Alumni Services

Guy Akester

Guy Akester reminisces about his time at Edinburgh and tells us about experiencing his classmates seeing snow for the first time and what he does when he visits Edinburgh now.


Guy Akester

Degree Course

MBA in International Business

Year of Graduation


Guy Akester

Your time at the University

In choosing a University and MBA (Master of Business Administration) programme, I wanted a number of things including an internationally recognised and ranked University and programme that had a full semester abroad option, preferably in Asia. As I had completed in my undergraduate degree in Business in North America and Germany I wanted a Master’s programme that was delivered from a different cultural perspective and that was located in a fun, vibrant city. The University of Edinburgh checked all of those boxes.

Both the University and the MBA Programme far surpassed my expectations and I would have liked to have stayed longer.  I lived in Postgraduate apartments just off the historic Edinburgh street the Royal Mile, the apartment was great and came complete with a cleaning service. I had two fantastic flatmates – one from Northern China doing a PhD (Doctor of Philosophy) in Biotechnology and the other from Mexico City doing a Master’s in International Law so, as you can imagine, Geopolitical discussions after a few pints were always lively!

My supervisor Phil Bowers (former Director, MBAIB programme) was great and, lucky for me, had lots of patience. He didn’t lecture me but created a dialogue that dramatically increased learning whilst keeping it a fun and safe environment to test new theories, models and practices.

As well as having many fond memories of my studies, my favourite memory is of having a snowball fight in Bristo Square overlooked by McEwan Hall with my classmates, many of whom had never seen snow before!

When I come back to Edinburgh, I always do two things; the first is to go for a pint in the Kilderkin a little pub in the Canongate a stone’s throw away from the Scottish Parliament building and around the corner from my old apartment. The second is go to the Business School at George Square, sit, and soak up the energy and enthusiasm around me.

The Edinburgh MBA programme reinforced and accelerated my career progression though more importantly it was a fantastic and enriching life experience.

Guy Akester

Tell us about your Experiences since leaving the University

I’ve been lucky to live in a lot of fantastic cities around the world. Following my time in Edinburgh, I took a regional management position with the international real estate group CBRE, first in Shanghai and then Hong Kong where I led two centres of excellence covering 54 markets in 11 countries across Asia Pacific. Several years later I was relocated to Vancouver by Canadian telecom TELUS where I headed up Real Estate Portfolio Management for them. Recently I moved to the local transit authority in Vancouver to do their real estate with a focus on transit-orientated development.

The Edinburgh MBA programme reinforced and accelerated my career progression though more importantly it was a fantastic and enriching life experience.

Alumni wisdom

Don’t rush, enjoy your surroundings, you’ll be in the real world soon enough.