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Alumni

Yvonne Gale

Career Path: CEO, NEL Fund Managers Limited
Location:

MBA Yvonne GaleI was already a Chartered Accountant when I entered the venture capital industry. The industry backs highly innovative, growing businesses and so a wide variety of knowledge is required to make the best investment and divestment decisions on behalf of our clients.

What are you doing now?

CEO of NEL Fund Managers Limited and non-executive director of a number of the boards of our funds and our investee businesses.

What was it about Northumbria that made you decide to study here?

I was drawn to the structured approach within the MBA. As a part-time student with a demanding career, I felt the structure was needed to ensure I graduated. On the DBA, I had already had a fantastic experience completing the MBA and knew how much support there was for part-time doctoral students.

What was it like studying at Northumbria?

The DBA particularly was highly constructive with close direct and challenging supervision. The university enabled me to present repeatedly both within campus and also at conferences around the UK and in Turkey as part of a study group with other UK universities.

What impressed you most about our academic staff?

The academic staff put significant effort into making the study material relevant to the students using practical examples. Several years later when I now go into the university on occasion I'm still greeted with enthusiasm by staff who still remember my studies.

How connected was your course with industry?

As an already experienced executive I wasn't looking to learn more about my own industry but to broaden and challenge my understanding of other industries. The variety of subjects being researched by my fellow students was breath-taking.

How did studying at Northumbria help you achieve your career goals/give your career an edge?

During the course of my studies I was repeatedly promoted as my increasing level of knowledge lifted the quality and knowledge level of my work. I have subsequently been approached to act as a non-executive director in other organisations as a result of my studies.

What was the best thing about your course?

I loved the library. The knowledge available was phenomenal. I still miss having it all at my finger tips.

Which skills/knowledge did you learn on your course that you use most now throughout your career?

The MBA was structured around seeing a business problem from multiple perspectives to grasp the complexity of the problem and the many ways it could be addressed. I still use this everyday.
The marketing module has proved invaluable as my current role has a high marketing content but my technical training did not.

What did you enjoy most about your time at Northumbria University?

I loved the challenge of having my assumptions and existing knowledge expanded.

What advice would you give somebody who is thinking of studying at Northumbria?

Make sure you are committed to seeing any course of study through. You will need to be self-motivated and determined. There is no spoon feeding. The university provide all the knowledge and facilities but the work is down to you.

How would you describe your time at Northumbria in 3 words?

Transformative. Worthwhile. Challenging.

For more information about me see:

www.nel.co.uk

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