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Malaysia: Subject Guides

Studying MBA in Malaysia – An Interview with an MBA graduate

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We spoke to Shaun Teh, a project engineer who quit his job to pursue his MBA in Universiti Sains Malaysia, a local university in Penang, Malaysia. Shaun opens up about the hardships of going back to fulltime study and the difficult decision of giving up a well-paid job for his postgraduate. Read on if you’re thinking of doing an MBA…


Hotcourses: What made you choose to do an MBA?

Shaun: I was working as a project engineer in a small-medium local based company. I’ve always known that I wanted to move up and work on top management level, but I knew that competition was stiff and the only way for me to stand out was to gain an additional qualification. So with the encouragement of my wife and family, I quit my job and enrolled on the Master in Business Administration in Universiti Sains Malaysia. The university was close to home, the fees were reasonable and most of all, the course was very practical – something which I was looking for.


H: What were the important things you wanted to learn?

S: Most of the MBA courses I found were distance learning ones. I wanted to attend classes so that I could benefit more from student and lecturer interactions. My MBA was split equally into exams and assignments – and that tick all the boxes.


H: How did you finance your MBA?

S: The course fee is RM20,000. I used my EPF to pay for the fees. You can get very helpful advice and information on study loans from the university bursary counter. The sum may seem massive, but there are loads of ways to finance your studies. A lot of students apply for PTPTN loans too.


H: What did you learn on your MBA?

S: Some of the modules I did were economics, operation management, auditing, marketing strategies, business ethics, finance, accounting and corporate social responsibility. We also did a lot of group presentations and case studies. The content encourages a lot of student participation.


H: How has your MBA helped you?

S: I find studying with other students who have worked in various industries before very eye-opening. It’s great that people with different skills and life experiences come together to share knowledge about companies that they’ve worked with, the systems, the strategies that were put in place and their company policies. This helps broaden my social network as well, especially since I never really had the chance to mingle with people outside of engineering. I’m now more open to other job opportunities and look forward to working for multinational companies.


H: What’s the most challenging module?

S: I find the final dissertation the most difficult. My dissertation explores the market driven values of Gen Y in promoting workforce demand, focusing on the employers’ perspectives. To carry out my research, I tested on a few different categories, sent out questionnaires and used the Partial Least Square software to generate research report, analysis and results. My research revealed that having a strong proficiency in the English language is very much in demand and that personal development skill is a must-have.


H: How is studying for an undergraduate different from a postgraduate?

S: There’s a huge difference! For many people who have been working for years like myself, going back to study is pretty tough. It’s tricky to sit down and do assignments, conduct presentations and hand in individual work. All these need a lot of discipline and hard work.


H: Where do you go from here?

S: I would love to work in governmental bodies. But of course, my options now are a lot wider and I feel a lot more confident applying for jobs with my MBA.


H: Any advice to others who wish to study MBA?

S: Go for it. In China, a lot of people who apply for jobs are actually over-qualified for the roles. Many of them hold an MBA or a PhD. So, if you’ve only got a degree, the employers end up pushing your application to the side without much thought. Who knows, this could happen in Malaysia one day! And before that happens, it’s best to be ahead of the pack and start gaining additional qualifications now. Today, the market is getting more and more demanding.


If you’re interested in pursuing an MBA, check out our wide range of courses here.


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