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How an MBA is boosting my career as a financial recruiter

By Sandra McKinnon - Posted on 19 February 2015

Sandra McKinnon leads the Private Practice, Tax & Treasury business at Rutherford Cross and is currently completing an MBA at the Business School.  Here, she discusses how the MBA has benefitted her career…

Working as a recruiter for senior level positions involves much more than just sourcing the right candidate for a job vacancy. In my role at Rutherford Cross, I am involved in consulting with a broad cross section of businesses on their objectives around talent acquisition and succession planning. These objectives and decisions are often key to the strategy and future direction of the business.

It was exposure to this level of decision making across a wide range of businesses that inspired me to broaden my knowledge and expertise to be able to offer a deeper level of understanding of issues facing business leaders.

In addition to furthering my capacity to consult with our clients on a strategic level, and my own professional development, I was also keen to build a network of peers in the local business community. The Strathclyde University part-time MBA programme offered me the ideal way in which to do so.


I am very fortunate that the senior team at Livingston James Group, of which Rutherford Cross is a part, is very supportive. In addition to allowing me some flexibility with my work schedule to study, I sit down with managing director Jamie Livingston once a month to discuss key topics from classes and how this learning might be integrated into our own business or relevant to clients and colleagues.

There is no denying that managing time is challenging. The part-time MBA route involves two evening classes a week in addition to 15 hours a week of self study. Currently, I work four days a week and take one day during the working week to focus on coursework in addition to one day at the weekend. Work comes first and therefore after study, leisure comes last – a compromise that you have to commit to before embarking on the MBA journey. It is proving an enjoyable and thought provoking experience for me though so this hasn't proven too difficult a compromise.

Reaping the benefits

The Strathclyde MBA is highly regarded and very practical and I was able to choose a part-time route which allowed me to attend classes locally rather than studying remotely therefore getting one to one time with academic staff and fellow students. The course is also heavily focused on developing a critical yet reflective approach to issues which is an important life skill as well as a pragmatic approach to business.

As a young and growing business with ambitious plans, I feel there will be ample opportunities for progression at Rutherford Cross in the future; whether in a leadership or operational capacity. Doing the MBA won’t be a prerequisite to promotion here as we work in a meritocratic environment but I hope the MBA qualification will enhance my management capability whilst helping the business to meet its ambitious and exciting organisational goals.

Have you done an MBA and, if so, how has it benefitted your career?

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