Back in 2004, graduating with a Commerce degree was very common and just like many other friends, I wanted to pursue Masters Qualification immediately without any work experience. Being a fresh graduate at that point of time, I took my mom’s advice to first immerse myself in several years of working experience before considering any further education. Truth is, my mom has always been my biggest inspiration and most of the time, she is right.
At the age of 26, I became a young manager who enjoyed learning through reasoning in the corporate world. With continuous supports from my senior management team and strong encouragement from my parents, I signed up for the MBA programme offered by the University of Strathclyde when I had 7 years of working experience. The programme was recommended by one of my directors; mostly because of the university’s triple accreditation status and established reputation for its strategic management courses, which are extremely useful in the corporate arena. Furthermore, I believe that my learning process would be more exciting if I could find the relevance of my work experience with the knowledge gain from the MBA course. With that in mind, I took up the part-time study challenge.
I was curious; so, it wasn’t that hard for me to go back to university. In fact, I must say signing up for the MBA course came at the right time, simply because I didn’t have many obligations on weekends. However, it was easier said than done. As I progressed with the course, I learned to be disciplined in managing my personal life, job, and study assignments on a daily basis. I also learned to be mentally prepared when there is limited time available to spend among friends, family, and Ariel, my dog. When time is your biggest constraint, you will learn how to keep to necessaries. For this, I am so thankful to have supportive and understanding family and especially Steve, my boyfriend.
Recently, I graduated with MBA, specialised in Strategic Management. It took me 3 years to accomplish this mission. Whilst network of contacts are important in any professional courses, I’ve found good friends who came from different professional backgrounds and countries. Good friends whom were once my classmates who have shared their time, effort, knowledge, experience, and opinions each time when we meet for study discussions. I’ve also gained the option to do my Leadership course in Switzerland, courageously presented my views to other leaders, who are my friends today. Through these different encounters, I’ve learned the importance of team work and confrontation, as well as discovered my inner strengths and weaknesses. Personal self-reflection evaluation, which is highly encouraged by the institution, has become part of my daily life. In fact, this is the best part of learning because only through self-awareness, I am able to identify gaps and develop to the next level. It was also through this, I realised how much I need to embark on a new career path in Trade Marketing management. Today, I am working for Luxottica Malaysia, the world’s largest eyewear company. As a Trade Marketing Manager, I am responsible for ensuring the right products available in the right stores, at the right location, with the correct supports. The knowledge I have gained from the MBA programme has certainly helped me in carrying out my roles and responsibilities, especially in the areas of strategic planning, development, and operation. It has also developed my sense of maturity in managing a team of passionate employees.
Although pursuing an MBA programme requires strong determination, a certain level of sacrifice, and hard work, the journey is definitely worthwhile, and the experience gained is invaluably one in a million!
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