The topic of the CMO Club London Chapter Dinner was a conversation around the value of achieving an MBA as a Marketing Leader, and the motivations behind making that decision. Club Members shared their personal feelings about earning an MBA, if they currently have one, and whether or not they think it makes a difference in their careers.

Kathy Schneider – CMO, Sungard Availability Services.  Kathy was driven by her annoyance of Finance teams overlooking her or thinking she didn’t understand financials. Kathy has an MBA.

Leanne Marshall – CMO, Yoti, Ltd.  Leanne enjoys learning from ongoing projects and thinks an MBA would complement and make her better perform in her role as a marketer. “Keep the cogs moving.” No MBA.

Liliana Caimacan – Marketing Strategy Director, Unilever, and Hult International.  Liliana enjoys learning, which reflects her recent decision to teach and to challenge herself. Liliana has an MBA.

Nicola Ratchford – Head of Marketing, UK, AIG.  Never appealed to her due to the commitment. She finds learning on the job and winging it to be most effective. If she did take one, it would be more of a passion/interest/fun, like Psychology opposed to a vocational one. No MBA

Nilu Karavadra – former Global Marketing Supervisor, AVEVA, Inc. (On a career break.) To progress her career from a VP role to a CMO one. No MBA, but enrolled.

Mirjana Prokic – Founder, Hang-Air Inc.  Mirjana’s motivation was the independence it would enable. She felt driven by people, which supported her decision. Mirjana has an MBA.

Renee Baker – CMO, Carillon Tower Advisers.  Renee sited personal reasons, including setting an example for her children, getting a global understanding, and opening some of the doors that having an MBA enables. Renee has an MBA.

Carol Chen – Global Lubricants Marketing VP, Shell, Inc. Networking is the main driver, not an MBA. No MBA.

Elaina Gallagher – Director, and Head of Marketing, RBC Global.  The intellectual stimulation and how it can help you transition out of a specific marketing sector (many who’d started careers in FMCG echoed this sentiment.) No MBA.

Hasina Dhanji – Vertical Marketing Director, Ruckus Networks.  Hasina thinks it would validate her current knowledge and decision making. No MBA.

Muriel Lotto – Head of Global Brand and Marketing, Western Union.  The intellectual challenge is the main driver. Muriel does not have an MBA. She feels at this stage, with 30 years experience, it would not enhance her career.

Charlotte Bullock – Global Account Executive-Financial Services, SAP.  Financial acumen and the ability to speak the same language as the Finance teams. Also, to create compelling business cases. No MBA.