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AMBA and BGA Excellence Awards and Gala Dinner – BlueSky Education’s take on the night

It was a throwback to the 1920s this year at the AMBA and BGA Excellence Awards and Gala Dinner. The event was hosted on February 7th at the Sheraton Grand Park Hotel in London with over 200 business school leaders from the business education sector, as well as category finalists, judges and members of the media.

The evening started with a drinks reception that featured a photobooth (something the BlueSky team loved!) and offered the opportunity for guests to mingle. It was great to meet people in the industry that I have worked with countless times over email. The drinks were followed by an amazing three course meal and… the awards!


AMBA gala 2020_photo


The awards started with an introduction from Andrew Main Wilson, chief executive of AMBA and BGA, who said, “on behalf of the AMBA and BGA team, I would like to congratulate the finalists and winners of this year’s Excellence Awards. The quality of award entries was once again very high this year and we are proud to celebrate the achievements and innovation so clearly evident in AMBA and BGA’s network of schools and their students.”

Here at BlueSky, we agree with Andrew that the standard between all of the nominees was very high, our Account Director Stephanie Mullins had the pleasure of judging the Business School Impact on Community and Society Award and the MBA Student of the Year. She said that picking a winner was incredibly difficult as the standard was so high!

Gala photo_2

We are also proud to say that three of our clients – Imperial College Business School, NEOMA Business School and MIP Politecnico di Milano Graduate School of Business – were nominated for the Business School Innovation Award.

The final award of the evening was the MBA student of the year – I was very lucky to be sat next to last year’s winner, Ritika Israni who had studied at the University of Bath School of Management. She told me that it was an honour to win last year’s award and she was excited for this year’s winner to be announced.

The 2020 MBA student of the year was Udochuku Richson who studied at IE Business School in Spain. He has spent the last four years building a charity, Rugby Opens Borders (ROB), focused on the integration of refugees Austrian society by way of the Austrain rugby community and is now turning his attention to transforming the healthcare system and more sustainable society by doing what?. Udochuku is also a former national rugby player with degrees in molecular biology and immunology!

Once the awards wrapped up, guests were invited to stay and enjoy the after party in roaring 1920s style. The theme was excellent, and authentic, as there was even a swing band (who were fantastic) and actors dressed up as ‘flapper girls’ who were walking around engaging with the guests.

Gala photo_1

It was a lovely evening and the BlueSky team thank AMBA and BGA for the invite.

We’d also like to share more information about the awards and nominees.

Business School Innovation Award

This award was created to recognise those Business Schools who launch game-changing new practices, take risks and are creative when it comes to their programmes. It recognises and rewards innovation and radical thinking. Here are the nominees:

  • Adam Smith Business School, University of Glasgow
  • Imperial College Business School, Imperial College London
  • MIP Graduate School of Business, Politecnico di Milano
  • NEOMA Business School
  • Paris School of Business
  • Universidad Carlos III de Madrid

Business School Impact on Community and Society Award

This award honours the Business Schools that are committed to Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) and are passionate about making a difference. It recognises schools that are taking the initiative in creating a sustainable future and teaching students about social values. Here are the nominees:

  • Indian Institute of Management Indore
  • Mannheim Business School, University of Mannheim
  • Othman Yeop Abdullah Graduate School of Business, Universiti Utara Malaysia
  • Paris School of Business
  • Porto Business School
  • Great Lakes Institute of Management, Gurgaon

Business School Careers Strategy Award

This award is for schools that have a passion for proactive and innovative approaches to graduate recruitment, talent management and succession planning. Here are the nominees:

  • ESADE Business School, Ramon Llull University
  • Hult International Business School
  • Lagos Business School
  • Lancaster University Management School, Lancaster University

MBA Entrepreneurial Venture award (third party and private sector)

An award that highlights the success of Business Schools in fostering entrepreneurship among their MBA and exec MBA cohorts. Here are the nominees:

Third Sector:

  • Cesar Coasaca, CENTRUM PCUP Business School for Inventum
  • Comfort Onyanta Alli, Lagos Business School for Vixens Unique Ideas
  • Xia Yixin, School of Business, Jiangnan University for Wu Xi Beizhe Wenhua Chuanbo

Private Sector:

  • Goke Lawrence Egunjobi, Lagos Business School for i-impact Products and Services
  • Hany Soliman, The American University in Cairo (AUC) School of Business Egypt for Engineering Group for Innovation
  • Kris Lindahl and Hal Salvesen, Aberdeen Business School, Robert Gordon University for Digital Future Capital
  • Sharon Cunningham, UCD Michael Smurfit Graduate Business School, University College Dublin for Shorla Pharma
  • Shrenik Paras Parmar, Nottingham University Business School, University of Nottingham for Proodle Solutions

MBA Student of the Year

The MBA student of the year award recognises students that have shown career promise and can act as ambassadors for the accredited MBAs – it doesn’t just focus on straight-A students but those who show good leadership skills and career progression. Here are the nominees:

  • Carla Mariana Chavez Castellanos, IESA
  • Shivani Ghai, University of Cape Town Graduate School of Business
  • Monika Lemajic, Copenhagen Business School
  • Udochuku Richson, IE Business School
  • Mecia Petersen, Nottingham University Business School
  • Vincent Weber, Universidad Carlos III de Madrid

Full list of winners

  • Business school career strategy award – Hult International Business School, US
  • Business school Impact on Community and Society Award – Mannheim Business School, University of Mannheim, Germany
  • Business School Innovation Award – Imperial College Business School, Imperial College London, UK
  • MBA Entrepreneurial Venture (Private Sector) – Sharon Cunningham, UCD Michael Smurfit Graduate Business School, University College Dublin, Ireland, for Shorla Pharma
  • MBA Entrepreneurial Venture (Third Sector) – Cesar Coasaca, CENTRUM PUCP Business School, Peru, for Inventum
  • MBA Student of the Year Award – Udochuku Richson, IE Business School, Spain

Katie Hurley-1

Author: Katie Hurley

For tips on shaping and strengthening your competitive edge, check out Stephanie Mullins AMBA video


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