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Developing our Future Leaders

Jacobs launches new MSc in Business and Strategic Leadership to develop a cohort of high-potential leaders and accelerate development of our strategic leadership pipeline and capability.

We are supporting 28 of our U.K. employees through a tailored Business and Strategic Leadership MSc with Cranfield University’s School of Management. This Cranfield program has a long history of working with high performing companies, tailoring content to specific corporate priorities. Cranfield’s faculty has worked with Jacobs’ leadership to ensure the MSc program and course content has been customized to reflect our own strategic priorities and business goals. 

“The Business and Strategic Leadership MSc is an opportunity for Jacobs to offer our high-potential employees a post-graduate qualification and personal development opportunity with one of the U.K.’s top business schools,” said Jacobs Director of Learning and Talent Management - Europe, Sally Fern. “Our people will be able to develop the knowledge, skills and behaviors that underpin successful strategic leadership.”

“The MSc enables us to strengthen our leadership pipeline, improve retention, and create a network of individuals working on projects and initiatives, with the support of Cranfield experts, that contribute to strategy and successful change,” she added. “We’ll be able to upskill staff whilst they continue working in their roles at Jacobs – they will graduate from the program with an enhanced ability to research organizational problems from a variety of perspectives, developing more robust solutions to our strategic challenges. We expect to see a transformation in the way that these leaders work.”

Mark Threlfall, Director of Executive Development at Cranfield School of Management, said: “One of our key strengths is our ability to customize our educational offering to meet the strategic priorities of our clients. Working alongside Jacobs we have created a program that will help develop their future leaders and meet their strategic priorities.”

The completely bespoke two-and-a-half-year, part-time course will involve a combination of in-person taught modules, remote learning, individual and team-based action learning projects and on-the-job training. Over the course of the program, participants will broaden and deepen their Jacobs network, work with Jacobs leaders participating in some of the sessions and, join Cranfield’s active global alumni network.

“I am proud to work for a company like Jacobs that invests in and supports career development, and I am truly excited to be part of the first cohort to take part in the MSc,” said Jacobs Principal GIS Analyst, Digital Solutions, Kate Willison. “The energy and enthusiasm in the room during the launch event was palpable. I look forward to building trusted networks with such a diverse group of individuals and working together to help Jacobs improve performance and drive growth. As the business continues to evolve, I am empowered to lead and am privileged to be a part of the journey.”

“The cohort is purposefully drawn from across our lines of business with an eclectic array of experiences to match,” said Jacobs Divisional Director Built Environment, David Fullman. “Despite the nervous anticipation, my overriding impression is one of being hugely privileged to be offered this fantastic opportunity – I know that the hard work begins now and frankly, I can’t wait.” 

Jacobs Manager of Process Engineering, Mike James shared: “When I applied for the course I wanted it to concentrate on some of the key areas for development in the business. The course has certainly done that right from the outset, with teams being set up to review several dynamic and challenging areas.  I look forward to developing understanding within one of these priorities with my team.”

Jacobs Assistant Global Project Manager, Helena Turner, added: “This opportunity is testament to how Jacobs invests in its people. Studying a Business MSc is a fantastic opportunity, and I’m very excited to be selected to join the first cohort, especially at such a leading institution as Cranfield. I’m thrilled to be a part of this development program with my colleagues and can’t wait to start adding value back into the organization through implementing our learning!”

This program has been supported by funding from the U.K.’s Apprenticeship Levy, which provides the opportunity for organizations to train and develop their employees, from entry-level technical programs through to senior professional development.


Jacobs team dives into new MSc in Business and Strategic Leadership with course leaders.
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