With International Women's Day taking place last week, we wanted to showcase the influential women here at Alliance Manchester Business School. We met with Hannah Davies, Full-time MBA Class of 2020 to find out about her passion for women in business both inside and outside the classroom.
“An MBA had always been on my agenda after completing my undergraduate studies in management and marketing at Alliance Manchester Business School,” said Hannah. “After completing my first degree, I received a scholarship for a high flyers course at Alliance MBS which gave me a true taster of what an MBA would be like. It also provided me with the motivation to work towards studying an MBA in the future.”
After her undergraduate degree, Hannah entered the world of work at Bentley Motors, where she worked in different areas of the company from business development to sales and marketing. She worked here for seven years before building up the experience she wanted to be able to contribute and add value to an MBA classroom, and to be in a position whereby learning new business skills would really add to her career. “I felt I had had sufficient experience in a professional setting to get a lot more from academia at this point.”
When first researching MBAs Hannah attended an Alliance MBS information session with our recruitment team, who went on to invite Hannah to apply for the 30% club scholarship. This scholarship is aimed at UK women with the purpose of creating a better balance of men and women at all levels of business. Hannah applied and after being invited to the assessment day, she was awarded the one 30% scholarship on offer. 2018 was the most competitive year yet for this scholarship, making this offer an even greater achievement.
The 30% club was the perfect scholarship for Hannah with her strong passion for women in business. “All women have different barriers and struggles, some more than others and I am grateful that I don’t have to contend with as much as some people do. I live in a first-world country and I have access to various resources that make my life easier.”
Outside of the MBA programme she is involved with a not-for-profit organisation called Dress for Success in Cape Town. Their main aim is to improve the employability of women by providing support, professional attire and development tools. Hannah is an ambassador to the charity, involved in public speaking, networking, initiative promotion and marketing content creation. She said, “To be able to alleviate some of these hurdles for a woman makes a huge impact, not just on the lives of the women and their success in business but also on the communities around them.”
Studying the MBA has helped with her ambassador work for the charity greatly. The first big project, the not-for-profit consultancy project, really helped her build knowledge of business context, strategic understanding and using funds efficiently. Hannah also talked about how the MBA has expanded her network and taught her how best to build relationships, which has helped her to reach more people. “Being so far away from Cape Town made me realise how easy it is to support women irrespective of country, due to how connected today’s world is.” Hannah is currently working on promotion work for the charity, managing sponsored content on Facebook alongside the start of her second consultancy project and various competitions on the MBA programme.
During the month of March as part of an International Women's Day initiative Dress for Success have set up the "Your hour her power" encouraging an hour of a person's pay to help make a huge difference in women's lives. If you wish to donate you can do on this link, using the location of Cape Town.