My name is Michelle, and I studied the MBA at Norwich Business School in the class of 2018. Before my studies I was a Human Resources Supervisor in MUFG (Hong Kong branch). After graduation I worked with KL Technologies, but I now work at Jumeirah Vittaveli, Maldives.
I decided to join the UEA MBA programme because I needed a change after working in the same company for 4 years. Instead of sitting in the office writing routine reports every month, I needed to find new motivation to develop my career. After I consulted with my senior at MUFG, I decided to return to full time study. I needed to reflect, work out my thoughts, and rethink my career goals.
I expected the MBA to help me develop my social network. My classmates would be coming from different countries and backgrounds. As one of the youngest members in the MBA, I sought to learn from other’s experiences. What I found was that joining an MBA was not just about the knowledge, but becoming more professional in the way you handle things.
Before arriving I was concerned about safety, especially as I was alone. It was my first time traveling to Europe, and I was leaving all of my family and my friends. I only knew about the UK from the news and knew little about Norwich. However, I was proved wrong once I arrived in Norwich. The local people are very friendly and Norwich Business School gave me great support to help me settle down quickly.
I remember the day I arrived in Heathrow airport. It was 6:00 AM and I travelled with Singapore Airlines, and then took a National Express coach from the airport to UEA. When I stepped off the coach it was cold, snowing, and I was very hungry after the 5 hour coach journey. However, once I got the key for my room in UEA village, I took a hot shower and had lunch in the canteen and I felt much better and was able to relax. Campus Staff introduced me to the campus, showed me the map (most importantly the location of Norwich Business School).
On my second day they suggested I take the bus to explore the city, see the supermarket, M&S, and the Castle Quarter mall, among others.
Before I arrived I had been speaking by email with Marla, one of the MBA cohort from Taiwan, and I finally got to meet her in person and she took good care of me during the first few days. I also met my first MBA classmate, Yamamoto San as we lived in the same block in UEA village. Everything was smooth, and gradually I was enjoying my life at UEA.
Trusting my team members is the most valuable thing I have learned from the MBA. We had lots of group activities, discussion, consultancy projects, and case competitions. Nothing can be successful if it depends on only one person. All members can share their ideas freely, and each of us have our own capabilities, and together we will eventually find the best solution. Even after graduation I still am always reminding myself to trust my team members.
Right after I graduated, I was lucky to receive a job offer from the Norfolk based company KL Technologies that I worked with during the consultancy projects in the MBA. I was business analyst based in Hong Kong and I’m very honoured to have worked with all the experienced scientists and Director of Sales. Working there and organising a trade show provided me a chance to express my marketing and sales strategy. However, I began to understand that I am good at working with people and maintaining customer relationships, and that I wanted to bring this with me to work in the luxury industry, not technology.
After 6 months I decided to move to hospitality, which I found more dynamic compared with other sectors. Although I have zero experience in hospitality, my MBA has helped me to open this new door. My employer believed in my potential, leadership and knowledge. Therefore, I have started working as a Guest Relationship Officer at luxury resorts in Maldives. Hospitality is a total service oriented industry. While there is a trend towards using more technology and social media, the human touch is still irreplaceable. I have been awarded several hero of the month awards and you can now find my name in guest’s recognition on TripAdvisor, and I’m really loving my job.
MBA has expanded my social network. I have a diverse selection of friends and we share, we talk and we make friends. I learnt a lot from my friends and vice versa, and we always help each other no matter what. The MBA has given me an opportunity to change to my desired career. It is not only about knowledge from books, but all the ‘soft skills’ such as communication, problem solving, leadership skills that you learn are very useful for daily business operations.
I would advise anyone joining the MBA to not be quiet and only sit in the class. Please share your ideas! The MBA class is a culture mix, and by sharing you open yourself up to new insights. Networking is also very important, and you will never know how powerful it is until you need it.
I have met one MBA graduate from Hong Kong who graduated a few years before I did. She works in a well-known consultancy firm in Hong Kong, and she answered my questions patiently when I first started working as a business analyst. You can really see how important networking is! We were very busy at that time and had no chance to for a gathering together, however. we have kept in touch through social media.
The MBA has created a special bond between me and all the UEA alumni, it feels like a family and we all help each other when needed. Sharing is caring.
I would like to say the MBA team at NBS that I’m very grateful to have studied at the beautiful UEA, and thank you so much for helping me during my study in MBA. Everything became so much easier with all your support. This is one of the best experiences in my life and I will never forget it.