A look inside the life and culture of the Glasgow MBA

A look inside the life and culture of the Glasgow MBA

Rankings may help you choose your MBA, but what about those deeper topics? What is it really like to be a part of a program’s community? How do teachers and students like to work? In short, what is the culture of the MBA? 

That’s where Unimy’s Cultural Fit Map comes in. It can be difficult to get a feel for a program, but our Fit Map is based on years’ worth of data and can really show you the inside culture of an MBA program. On top of that, you can take your own Cultural Fit test (5 minutes) to find your own cultural profile and how it compares to the profiles of leading MBAs. 

Recently, Unimy revealed the results of the University of Glasgow’s Adam Smith Business School’s MBA Cultural Fit Map. Here’s what we found out…

Are you someone who...
• Values history and legacy
• Likes to tackle challenges as they arise and wants to know how to think on your feet
• Values both teamwork and independent thinking and see yourself in a role that would demand success in both?
If so, the Glasgow MBA might be the program for you!

Radal Graph showing the culture of the Glasgow MBA 

Let’s dig deeper

We spoke to Cynthea Louis, alumna of the Glasgow MBA, who now works as a risk analyst in Malaysia, to see what she thought about our results. Did her experience fit with the MBA Cultural Fit? 

Cynthea Louis, alumna of the Glasgow MBA

One thing that we see in the results is that this MBA values an ‘ad hoc’ approach to time management more so than most other MBA programs globally. Although it still very much values long-term planning, relative to other MBAs, it emphasizes responsive action and thinking on your feet. Cynthea provided some real-life insight on this as responsive thinking is a big part of her working life now:

“My job requires both long-term planning and quick decision making. Thinking on my feet is very pertinent in my current position – more so than in my work before I did the MBA. I’d say the split is about 30% long-term and 70% thinking on my feet. I have to make assessments and provide solutions very quickly, whilst in a conversation with a client.”

Of course, when many of us do an MBA, we don’t just enter the culture of a particular business school but the culture of a new country, or even a new continent. Where we are coming from has an impact on what we expect and what we discover when we get there. For Cynthea, this was a big plus of her experience,

“Moving to Glasgow from Malaysia and doing the MBA was not only a study experience but a life experience.  When I went to Glasgow – I was on my own and I was a different person. It molds your personality. Much more than just the technical experience, it was the soft skills I learnt that changed me. It changes the way you think. Friends tell me I’m more confident.”

She explained more about how her behavior and outlook has shifted thanks to the culture of her MBA and her time in the UK:

“Now I ask questions, I challenge things, I have conviction in what I think is right. The bank I worked for before my MBA had a very hierarchical structure. Where I work now, is much more of a flat organization. I think I can work with that much better now, and I prefer it because of the MBA.”

Being able to question authority is a feature of the ‘formal vs informal relationship’ axis on the Cultural Fit. Interestingly, Malaysia scores highest on the ‘formal’ end of this scale – individuals are much less likely to question their superiors. The Glasgow MBA still values formal relationships, relative to other programs globally, but, as part of British culture, it invariably scores much more towards the informal end of the scale compared to Malaysia. This is what Cynthea had noticed and learnt from! 

Cynthea had a great example of how students were able to question their professors:

“When students raised issues, we weren’t brushed aside. The course is intense, but they still changed things to accommodate us and help our learning process as much as they could. Even when feedback was not easy to receive, they still responded.”

Are you a fit with the Glasgow MBA? Use our free Cultural Fit test to find out in 5 minutes. Compare with your Match results to hone in on the MBA that truly suits you. 


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