Rasheed Ahmad

Rasheed Ahmad

Why did you choose Leeds University Business School?
I always wanted to do an MBA with a UK university - the mecca of modern education, so I did a lot of research. I read information from the Financial Times and The Economist websites on the past 3-5 year rankings of different business schools. I made a shortlist based on: course content, reputation, fees, facilities, word of mouth etc. I was also given good feedback from alumni of the business school and read internet blogs and websites. All these factors combined, helped me to finalise Leeds as the place to be.

Tell us about your course – why did you choose it? What elements of the course inspired you to choose the Business School/University?
I chose Leeds because of the multicultural environment and team activities which would give real-time exposure to management, decision making and critical thinking. I found the choice of modules and blend of practical and theoretical work particularly fascinating. Also the mix of modules covering different fields like finance, operations, marketing, operations etc, while not being overly focussed on any one area in particular.

What was the best part of your studies here – what did you enjoy the most?
The mix of theory and practical was most interesting because it ensured that there was no 'death by PowerPoint' during lectures and seminars. The models and frameworks taught during the class were applied to real life case studies to understand their implications, which made the theories interesting.

The various events run by the Student Union and its vibrant nature gave a welcome break from studies. I'd recommend for new students to participate in events as much as time permits, to  develop confidence, meet people and understand different cultures.

What were your career aspirations when you arrived? What are your ambitions for the future?
I wanted to be a successful entrepreneur in consulting in one of the big auditing and consulting firms, which I am now doing in London. In 4-5 years from now, I want to be a Project Manager responsible for leading large teams and managing complete projects. In 10-15 years from now, I see myself doing senior management activities like forecasting, market trend analysis and practice leading etc. An MBA thus was a starting point from where I have been able to build the foundations for a long career. It will help in accelerating my career to the heights that I want it to be at.

Longer term I want to join a social body or an ideologically matching political party in my country to make a greater impact on the society I live in. I would utilise all my experience to provide improved governance and create new areas of growth and development.

What is your current role and with which employer? What is your job remit?
My current role is Information Security and Risk Consultant at one of the top consulting firms in London. I am responsible for managing the risk appetite of clients and ensuring compliance to legal and regulatory standards.

What did you learn/experience at the Business School that has helped you in your current role?
One area is stakeholder management and the different approaches that need to be taken for managing stakeholders in different positions within an organisation. Secondly, I also learned about the different parts of business - their role and integration with each other in order to keep the engine of a company running.

What advice do you have for current students or alumni wishing to pursue a similar career?
It’s important to keep up to date with the latest and most current happenings in their field and be sharp and innovative. I would also advise that everyone should look at different case studies as much as possible.

And on a more psychological note, I would say never to lose hope no matter what happens (from my personal experience post MBA). Try to improve every day and then fight back until you get what you want.

Do you think your experience and skills gained here will help you in your future career plans? In what way?
Given my previous work experience, a lot of things in the MBA were new to me but I was able to excel in them which has given me the confidence to do new things in life. All the skills of professionalism, time management, project management, consulting, decision making etc that I learned during the MBA are now weapons in my armour to fight challenging situations.

If you are not from the UK, how was the transition to a foreign country? For example did you struggle with language, English customs and behaviours, sorting out bank accounts etc? Was there any help available for any difficulties you may have encountered?
It was a different environment for me in the beginning but I was able to settle in pretty well. The induction and welcome events held at the University of Leeds were very helpful in sorting out things like accommodation, bank accounts etc.

What was your impression/experience of the facilities, the staff, your peers, the student union, the City of Leeds and the region itself?
The facilities were just excellent. The 24 hour computer cluster facility gave me freedom to study at my convenience. The lecture theatres werehigh tech with modern equipment. Leeds is a vibrant and young city with a large student population. It was not hard to find people from my own country as well as all sorts of nationalities. I love travelling, and visited most of the famous cities in the UK like London, Manchester, Edinburgh etc as Leeds is very well connected.

What would you say is your defining memory of studying here? (eg friendships made, confidence in your abilities, or any single event that you will always remember?)
There are several noteworthy memories from the MBA but without going into details I would say I made some very good friends from different corners of the world. I developed confidence in my abilities through rational thinking, patience and reflection.

Would you recommend the Business School to others?
I would recommend Leeds University Business school to anyone who asks for my recommendation.