‘MBA that came in handy’
Evergreen Aviation Resources business development director Raja Nishah Raja Mohamed, 31, completed her MBA from the University of Strathclyde this year with distinction. Here is her story.
tHE Strathclyde MBA Programme equipped me with the knowledge, tools and confidence to stay in the current business and make it big. The MBA made me realise the not-sopopular saying that “the problem with being in the rat race is that you’re still a rat”. Nevertheless, if I ever choose to be a rat again in the future, the MBA will come in handy.
I was particular about choosing an MBA that focuses on Corporate Strategy as I would eventually be expected to lead the organisation I am in now. The Strathclyde MBA did just the trick – it provided me with an opportunity to learn skills across the spectrum while acknowledging the need to strategise for success amidst challenges that the real business world poses.
After six years of working for major players in the oil and gas as well as IT industries, I decided the time was right to kick-start my postgraduate studies. So I quit my job, joined the familyowned business and signed up for the course. The timing was perfect. My past experience and my new involvement in the business helped me achieve my MBA goals as it shed light on what I was already doing well and what I needed to learn more of.
The part-time arrangement suited me well as it gave me a lot of flexibility to manage my own time when it came to my studies, work and family.
In fact, if not for its flexibility, I would not have met my thento-be husband who was based in North America, travelled around the globe for love and business, become a mother, spent more quality time with my parents and still graduate with a distinction.
The Strathclyde MBA taught me everything I needed to know at my level in the fields of finance, people, operations, marketing, governance and statistics and, most importantly, how I could apply them to my work.
It gave me the confidence to deliver a project on the talent management crisis faced by the oil and gas industry in Malaysia, and how companies could leverage on their talents strategically to deliver business results that shareholders expect of them. The project was well received by both the client and the university.
I currently work for our familyowned aviation consultancy firm, which is a really small but highly specialised set-up. It is a stark contrast to the multinational corporations (MNCs) I am used to.
My father was about to retire when I agreed to join the firm. I rebranded the company, introduced new marketing efforts, reorganised the finances and improved the service delivery experience for our clients.
Within the first year, we penetrated the Indonesian market through a joint venture. All this was done with the knowledge I was gaining during the weekend MBA classes.
I am proud to be still working for the same company, no matter the size. We have made great progress in just four years. I am constantly looking for ways to develop the business through both domestic and international ventures, in a way that the company is able to continuously sustain itself, with or without me in the future. That has kept my work exciting.
I received invitations for interviews from two Global 500 companies. Sadly, I had to turn them down.
My advice to postgraduate aspirants would be to choose a course which allows them to demonstrate their strengths while discovering new skills. Postgraduate studies also mean that students are expected to manage their own time in terms of work, classes, group meetings, assignment deadlines and exam preparations, so it does come with a lot of sacrifice from them and their families. It is worth every drop of sweat as the journey is truly rewarding.
For details, log on to www. cdc.edu.my or call 03-7660 8950 ext 111 (Cristina Magat).
Nishah seen here with her family.