‘My MBA gave me the Confidence to do Something That I Really Love’

a picture of Hileri at the Sibson Building

Hileri Patel is from New Jersey, USA and graduated from an MBA this year. The former Morgan Stanley worker had always dreamed of planning events for a living, but it was her MBA which paved the way to a new job and direction in life. 

“I have always been social and love planning, orchestrating, and attending a good party, but for a long time I didn’t see how I could make a career out of it.  

I majored in maths at University in the US and then took a role at Morgan Stanley as a corporate tax assistant after a U-turn on a life plan to become a doctor.  The role was varied, and I enjoyed it, but there was an element of feeling unfulfilled and that there was another path for me out there. 

It’s no surprise that the pandemic catalysed me into daydreaming of being an events manager. Being stuck indoors unable to mix and working remotely left me with an even stronger desire to network and bounce off others.   

When restrictions lifted, I started researching courses, something to open my mind and give me new skills. I also knew I needed a change of scenery after all that time at home and decided I wanted to study in the UK.  

Hileri enjoying the Christmas party with the MBA cohort and staff

A friend in London gave me a list of top MBAs as she told me it was a general course in business but one that was well respected in most fields. I looked at Kent – close to London with a beautiful campus and some great testimonials. When I spoke to Debbie Kemp, the course leader, during my application interview, her enthusiasm was infectious..  

I got an email after I made the application to Kent, and it landed in my inbox on the day of my brother’s birthday – he had sadly passed away five years earlier. I took that as a sign I was making the right choice. I got the conditional offer and before long moved my life over to start a new chapter.  

While the content of the MBA course is incredible, the best part of it are the connections and friends you make. The MBA students are from all corners of the globe, and we immediately gelled. Living close by to the campus, we met up often to study and socialise. 

I was made an informal ‘events coordinator’ on our course and was involved in the Christmas dinner event planning and birthday get togethers. I even arranged a holiday to Crete for a small group of us, which was just for fun. 

One of the best moments was the Consultancy Week in Athens which allowed us to apply all of our MBA knowledge to a new country. The whole week was hands on with company visits and fun social events on a backdrop of incredible natural beauty in Greece. I even managed to get my way through a masterclass of Greek cooking without burning anything! 

Soaking up the sun on the MBA Consultancy Week in Athens

My final dissertation was on Event Evaluation where I dove deeper into the strategic application of events. The MBA learnings really helped me to take a new perspective on ‘parties’ and their place in the business world. 

As the course drew to a close, I leveraged all the support of the university to help find my dream job role. The employability team, led by Nicola Urquhart, gave fantastic workshops on CV building and interview practices so I went through the application processes for various firms with ease.   

I was delighted to be offered a role at Centaur Media as Events Coordinator, working with the Manager of The Lawyer, starting on September 19, 2022. The role will see me help to plan and put on events for their corporate clients. 

Hileri holding her ‘Superwoman’ award outside the MBA Graduation Dinner

I chose the MBA for an all-rounded business education, and it exceeded my expectations. It gave me a lot of confidence to know what I could bring to the table, to play to my strengths and do something that I really love.  

I am certain that I can bring different and new perspectives to my new job, not only in event planning but in other fields that I developed solidly throughout my MBA – from marketing, corporate social responsibility, leadership and innovation. I hope, one day, to launch my own events company.” 

AMBA-accredited, Kent Business School’s MBA is underpinned by our high-quality research and informed by the global outlook of our international community. It builds on your current experience to transform you into a responsible business leader.

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