Senior Partner and Director, House of Major
BA Management 2006
Adan Ali came from Kenya to complete his BA in Management Studies at Leeds University Business School. He graduated in 2006 and since then has worked for Rolls Royce, based in China, the USA and in Derby in the UK. He has worked in the USA where he worked as Head of Strategic Sourcing and Category Management for Siemens, and is now Senior Partner and Director for House of Major, a strategy and communications agency based in Nairobi, Kenya.
Of his experience at the Business School he says: “The course provided a sound understanding of various aspects of the business environment such as accounting, law, marketing and strategy but the element that stood out was the year in industry. I converted my course to a four year degree and worked at General Electric (GE) for 13 months. The practical experience I gained allowed me to better comprehend my final year’s work, improved my interpersonal skills and boosted my marketability. LUBS encouraged development through a structured approach of reporting and governance so I could better relate what I learnt to my final year classes."
"My experience at Leeds has definitely had a positive effect on my career aspirations and was highly enriching. The education not only covered theory, but also interpersonal and soft skills, which helped to widen my potential career choices. The year in industry complimented this and I was fortunate to secure a role prior to my final exams in May."
Adan was also impressed by Leeds as a city and he managed to find time to play hard as well as work hard over the four years he spent here. As a Kenyan national he found the city and University very supportive, and was impressed by the help he received from the Business School, the International office and the accommodation office.
He says: “The University of Leeds is well known in Kenya, and the proof is in the number of Kenyan students studying there and in the number of people wanting to choose it as their university. The Business School is a top institution whilst the city is modern and accommodating to students. The diverse teaching methods at the University encouraged us to voice our own opinions and hold debates which were very enjoyable. I made many friends and I wish I was working in Leeds now.”
Adan did not have a specific career goal in mind when he first arrived as an undergraduate but he did have a strong desire to succeed: “I focused in order to graduate with a good degree and gain work experience prior to graduating. I did not have an exact job description, company or region to aspire to but I aimed as high as I could. I am grateful of where I am and continue pursuing higher goals.”
"Since graduating I have thankfully undertaken progressive roles across the globe. Aside from my current role I have worked for Rolls Royce in the States, China and the UK. I have also done a double MBA at the National University of Singapore and at UCLA in America.”
“The total four years I was in Leeds was a collectively great experience. I made life–long friends who are now scattered across the globe. I developed both personally and intellectually and I would strongly recommend the Business School to others.”