Career Stories: Dr Harriet Bradley

Managing director and consultant Dr. Harriet Bradley, a 2012 Sloan Fellow, discusses her experience on the programme and how it allowed her to dramatically expand her career horizons.

“The Sloan programme opened up my eyes to the opportunities outside of the very narrow field that I was working in”

“I came to London Business School after a chance encounter with a friend, who was a graduate from the LBS Sloan Masters in Leadership and Strategy programme. At this point, I’d been to medical school, had completed my GP training and was involved in the running of a walk-in centre, but had decided it would be a good idea to get some wider business experience.

The LBS Sloan programme really opened up my eyes to all of the opportunities outside the very narrow field I was working in. Whilst still working in the health sector, my career is now in a totally different place than it would have been without coming to LBS. Following graduation, I was able to move from a predominantly clinical role with management into a predominantly management role with clinical work. One of my coursemates on the LBS Sloan programme was a strategy director for Virgin, and they introduced me to Virgin Care back in 2012; I didn’t work for them immediately, but ended up applying for a role via the LBS job board a few years later. I was offered a completely different position from the one I applied for and over the last five years have changed my job several times within Virgin, including working as a clinical bid director and leading on local engagement with key stakeholders. I’m certain I wouldn’t have landed my current position without LBS and the connections I made there.”

Digging deeper

“Digging down into my industry gave me a much better understanding of how healthcare actually works, and also how pharmaceuticals plays into it”

“The LBS Sloan programme gave me a great overview of the economy in general. I did one of my lectures overseas, and was able to take a healthcare elective at Columbia Business School. The healthcare economy in the US is similar to the UK, although we have a different way of managing it. Actually digging down into my industry gave me a much better understanding of how healthcare actually works and also how pharmaceuticals plays into it. It was truly eye opening to develop knowledge that I assumed I already had, when in actual fact I didn’t.

I also gained a greater understanding of the politics involved at the level that I’m working at. Several of my electives, particularly one in negotiating and bargaining, were hugely beneficial, as so much of what I do in my everyday work concerns negotiation.

On the experience

“It’s about altering the way you perceive things and the way you deal with them, which I genuinely believe London Business School did for me”

“Professionally, having the LBS brand behind me has opened up a huge number of doors. The evidence that you have this background from such a leading institution is really helpful, and immediately after finishing my studies, my salary increased exponentially.

There was lots of very varied talent and people at different points in their careers on the LBS Sloan programme, which is really helpful because you gain new outlooks from the various standpoints you’re exposed to. I found this really helpful in broadening my perspective.

In many ways, LBS changed my way of thinking. I found I learnt the most from group discussions and how other people approach problems. You realise the best way of looking at things and then you take that and apply it to something else. It’s about altering the way you perceive things, and the way you deal with them, which I genuinely believe London Business School did for me.”


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