Last year, the 37-year-old earned himself a Master of Business Administration (MBA) degree with Merit, awarded by the University of Bradford (UOB) and offered at the Management Development Institute of Singapore (MDIS).
The course – a collaboration between MDIS and the university in Britain – is aimed at equipping managers with business and management skills required in an increasingly competitive and dynamic business environment.
Mr Shanker told My Paper that the decision to pursue a postgraduate degree was driven by a desire to develop himself “more holistically”, both as an individual and a professional.
“I wanted to acquire applicable business-management knowledge and skills that are relevant to the contemporary business world, which would complement my technical background,” said the alumnus from the National University of Singapore’s engineering faculty.
Mr Shanker, who scored seven distinctions for his MBA despite not having any former training in business studies, said that it was no easy feat.
“It was a challenge having to juggle my career, my family, my social and personal time, as well as managing the additional financial commitment.
And, most of all, coping with the academic rigour of an MBA programme,” said Mr Shanker, who is married with no kids.
But the “profound knowledge and dedication” of the Singaporean lecturers appointed by UOB proved to be a huge inspiration in getting him through the programme.
He recalled a chance meeting at a supermarket with a project supervisor that turned out to be a consultation session. The lecturer took the time to give him “a list of quick but effective pointers” on the topic of a project.
“It was really admirable to see the level of dedication that the lecturers put into their work to the benefit of each individual student, despite having to supervise several all at once,” he said.
Mr Shanker was similarly impressed by the close collaboration between UOB and MDIS, which provided a “seamless running of the entire course”. For one thing, using the UOB Blackboard, students had on-demand access to live recordings of lectures conducted on the campus in Britain, which supplemented the weekly classroom sessions held at the MDIS Dhoby Ghaut campus here.'
More importantly, the programme served as “an effective platform” for understanding the multi-faceted world of business in both the local and international contexts, said Mr Shanker.
He pointed out that each of the 14 modules covered in the course showed the importance of synergy among various aspects of a businessas a means to gaining a competitive edge.
Knowledge on people management acquired from the Managerial and Professional Development module, for instance, could be utilised to address operational issues covered in the Operations Management module, he explained.
While taking the step to upgrade his capabilities seemed to be a challenge at first, Mr Shanker was glad he took that leap of faith. “The process has reassured me of my ability to take calculated risks and to steadfastly see through a commitment,” he said.
“With a better understanding of how a successful organisation should work, I feel more empowered to achieve greater excellence in my professional pursuits,” he added.
University of Bradford’s MBA programme
The School of Management at the University of Bradford is one of only 58 business schools in the world – less than 1 per cent – to hold the triple accreditations of European Quality Improvement System, Association of MBAs, and Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business, also known as the “Triple Crown”.
The 14-module MBA course caters to both full-time and part-time students, and can be completed in approximately 15 months or two years, respectively. Students are also required to complete a management project.
The curriculum comprises 10 core modules, including Business Accounting; Business Ethics and Sustainability; Corporate Finance; Managerial and Professional Development; Marketing; and Operations Management.
Students also have to complete four elective modules, such as E-business; Marketing Communications; and International Business in Emerging Economies.
Candidates must be degree holders with three years of managerial work experience, which can be from any industry, including both the private and public sectors, and charitable organisations.
They must also have a first degree awarded by a British university or an overseas equivalent degree, or a relevant professional qualification. The MBA programme is open for enrolment in April and October next year.
Source:[My Paper 29102013] © Singapore Press Holdings Limited.
Reproduced with permission".