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Chris combined full-time work with part-time study to earn the Master of Business in Administration, becoming the 20,000th MBA member of the alumni community whose 50,000 members are spread across the world in more than 100 countries.
Chris’s early career began after gaining a degree and PhD in Chemistry at Loughborough University. He got his first job as a Scientist with AstraZeneca looking at drug metabolism and in 1999 moved to Pfizer in Kent, working in various scientific roles for five years. It was at this time that Chris realised he enjoyed the project management and people side of his work more than the ‘deep science’, and during a restructuring within the company he seized the opportunity to take up a business role. This new job gave Chris both the desire and impetus to get a broader education qualification in business, and after initially completing a Postgraduate Certificate in Business Administration with The Open University Business School, he decided that their practice-based MBA would be a perfect fit with his lifestyle and new responsibility.
Chris said: “The MBA requires that you get real management experience through company projects and luckily this fitted in with an assignment I was working on assessing the business case for a laboratory based outside of Mumbai, India.
Throughout the three years of study I really challenged my way of thinking. The course gave me new ideas that I could feed into my daily work as well as developing me as a person and as a manager.”
Chris’s present role as Associate Director in Strategic Alliances is part of Pfizer’s core business development and provides business support to the company’s Research Units when working with external partners to create intellectual property.
“We’re the link between the scientists, the business side of the company and Pfizer’s partners,” says Chris. “We project manage and translate between each stakeholder, so that we can reach a good understanding that enables projects to move forward. My work is very busy but varied and I’m working on 40 different projects at the moment with different scientists. It is also satisfying to be part of a company which creates medicines to prevent and treat the world's most serious diseases.”
In the long term, Chris would like to continue his work at Pfizer, enjoying the challenge of his work and a healthy work-life balance now that MBA study is behind him.
Professor James Fleck, Dean of the Business School, said: “As well as celebrating our 20,000th MBA student this year we are also marking the Business School’s 25th anniversary. Since the School’s launch in 1983 we’ve been at the leading edge of management education helping middle and senior-level managers fulfill their potential.
“Chris’s story highlights just one of the many thousands of successful MBA graduates who’ve studied our practice-based MBA. As you’d expect, our MBA graduates have taken up a wide variety of business roles around the world, and we are delighted that we can list many high-profile leaders amongst our alumni, such as Maggie Miller, Senior Vice President & Chief Information Officer at Warner Music Group (New York) and Nicola Rando, Head of Astrophysics and Fundamental Physics Section at the European Space Agency.”