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Raja Nishah Raja Mohamed is 31 and graduated from our MBA in Malaysia this year with a Distinction. She currently works as a Business Development Director with Evergreen Aviation Resources (a private limited company run by family). She had a busy few years whilst studying for her MBA and tells us about her experience here:

“The Strathclyde MBA Programme equipped me the knowledge, tools and confidence to stay in the current business and make it big. The MBA made me realise the not so popular saying that “the problem with being in the rat race is that, you’re still a rat”. Good thing is that if I ever choose to be a rat again in the future, the MBA will come in handy once more!

I was particular about choosing an MBA that focuses on Corporate Strategy as I am eventually 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. I dare say I would have made an excellent half-past-six leader had it not been for the skills I picked up from MBA.

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 study. So I quit my job, joined the family-owned business and signed up for the course. The timing was impeccable. My past experience and my new involvement in the business helped me achieve my MBA goals as it shed a 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 it was not for its flexibility, I would not have met my then-to-be husband who was based in North America, travelled around the globe for love and business, mothered a child, 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 can apply them to my work. That 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 shareholder expect of them. The project was well received by both the client and the University.

The best part of the Strathclyde MBA is that you get to meet lots of like-minded, intelligent people from various backgrounds in terms of age, nationality, industry they work in, job level and specialisations. The richness of experience can really be exciting during classroom discussions. It was humbling to know that there is a little something I could learn from every single one of them. And the networking just does not stop there. All of us are still in touch through Facebook and meet up occasionally.

I currently work for our family-owned aviation consultancy firm, which is a really small but highly specialised setup. It is definitely a stark contrast from the multinational corporations (MNCs) I am used to. My father was at the brink of retiring from it when I agreed to join the firm. I went in and rebranded the company, introduced new marketing efforts, reorganised the finances and improved the service delivery experience for our clients. Within the first year, we also successfully penetrated the Indonesian market through a joint venture. All this was done with the knowledge I was gaining concurrently during the weekend MBA classes.

I did not think I would say this, but I am proud to be still working for the same company, no matter the size. We have made great progress from where we were to where we are 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 enough for me to turn down recent invitations for interview from two Global 500 companies.

I am working on other, new enterprising ventures for myself.

My advice for postgraduate aspirants would be to choose a course which allows them to demonstrate their strengths while discovering new skills. Postgraduate studies also means 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. But it is worth every sweat as the journey is truly rewarding.

Raja Nishah and family

Raja Nishah and family