Over the last couple of weeks, we’ve been sharing #CranfieldConnections stories and interviews from some of our alumni community. From meeting business partners, to making lifelong friends or being set on an entirely new career path they might never have previously considered – their journeys show the power of the connections they made. Follow the links below to read their stories.
Lolade Oresanwo and Paul O’Callaghan (MBA 2011)
Having previously worked in finance, MBA alumni Lolade Oresanwo and Paul O’Callaghan met when they were both studying at Cranfield School of Management. The course, and particularly the entrepreneurship modules opened them up to the possibility of taking a completely different path to the one they had been on. As part of their studies they worked together on a business plan that would later form the basis of a business they would go on to co-found in Lagos, Nigeria: WestAfricaENRG – an environmental and renewable energy company who transform waste to resources and provide sustainable employment in the area.
Alastair Stevens (MSc Process Systems Engineering 2007)
After studying aerospace as an undergraduate – and getting to experience a flight in the Cranfield Flying Laboratory - Alastair Stevens (MSc Process Systems Engineering 2007) ended up working in IT. A few years down the line, unsatisfied with his working life, he decided he needed to make a radical change. A chance encounter with a pilot family friend helped Alastair to reconnect with Cranfield and set him on a brand new path, working in the field of sustainable energy.
Dr Kim Nilsson (MBA 2012)
Dr Kim Nilsson (MBA 2012) had a successful career in astronomy but came to the realisation that she was more passionate about a career in business than in science. She embarked on an MBA programme at Cranfield University, which led to her meeting her future business partner Jason Muller. Together they started Pivigo – helping businesses to connect with data scientists to harness the power of data. In this interview, Dr Nilsson discusses her MBA journey, how coming to Cranfield connected her with a both a new business partner and a new, entrepreneurial career path, and the value of the connections made through the Cranfield alumni network.
Guy Knapton (MBA 1969)
A chance friendship, formed while packing orders in a Guildford brewery during the University holidays, would eventually lead Guy Knapton to Cranfield University. His time studying on the Cranfield School of Management MBA course would not only provide important lessons that he would draw upon in his career – it also led to lifelong friendships and connections that are still just as strong 50 years after graduating.
Anurag Joshi (MSc Aerospace Vehicle Design 2015)
Despite growing up in the same town in India, Anurag Joshi and Abhishek Somanagoudar had never met until they both came to Cranfield to study the MSc Aerospace Vehicle Design. After meeting again at a Cranfield alumni event at the Aero India show in 2017, they decided to found a company – INDrone Aero Systems – and returned to the show in 2019 to win the inaugural Drone Olympics. Read on to hear more from Anurag about their journey since graduation.
If you would be interested in taking part in an interview to share your story and your expertise with your fellow Cranfield alumni, please contact the alumni communications team.