Sandra McKenzie

MBA 2020, UK

“Treat others as you would like to be treated.”

I have a vast array of experience but I think the most influential role I have had that changed my direction was working for Virgin Atlantic. I would work with a Master of Wine to choose and select wine every quarter for the flights and it was amazing to see them listed on a menu, receive customer feedback and even better to travel and enjoy a glass of it myself!

I felt a huge amount of pride and satisfaction and realised that any future roles I had needed to tap into this.

Since leaving the airline industry in 2007 I have been working within healthcare, starting in mental health and now working at St George’s Hospital Tooting. Although on the face of it, healthcare and the airline industry are poles apart, actually they have a lot in common. Cabin crew are customer facing and clinical and nursing staff are patient facing; for my role in both, the outcome is the same in that if staff are happy, customers and patients are happy. It is important to me that I feel that I have some way of influencing patient safety, however small that may be!

Outside of work i like to keep fit and healthy. I visit the gym twice a week, run at least 3 times a week and also do yoga at least 2 times a week.


  • Producing a strategy to make meetings run more smoothly – I worked closely with our Divisional Triumvirate to create a rotated agenda and provide data for many of the reports presented at the meeting; the new system was described as a ‘tour de force’!
  • Developing a new strategy to ensure that patient safety incidents and Rapid Response Reports were formulated in a clearer way, always filled in with the correct information and reviewed at a Divisional level; this resulted in a faster, more effective way of highlighting issues and corrective measures

What attracted you to the Kent MBA programme and why?

The team were very responsive and encouraging. They helped me make my decision to apply for a higher level qualification, over the one I was originally thinking of doing.

What were your motivations for undertaking an MBA?

From reading the difference that the Kent MBA covers I was confident that my role is suitably aligned enabling me to work through the qualification and also help me develop in my role.


I want to ensure that I am able to utilise the skills I have learnt from undertaking the course in my daily role.


Be proactive, patient, work as hard as you can, give it your all but keep a healthy work life balance. Most important of all is to be self aware and kind.