The Global Path of a CA from Dubai to Sydney: Shakira Kungda Shaikh’s Transcontinental EMBA Journey

CA Shakira Kungda Shaikh embarked on her Executive MBA journey in 2021 while working as a Financial Controller in Dubai. Seeking a comprehensive understanding of business operations, she joined the program to bridge the gap between her financial expertise and other departments’ language for achieving company goals.

During her studies, Shakira made an intercontinental move from Dubai to Sydney. Remarkably, within just 20 days of landing in Australia, she secured a coveted position as a Commercial Finance Analyst at BSA Ltd and credited her knowledge gained through her EMBA in cracking the interviews and securing this opportunity.

How did EMBA help Shakira manage to continue her education seamlessly after her intercontinental shift from Dubai to Sydney? Did she face any challenges? Let’s find out.

How did you know this was the right time for you to do an MBA?

I always wanted to pursue an MBA. So, while working as a Financial Controller in Dubai and doing justice to the finance aspect, I realised the vital importance of understanding and speaking the language of all other departments for the smooth functioning of a business and to deliver company goals. That is when I knew that an MBA is the way forward. It educates and entails all the divisions of an organisation and equips individuals with the skills to lead it with utmost efficiency and efficacy.

How did you discover SP Jain’s EMBA, and why did you choose this program?

I aspired to achieve an international degree, which imparts global education and focuses on the international market. In addition, being a working professional, I wanted flexibility in my academic pursuits. So, after extensive research in Dubai, I concluded that the SP Jain School of Global Management is an answer to all my questions. I attended classes while in Dubai and could continue my educational journey uninterrupted upon moving to Sydney, and finally, now our graduation will take place in Singapore!

What has it been like studying with peers from diverse backgrounds?

It really helps to study with peers who don’t only come from diverse backgrounds like engineering, operations, marketing, sales, IT, etc., but also different industries like Oil & Gas, Insurance, FMCG, Construction, Water Treatment, Telco, etc. It brings remarkable depth and variety to our discussions and insights on solving business problems. Each individual brings a different experience and viewpoint, which acts as an eye-opener. Ultimately, we can learn abundantly from the mind-boggling exchange of views and experiences during classroom discussions.

What personal and professional improvements have you seen in yourself over the last 18 months in the program?

I have sharpened my leadership skills and made decisions based on facts rather than opinions. I now measure everything I want to achieve, be it within my department or beyond. During corporate meetings, I consistently ask the right questions and have become adept at time management. Effectively communicating with peers from diverse divisions, particularly in Marketing and Sales, has become seamless for me. And, the best among everything – I can now read, analyse, and comprehend the global market dynamics, its effects and the impact of government decisions.

You recently moved to a role in a new continent. How did SP Jain’s EMBA help you make this transition?

I recently moved to Sydney from Dubai, and it has been a life-altering experience. The Executive MBA Degree from SP Jain is TEQSA-approved and recognised across Australia. And the knowledge I gained from the course played a pivotal role in cracking the interviews and securing a job offer within 20 days of landing in Australia. Moreover, as I could network with fellow students and faculty members based in Sydney, it made my transition smoother.

How are you managing your EMBA studies through this transition?

It’s amazing how smooth the transition was – I packed my laptop in Dubai, opened it in Sydney, and was instantly in the class! It has all been possible due to SP Jain’s ground-breaking ELO (Engaged Learning Online) technology. In today’s VUCA world, such technologies are not only a saviour, but a way forward as well. It shows how SP Jain is ahead of its time, and that is how business leaders should be.

What would you advise working professionals keen to start their EMBA journey to make the best of their experience?

My advice for future students would be to embrace the program, stay engaged, and always be hungry for more. The more you interact with your peers and faculty, the deeper you will experience and immerse yourself in the life-changing education this transformative program brings. 

How does an EMBA help you progress in your career? Read our graduates’ stories here.

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