Tim Wood is Principal Deal Architect at Vodafone Global Enterprise. His work involves leading deals for major corporations, allowing them to work and communicate in new ways.
CourseInternational Economics, Finance and Development
In selecting a postgraduate school, I was keen to make sure I could continue working while studying. The advantage of Surrey over other business schools as well as virtual alternatives was clearly evident in the major reviews. Surrey was also close to both my employment at the time, and my home. I was balancing a family as well as a full-time job while I pursued my postgraduate degree at Surrey.
Significantly for me, Surrey also provided a place where I could pursue an MSc as opposed to an executive MBA. I was looking for a technical qualification, instead of a general business degree, so the fact that the Economics school hosts some published economics professionals was a big plus.
What is your strongest memory of your time at Surrey – what do you picture first when you think of being here?
I suppose I picture the campus first when I think of Surrey. The location around the Cathedral, as well as the facilities onsite were a real bonus instead of having a more disparate campus spread around a city. For the first six months of my course, I was able to walk into the campus from work.
What is the one thing you would say about Surrey, or the course you studied, to someone who doesn’t know anything about it?
Surrey provided me with a very safe environment in which to be inquisitive and continue feeding my curiosity about economics. I did not assume that it would guarantee a new career opportunity, or teach me everything there was to know. I would say Surrey was a massively significant time on my learning journey.
How did you change as a person during your time as a Surrey student, and how has your time here influenced your life and career since then?
Because of the convergence of full-time work, part-time studies and full-time husband and parenting duties, I learned to work smart and fast. I had to get organised and plan ahead for deadlines. As a person, the urgency and focus helped tune my gut instinct, my technical ability, and manage the workload in my career.
What do you find most enjoyable about your line of work and why?
I enjoy leading epic deals for the world's largest corporates which allow them to work and communicate in new ways. I also enjoy working on deals which provide wireless technology and mobile banking to the world's unbanked. The economic effect of both is significant, and world-changing.
What are your top tips for students aspiring to work in your profession?
A good education is certainly important, but work on the assumption that it will only give you a foot in the door. The rest is likely a lot about showing up every day (and every day after that), to deliver on your role, while being thankful for the privilege of the work and lifestyle you find yourself in. I never thought I would work in Telecoms and happened upon it as a temporary consultant. I earned my right to stay by getting stuck in.
Is remaining connected with the alumni network important to you?
My challenge as a part-time student at Surrey was always around time, so I never got to as many of the main social events as I wanted to. If you can, make sure you go and enjoy with no agenda apart from getting to know your fellow students. Remaining connected with Surrey alumni will always be welcome, though it's likely too early to be able to tell how it will feature in my career.