Nigel Piercy, associate dean at Warwick Business School. "Where people have become disillusioned in the past is when, having gained these insights and capabilities, they are put right back into the functional box they came from: marketing, operations or whatever. The attraction of finance and consultancy for graduates has been that these careers often give the opportunity to deploy a larger proportion of the skills acquired in an MBA. However, exactly the same attraction applies to SMEs – you get to address real issues in managing a business strategically, not just go back to being a functional specialist in an organisational silo in a large corporation. I think this logic is increasingly attractive to the type of people now undertaking MBA study."