Q&A with MBA Alumni – Beyazit ‘Z’ Guzelyagdoken


Here at Norwich Business School, we love hearing how our alumni are getting on since leaving us. We were pleased to recently catch up with class of 2014 alumni ‘Z’ to see what impact his MBA from Norwich Business School has had on his life since.

Hi Z, why did you join the UEA MBA programme?

UEA MBA was amongst the highest ranked universities that had a January start date and I didn’t want to lose time to further develop myself at that point of time, and I am happy that I didn’t. After spending slightly more than a year at UEA I have seen that this University and Norwich Business School had just as much to offer as other major universities around the UK. It is also situated in one of the most peaceful and historical cities of the country which I fell in love with, Norwich!

Were there any specific programme attributes or life/career influences?

I had an undergraduate degree in engineering before obtaining my MBA at UEA and was looking into changing my career path. I needed a more diversified CV in order to do this. Having an engineering degree is a very good foundation but people see you as an engineer and nothing else. The UEA MBA has helped me change that, and I was able to become a professional with many more skills to offer to my employers.

What were your first few days like arriving in Norwich / UEA?

When I arrived in Norwich, I knew I was really in England. As a smaller, more historic city, Norwich has much more of character than many others and this made feel that I would really be able to learn more about the British way of life which should be part of the experience after all…

What were your expectations on joining the MBA? What were your biggest fears and concerns?

My expectation was to be able to become a more diversified professional and further enhance myself as a potential employee. My only fear maybe was to become under-experienced and over-qualified, which didn’t happen in the end.

Please describe your experience during the programme. What memories and emotions have stayed with you?

The feeling that most came to me throughout the programme was the feeling of pushing my limits both intellectually and physically, thinking that I would get as much out of it as I gave. I have seen that we can break these limits and we are much smarter and more capable than we think we are. This feeling of self-confidence has stayed with me after I successfully finished my MBA. Today I believe that I can accomplish something if I really want to.

How did the MBA change your life, both personally and professionally?

It has definitely made me more patient and I am now able to look at situations from a much wider perspective, and be much more organised in tackling issues both professionally and personally. Being able to analyse a situation on further contexts not only makes one think more before acting, but also helps them to implement the right solution at the right time and in the right place.

What have you been up to since you graduated from your MBA in 2014? 

I started to work as an apprentice at Julius Baer in Switzerland right after my graduation for 6 months. After this, I was hired by the bank as full-time employee for their “Graduate Programme”. As for the first part of my rotation I was in Geneva – Switzerland. Today I am in Hong Kong for the 2nd part, getting ready to return to Switzerland,  but this time to Zurich for my  3rd and final rotation.

Have you recommended an MBA to anyone else? If so, who?

I have recommended an MBA to many of my friends whom are looking for a career change or had an undergraduate education in a very specific area and now want to become more diversified, and a better candidate for their employers.

What advice would you give to those who are starting the UEA MBA?

My only advice to people joining the UEA MBA would be to give the most they can to this programme and get the most out of it. This year will soon be over before they know and no matter what, will surely be remembered with good memories.

Have you stayed in touch with your cohort members or alumni from other years? How has the alumni network helped you?

Yes I have, especially with the ones that I have done some teamwork with. They have always given me a reason to look forward to and motivate myself when I needed to since I believe that most of them are also at better positions than they used to be before their MBA too.

Would you like to send a message to the MBA team at UEA?

When I think about the UEA MBA Team the first thing that comes up to my mind is their smiling faces and warm welcome. If it wasn’t for them, this journey wouldn’t have been as smooth and teaching as it has been. Because of them, I still feel like Norwich is my other home, thank you all, thank you very much once more.

With thanks to Z for spending the time to talk to us and contributing to the NBS blog.

For more information about both our full time and part time executive MBA courses, please visit our webpages, email us mbateam@uea.ac.uk, or call +44 (0)1603 591753

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