Gaining a competitive advantage

Gaining a competitive advantage

Mr Alan Koo started his career as an engineer, and over the years, has honed his technical competencies through various courses.

The 43-year-old is a Certified Operations Professional, Advanced Certificate in Training and Assessment (ACTA) trainer who holds several auditor ISO certifications.

But the manager at a government-linked company realised that he needed to broaden his skill set beyond the technical aspect to progress to the next level.

So he decided to pursue a Master of Business Administration (MBA).

Mr Koo says that the decision was in part inspired by a colleague who had been working for the company for 20 years, and lost out on a promotion to a candidate with an eight-year tenure. He felt that an MBA qualification probably tilted the balance in the latter’s favour.

He says: “I learnt a very important lesson that day; it is essential to equip yourself with the necessary competencies before it is required. You never know when you will need it.

“Success in life is equal parts hard work, opportunities and luck. With an MBA, I believe I stand a better chance at competing with other candidates to get promoted and advance in my career.”

After researching various programmes available in the market, Mr Koo decided to go for the MBA programme awarded by Murdoch University via Kaplan.

“The Murdoch MBA fits into my overall long-term training roadmap to make me an all-rounder well-versed in multiple disciplines,” Mr Koo says, adding that Murdoch’s programmes offered good value.

The programme consists of eight units and can be completed in 12 months on a part-time basis.

Merging studies in business, governance and sustainability, the programme provides a multidisciplinary learning approach that imparts expert skills required for career advancement.

These include creating and managing global businesses, leadership, strategy, accounting and finance as well as specialisation in management, marketing or policy.

With links to the university’s reputable Asian Research Centre, the programme’s units have a strong focus on Asia’s main growth markets.

Its global perspective is also derived from Murdoch’s engagement with communities around the world through its alumni, campuses, research and partnerships.

Students will get practical insights and networking opportunities through a range of industry guest speakers and up-to-date project work in collaboration with external companies.

The programme is especially suited to the working schedules of professionals as it can be completed over a longer period of time if preferred. There are several intakes each year. Students can study units online or in class, and choose day or evening classes.

Murdoch’s MBA programme at Kaplan provided Mr Koo with the flexibility to plan and study at his own pace.

“As part of my learning style, I like delving into subjects in great detail.

“I need sufficient time to immerse myself in the concepts and gain deeper knowledge on applying them at work,” he adds.

Mr Koo also liked that the lecturers at Kaplan were friendly and approachable, constantly engaging the students. By treating the students as partners in their learning journey, they instilled the joy of learning.

“The Murdoch MBA programme has been one of the best investments in my life,” he says.

“It has helped me to make sense of the world around me and reveals what is going on in the mind of the management. I now know how to create win-win relationships with my stakeholders,” he adds.

He recommends the programme to professionals who have been in the industry for several years.

He explains: “It can help us to reflect on what we have done in the past, as well as review and assess how to perform better if we encounter the same situations again.”

Mr Koo says studying at Kaplan has also helped him feel young and inspired.

“At the Kaplan campus, I got to interact with the young leaders of tomorrow. It gave me a nostalgic feeling, I felt I was 20 and back in university,” he adds.

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Article by Esther Teo

Source: The Sunday Times Postgraduate I dated 8 January 2017 :copyright: Singapore Press Holdings Limited. Permission required for reproduction.