Lily Rattray, Ninth Scholarship Winner 2015


Feeling exhausted after the Cranfield MBA, I was planning a short trip to Scotland with my Mum and Dad.

Our family comes from the small town of Blairgowrie-Rattray in the lowlands of Perthshire. I searched AirBnB and found a place 10 kms outside the town. I wrote to the owners.

Hi John,  I am visiting Scotland for a few days with my Mum and Dad. We are from Australia, but our family comes from near Forfar (160 years ago!) Your place looks gorgeous. I hope there is still some space!  Warm regards,  Lily

Moments later I received a reply:

Dear Lily,  I can offer a double and a twin room both en suite and including breakfast. We also offer supper. I did an MBA at Cranfield.  John

Of course! My AirBnB profile explained I was in the UK studying an MBA at Cranfield. We stayed with John and Tess, and had such a fabulous time that we extended for a whole week. John is a great cook. At breakfast he and I shared notes on the MBA. We discovered we knew a lot of the same people. Yes, Joe Nellis and Ruth Bender are still teaching. Yes, they still have WACS and they’re still just as awful! Tess and John invited me to come back and stay in the family wing of their home for a few weeks!

So why have I told you this story? The reason I was attracted to the Cranfield MBA was the alumnus. I wanted the skills, the knowledge and the mentoring from people who had different experiences from me. I was attracted to the MBA because of my business mentor, Claire Shinner MBA and because of Alex Chapman MBA. Now I’m proud to be a Cranfield MBA.

It’s not just because of the course and its number one ratings, but because of the people who are beside me cheering me on; from fellow scholarship winners Paul Lamprecht and Claire Dyason; to the deep friendships I formed with other members of my cohort like Omer Kartal from Turkey and Holly O’Connell from New Zealand; to John McFarlane who told me to make 9-5 count and then go home to my family, to Stephen Wood, who commiserated with me in the darkest hours of term 2; to David Scollon who visited in term 4 and told me to hang in there and that I would reap the rewards in three to five years; to Adam Cox, who taught me that you have to believe in yourself to succeed; to John & Tess Monteith, who welcomed me with the love of parents into their home.

And finally, to all of those Alumni who have supported the scholarship in some way, thank you, for the financial support, but also for caring enough to welcome others into your Cranfield Family.