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Five years ago I graduated from university as an IT engineer, and then joined one of the leading FMCG companies in a sales role. By doing this, I switched my career completely from a technical to a management role. One year ago, I was searching for a new job and understood how difficult it was for recruiters to understand that an engineer can work and be successful in a sales role, without having a business degree. This is the main reason that pushed me to start the Strathclyde part-time MBA journey at the Dubai campus in October 2014: gaining this international recognized business degree would would strengthen my profile in a fierce market place and justify my career change from IT to sales.

But, during the whole decision making process I completely disregarded the learning part of the MBA, it was never a key driver and represented for me a secondary benefit only. Few weeks after finishing the 1st semester, I am conscious that the knowledge I accumulated in just 4 modules is a clear game changer and is helping me to be better in my everyday job as well as building a strong knowledge to accelerate my career in the long run. The 4 modules were built to deliver a strong theoretical learning supported with examples from different industries, and practical knowledge that you can use very quickly in order to step up your game in the real life. I had the opportunity to put theory into practice very quickly in my daily job in the following way:

Marketing Management: In my sales role, I am responsible for the commercialization of products that were developed by the marketing team. In this module, I learned the marketing jargon to better sell the marketing plans. Being equipped to understand the consumer segmentation and targeting, helped me to build better distribution and promotion plans.

Financial & Management accounting: This module was the first to take me out of my comfort zone (sales & data analysis) to understand the bigger picture of the company. I learnt how to read, analyse & compare the annual performance of companies in the same sectors, how to interpret the lines of the P&L and how the costs are built into product pricing.

Finance & Financial management: This module was my favourite by far, and that’s because all the concepts that you learn can be applied in the workplace as well as in personal life. I learnt the value of money over time, how to take investment decisions based on different criteria, and how to prioritise investment. It can help you to build a long-term retirement plan or decide in which house or stocks to invest.

Exploring the International Business Environment: This module is the 1st step for becoming a great leader with a broad and long-term vision, able to explore the external macro-environment and its implication, and to plan for different outcomes accordingly. It is also a great group exercise that forges leadership, project management and conflict management skills.

Looking forward for the 2nd semester!