Aston's Online MBA students learn from the best

Rod Turner

15 February 2016

Aston engineering graduate, Rod Turner, shared the story of his successful career path with Aston Online MBA students in a live webinar from his home in California.

As students logged on from around the world, Rod plotted his path from engineering, to entrepreneurship, to race car driver with a leading role as Executive Vice President of Symantec along the way. Rod gave a ‘behind the curtain’ insight into his latest venture as he recently launched Manhattan Street Capital – an equity crowdfunding platform for investors and mid-market companies.

Rod, who left Aston in 1979 with a first class honours degree in Energy Technology, carved out a career in management, marketing and software technology development during the micro-computer boom of the 80s and 90s.  One product that we’ll all be familiar with is Norton (the anti-virus software) which Rod played a leading role in establishing as a market leader.

Since leaving Aston, Rod has moved to the U.S. and now his current company, Manhattan Street Capital, addresses the problem of restricted access to growth capital for mid-companies by providing a platform through which to raise funds.

Rod talked openly about how he took decisions, identified and exploited opportunities, and shared some of the challenges he faced in his career in setting up multiple successful businesses – as well as a few not so (but there hasn’t been many!)

Rod shared his ‘Six Pillars’ of great leadership before sharing his list of top hints and tips for how to go about improving your career. After the lecture, students posted questions keen to learn more about Rod’s experiences and in particular ask his advice on career progression.

Highlighting the entrepreneurial and ambitious nature of Aston MBA students, several attendees were interested in Rod’s thoughts on starting their own business and how the current world economic situation affected the success of new start-up businesses – as well as what the next big thing is to get involved in.

The webinar was an invaluable opportunity for Online MBA students to learn directly from a hugely successful CEO and is the first of a series of similar webinars online students will have access to during the course of their studies.

Rod reflected:

"I was impressed with the engagement and the questions that were fired at me by students.  I loved my time at Aston and I’ve been fortunate to have a successful career. I get great pleasure in giving back to the institution that set me on my way. Hopefully I’m helping the next generation of entrepreneurs and business leaders."

The full webinar recording is available to listen to here.



For further information, please contact Katy Lewis at Aston Business School on 0121 204 3124 or email [email protected] 

Click below to listen to a recording of the full webinar.