted into a senior position when it was recommended that he should consider an MBA pathway to strengthen and diversify his business knowledge and skills.
Over time his role developed, incorporating a stronger marketing emphasis which required a deeper business understanding. After looking at various options, Toby decided on the Herts Business School as it provided multiple learning methods, including taught lectures and group work instead of relying on distanced learning. Toby says, ‘The Business School offered the MBA in a way that didn’t invade my work life balance and allowed me to complete projects on weekends. Research could also be completed in the LRC.’
Toby identifies that before the MBA his goal was making customers realise unmet needs and getting them to say, ‘I’ll buy that’. However, his knowledge was strictly sales driven and he lacked a broader knowledge of how to make a successful business. He says ‘What I now know, thanks to the MBA, is the value of culture in an organisation, the cohesion of its people, its training and development and the responsibility of its leadership. Each of these are addressed in the course.'
The MBA is taught in cohorts of around twenty-five students, offering an intimate and personable experience which is socially engaging. Much of the teaching and projects depend on group interaction, making for a more practicable and immersive experience. Toby says, ‘I am still in contact with a core group from the MBA group now who have had significant influence on my learning as a result of the MBA. We had students from the pharmaceutical industry (like me), private business, charity and councils to name a few. It was a diverse mix.'
Since completing the MBA, Toby is now excited to start a new role as Global Commercial Director for the international, Clinigen Group in Weybridge. He says ‘I believe it is a fantastic company in ensuring pharmaceutical drugs get to patients in the world no matter where they are. It also sits well with my philosophy on how I’ve done business. In that it's good to work for a company on the front line of delivering innovative, sometimes rare disease products for people. Of course the business is profit focussed, however it looks to expand care by reaching patients more than anything else.’
In addition to his role at the Clinigen Group, Toby has also started his own Fulfilled by Amazon business with his wife,as an experiment to see if he can capitalise on the skills he acquired on the MBA. ‘Starting a business is scary if you don’t know what to do. The MBA has opened up my mind to greater understand the holistic aspects of a business. I am now starting a new role as well as my own business venture, all of which will require me to rely on my MBA experience.'