Craig Kitto, Eighth Scholarship Winner 2014


My twelve months at Cranfield have been the most valuable twelve months of my life. But I hardly need to convince Cranfield alumni of that.

Still, it’s worth reflecting on those twelve special months, and deconstructing why this weird amalgamation of experiences comes together inside the Cranfield bubble to make something so much greater than the sum of its parts.

What are the defining elements?

The fun: Tuesday football. Friday drinks. Every day, learning. Quarterly WACs. Daily banter. Kitchen parties. Travel. Good times with good friends. It’s a special privilege to be part of a diverse international community smashed together to learn with and from each other.

The incredibly strong social fabric is what holds the learning experience together, and I’m convinced that three defining aspects of the Cranfield MBA ensure this remains a unique selling point:

  • The remoteness of the community
  • The intensity of the programme, and
  • The focus on personal development.

The education: Somehow, a single twelve month study programme has informed my perspective on the world as much as my 10 years in engineering education and practice. In fact, much more so. This education already shapes the way I read the news, the way I travel and see the world, and the way I interact with co-workers and friends. I still don’t know which influences me more, the knowledge base (accounting, finance, world-leading economics), or…

The personal growth: This is where Cranfield really transforms knowledge into action. Effectiveness, more than knowledge, changes the world. My level of fan-dom for Dr Richard Kwiatkowski, Org Psych extraordinaire, knows no bounds; I’m proud to have had an education that normalizes selfawareness and empathy as tenets of leadership.

The career: An MBA is too often reduced to a means to an end – and a career end at that. Career progress is just one simple outcome of a transformative experience. Personally, if I failed to extract maximum value from my experience at Cranfield it was in focusing too greatly on career. But that’s not to say Cranfield failed to deliver – I achieved the so-called triple jump, and am now “enjoying” the intensity, travel and sleeplessness of operations consulting across the UK.

So I’d like to propose a toast: Sure, the written word isn’t the natural medium for a toast; but it’s the medium we’re sharing right now, and I’d like you to join in the sentiment.

Firstly, to Cranfield School of Management – for delivering a valuable, transformative experience to individuals and through those individuals, shaping our future and;

Secondly, to the Cranfield Australian Alumni, for 10 years of providing the most valuable opportunity for an Australian to study overseas.

Yep, “the most valuable” – however you define it.


Craig Kitto MBA 2015