Thursday, 7 May 2015

Shrenik Shah - Royal Holloway MBA alumni profile

Why did you decide to study for an MBA and why did you choose Royal Holloway?

I started my career with an accounting role, with few years of experience and with the achievement of CIMA (Chartered Institute of Management Accountant) qualification I moved to a Management Accountant role. After completion of my CIMA qualification I was given bigger projects and responsibility, however I always desired to play front end roles in the company, by being an accountant most of my role was back end; preparation of budgets, management reports, preparing quotation and so on. This made me think of adding MBA into my career profile that will help me play key roles in the company.

When I decided to do an MBA I choose to do it in UK as I was familiar with the UK education system and college/universities because I have studied my CIMA qualification in London. While searching for good universities I came across Royal Holloway. I was quite attracted to Royal Holloway (RHUL) due its history, it’s ranking amongst other UK colleges, lecturers, cultural diversification, AMBA accreditation and of course campus. I started contacting some of alumni to take their review. Alumni assured me about the quality of education at Royal Holloway and it was cost effective compared to other colleges. These were some of the key reasons why I choose to apply at RHUL and was selected for MBA 2014 programme.

How did the MBA prepare you for the next step in your career ?

I managed to upgrade some of my skills from MBA studies and it helped me to apply to the jobs I wish to work. The MBA helped me to feel confident with skills I needed to reach to a career stage I desired. MBA helped me to learn more about global management and globalisation. RHUL MBA has kept all of us engaged through out the year with constant networking with professionals, corporate visits, international tour, projects and presentations which pushed me to constantly think about new ideas and helped me grow my analytical, presentation, creative, industrial and many other critical skills. I was very pleased with the complete structure of MBA at RHUL as it pushed me to think and perform activities out of my comfort zone. I think the MBA has broadened my horizon, my CIMA qualification grown my core management accounting skills and MBA helped to learn other business management skills. 

How did you find out about your current job ?

It was a long, stressful, at times disappointing and quite challenging task. Although UK market looks very promising and there are thousands of job available in market for all kind of qualified professional but companies have been very sceptical in recruiting overseas people. I prepared a list of companies I wish to work and applied to all those companies. I was delighted with the initial response I received, many calls for telephone and web interview however moment they come to know that I am overseas student and would required sponsorship to work they step back. I gave several telephone and web interviews to many of fortune 100 companies. I have attended assessment centre and was selected for final round of assessment but due to Visa issue I was not offered a permanent or even contractual position.

After this disappointment I started applying to medium size companies and because I have my own small accounting practice in India I applied to few chartered accounting firm and that’s when I received call from this company Atkins & Partners. They took my telephone interview and called me for a face-to-face interview that ultimately went really good and was a success. 

What steps did you have to go through to get the job and to secure your sponsorship ?

After two rounds of interview I was offered a temporary contractual position. I was assigned three different projects to complete and produce result within assigned timeline to prove my capabilities and skills. I manage to complete these projects on time, not only this projects but I also streamline their other projects. These proved my knowledge and skills and I managed to make my space in this company. After successful completion of this task the partner of the company became very keen to keep me with the company as they have several clients whose businesses have a presence in several countries including UK and India. He wanted to manage his global client and I was delighted to do this as I can use my skills and expertise and learn more about global businesses. 

What advice would you give to international MBA students who want to stay and work in the UK ?

Do not wait until last moment, plan and start early keep variety of options. I feel its quite challenging to secure place with any company as there is huge competition and companies are not very open with hiring international students however, its not absolutely impossible. Do not restrict with applying only to companies directly or applying through agent. It’s worth trying other options like making application on LinkedIn, networking with people working in the company, connecting to alumni and using their experience and making most of any other source of networking. Use career advisor available in RHUL, I have taken advice from Emma Baker and she was really helpful in showing me some step to communicate with alumni. I manage to make some friend with alumni and they guided me and share their experience.

Our thanks to Shrenik for sharing his experience.