Wednesday, 24 February 2016

Conversations with MBA alumni Kelliann McDonald: Royal Holloway MBA Director at large

MBA Director at large: 

Catching up with Kelliann@Tate Britain

Kelliann McDonald, Royal Holloway MBA@Tate Britain, London

Kelliann McDonald MBA, met up with MBA Director Justin O'Brien recently for an in person networking update, just one full year after her graduation.  

Opting for a creative meeting venue rather than a ubiquitous Starbucks, or average restaurant they chose to suck up some very British high brow culture at the Tate Britain, which is located just across the river Thames from the infamous and iconic MI5 headquarters (as featured in the last two Bond movies).   

Kelliann is a consummate networker (and social media expert) so limited time together was efficiently interspersed with rapid fire updates on respective career developments, highlights from recent travelling and news from the Royal Holloway MBA programme, whilst strolling around the impressive range of historic and contemporary art and sculpture on show in the expansive gallery space.  

Francis Bacon, Henry Moore, William Turner, R.S. Cooper, Gilbert and George and Hockney got big thumbs up, more challenging and provocative work such as the Turner prize winning soiled bed from Tracey Emin perhaps less so.

Kelliann, who returned to UK for a weeks vacation to visit old friends and bring back the enormous London buzz she loves, is now happily settled as a management consultant in Washington D.C., USA. Currently she is working with a public sector client base for a well known, leading international consultancy firm Booz Allen Hamilton, consutlancy a very popular career choice for an increasing number of MBAs.  

Success (so far) a year on from MBA graduation includes (naturally beyond challenging and interesting work) having her own place, with a nice car in secure garage downstairs and a washer dryer inside the apartment. No more dull laundry runs for this sassy management consultant.     

So....was the MBA investment worth it ?

Out of professional curiosity Justin had to ask the big question "Was the MBA investment worth it ?"  Kelliann answered immediately "Yes !", it very much delivered the international experience she was seeking. 

"I am able to use my understanding of a bigger picture and analytical capability to help my clients become more efficient". "I gained invaluable worldly business experience that makes me stand out in the workplace".   

By way of example she was able to point to an image of Lloyds of London in one of the museum stores many books as a recent, real example "Uniquely, I was able to bring in my global knowledge base as we looked to identify best-of-class brand guidelines, thanks to my international study experience, no one else had even heard of Lloyds of London".  

Capturing content: Kelliann is an accomplished vlogger

What had Kelliann missed in a year away ?  An interesting year of authentic anti-establishment politics (e.g. Labours Corbynista revolution), the hit (free but book ahead) sky scrapper viewing space at the Sky Garden (20 Fenchurch Street, the high rise that looks like a mobile telephone) and Kinky Boots the musical - which theatre producer Alex Turner (who led some of Kelliann's drama classes) is actively involved in.  

Previously in this series:

Ibou Barry - Bermuda beverage industry

Other alumni stories can be found here: