Shahid is a graduating MBA student at UC Riverside. Originally from Hyderabad, India, Shahid gives his perspective on getting an MBA abroad.
Name: Shahid Mohammed
School: MBA '16, The A. Gary Anderson Graduate School of Management, University of California Riverside
Profession: Incoming Cost Analyst, SB Freight
Why an MBA?
When did you decide you wanted to pursue an MBA? What inspired you?
Getting an MBA was one of my long term goals that I had set for myself during my undergraduate days. It all started when I was leading the annual fest of my engineering college. I had taken up the responsibility of managing all the events under the Computer Science Department, which required me to lead and coordinate with a team of roughly 200 students. This experience went on to become one of the most memorable experiences of my life, and it ignited the desire in me to become a leader. Over time, it has taught me how good leadership and teamwork can solve many corporate issues and global issues such as poverty, human trafficking, etc. Since then, all my choices were directed towards my goal of pursuing an MBA from a global university.
Pursuing an MBA abroad
How did pursuing your MBA aboard enhance your understanding of the globalized business world? What was the most important thing you learned?
Student diversity is one of the key drivers in globalizing our classroom experience. UCR’s MBA program is one of the most diverse programs in the US with a huge proportion of the student body consisting of international students. I believe that our classroom interactions have helped me understand global business issues very clearly. These interactions bring forth various perspectives which helped me understand cultural differences and how these differences can impact a business. Students and professors shared valuable insights about the local conditions of their country, cultural values, and legal issues which helped me understand the global issues faced by an organization. And the best part of being in a diverse classroom is that you develop a global network, find friendships that will last a lifetime and eventually these things make you more confident when you travel abroad again.
How does your program help international students with career placement after graduation?
The career development center at AGSM is dedicated to helping students right from day one of the program. They were instrumental in building my resume, improving my interview skills, developing networking skills, and finding my internship. When I joined UCR’s Business school, I was unaware of the job hunt process in the US, as I didn’t understand the culture completely. The staff at AGSM career development center helped me throughout my MBA program in overcoming the job hunt hurdles. The career development center at AGSM proactively hosts events to help students in developing skills required to land a job. Their support was really crucial and helped me land a job before my graduation.
What are some activities you are involved with outside of class? How do you balance your time?
UCR has offered me numerous opportunities outside the classroom in the form of Student Ambassador Position, Strategy Competition, Teaching Assistantship role and Consultancy programs which have helped me to grow into a stronger, confident, and better individual. I was given the opportunity to lead the teams from UCR at International Collegiate Business Strategy Competition for two consecutive years and every time we competed, we emerged victoriously. The business consultancy program, a partnership between Bourns College of Engineering and School of Business Administration, gave me an opportunity to work as a Business Consultant. I was able to apply my business knowledge to help the engineering students to commercialize their solar energy project. Also, as a part of this project, I represented UCR at various events and competitions such as Venture Well, EPA P3 Phase 2 and Lemelson - MIT. The most challenging aspect of being involved on campus to this degree is time management. The key to my success was the planning and scheduling of tasks that made me efficient and helped me meet the deadlines without any lapse. Planning the schedule always prepared me mentally for the upcoming challenges which eventually affected the way I respond to them in a positive way.
What do you think is your program's greatest asset?
The greatest asset of the MBA program at UCR is the learning environment in which students find themselves. The amount of opportunities that I received at UCR through course projects was tremendous. During my course work, I had an opportunity to work with start-ups like zyBooks and IT Jewelers which allowed me to apply classroom concepts to real-world business problems and see the outcome. Also, the program here offers us a significant amount of simulation experience which gave me a solid understanding of many business concepts. Collectively, professors and students have built a wonderful classroom environment which facilitated a great learning environment. I was able to learn so much from my professors and peers, which was a great value addition to my learning experience.
Advice for future applicants
What is it like to transition back to school after being out for a few years? What advice can you offer students returning for their MBA?
It was challenging to come to back to school after working for a couple of years with Accenture. It was one of the toughest things that I ever did. I remember staying up many nights, in the first 3 months of my program, to catch up with my assignments and project work. Over time, I became better at time management and became used to the fast paced UC curriculum. I believe that the MBA program has made me more efficient at managing work because with every passing quarter I was not only able to accomplish my goals, but was also able to take on bigger challenges. I would advise future students to remain strong and work hard during their transition phase and eventually with time they will adapt to the pace of the school curriculum. I would urge them to keep challenging themselves, utilize any opportunity that comes, and finally, enjoy their MBA experience as this is once in a lifetime experience.
Are you interested in getting your MBA? Meet with Admissions Directors from top UCR and other top Business Schools at our upcoming events! Registration is Free!