John Benfield

MBA 2022, UK

“The best chance you have if you want to rise to the top, is to give yourself up to loneliness. Fear nothing, and work hard. One thing you’ll discover is that life is based less than you think on what you’ve learned, and much more than you think on what you have inside you right from the beginning.

I have substantial experience in sales and marketing in both English as a Foreign Language and Retail Banking industries, and considerable management and customer service experience. A confident and persuasive leader, able to build/lead teams, I have solid experience of accounts and financial matters including financial planning and budgeting and providing profit and loss reports. Successful under pressure and able to manage a variety of complex activities simultaneously. Experienced at leading large and small teams, locally and virtually, planning recruitment and providing professional development.


  1. Moving from a new cashier at Lloyds bank to being a manager at one of the busiest UK branches of Lloyds Bank in just 18 months.
  2. Running a successful Language school, developing new products, and creating a successful part of the business that brought 1000s of students to the UK.
  3. For me my proudest achievement was during the COVID pandemic. The school I worked for closed and my job didn’t exist. Having a young family, I knew I needed to keep working, so I retrained and started a job as a chemical spill operative to keep bringing money in. I then assessed my career direction and decided to push myself and apply for a job in a new industry. I managed to get the job and a year later I am starting an MBA thanks to the company I am working for.

What attracted you to the MBA programme at Kent Business School and why?

The managing director at my workplace took part in the MBA in 2017 he recommended it to me. The module topics on offer and the opportunity to study at Kent part time made me want to apply to Kent. I also know a few people who have MBA from Kent, and they all recommended the course. I wanted to push myself! I left education when I was 18 and have been working since was 12 years old. When I was 18, I couldn’t see the motivation for higher education, I wanted to get stuck into a career and it has been good for me. Now after 20 years I feel I have a lot of skills and knowledge, but I would like to package these up and display these, and I think the MBA course is perfect for this. I believe the MBA will highlight the skills I have and improve me as a person academically and in business.


I plan to move into a more directorial role within the company I work for. As a company we are planning to expand and have a US branch, I would like to take on the Director role of the UK side.


I would say listen and learn from the leaders and managers you work with. Surround yourself at work and online with people you trust and admire. Bring new ideas and don’t be afraid to go against the status quo at times.