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Strathclyde Business School

Mastering analytical ability

By Scott Mcdougall - Posted on 15 May 2018

In today's blog Scott Mcdougall, who was awarded an OR scholarship to undertake the MSc Business Analysis and Consulting, focuses on the programme and what led him to return to full-time education after 15 years since first graduating.

Prior to undertaking the MSc in Business Analysis and Consulting, I was working for Network Rail as a Works Delivery Manager, overseeing a team of staff delivering a range of track infrastructure life extension works.  I had spent 15 years working for the rail Industry since graduating, and laterally the organisation was undergoing a lean transformation and I was lucky enough to be selected for an extensive period of training. Having completed this, it became clear to me that it was no longer possible to deliver sustained business improvements from within the job role I was undertaking and I took the decision to seek a role where I could utilise my skills to this end.

With such an operational delivery background this was something of a challenge, so I began to examine the options available to me and during my research I came across the MSc in Business Analysis and Consulting at Strathclyde, subsequent research confirmed that this was the right course for me so I eagerly applied.

So far, I have thoroughly enjoyed the programme - although there is still some way to go - and I’ve met a group of great people during the last few months through the volume of team work that the course focuses on. I’ve really enjoyed learning new approaches for structuring and analysing problems and I’ve developed a different approach to problem solving through what I’ve learned on the course.

In January, as part of the MSc module, Becoming an Effective Business Analyst, I was working for a company called Innovate Foods in Kirkcaldy, a manufacturer and supplier of frozen breaded products. It was a fantastic experience getting to understand a manufacturing operation and I was tasked with reviewing their systems use across the site, which had developed over time in an ad hoc manner to meet their growing business needs.

I applied last February for the Operational Research scholarship and was stunned to be awarded one of only two nationally. The implications were immense, with a young family the decision to return to full time education was not easy and being awarded the scholarship meant I could really focus my efforts to attain a good degree with less financial strain. Admittedly, its added a bit of pressure to do well educationally, which has been a good thing, and so far I feel I’ve done that. If I continue to remain focused for the final exams I will graduate with a good degree. I’m privileged to be part of the OR Society and the resources available through membership are fantastic, and I’m sure it’ll help me keep focused on developing my analytical abilities throughout my future career. 

Contact details

 Undergraduate admissions
 +44 (0)141 548 4114

 Postgraduate admissions
 +44(0)141 553 6118 / 6119


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University of Strathclyde
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