Why I Chose Strathclyde MBA – James Hayton

Why I Chose Strathclyde MBA
by James Hayton

I chose to pursue an MBA course after arriving to work in K.L. back in 2010, I was keen to maintain my academic standards while enhancing the options for exploring new career paths across SEA.

I considered Strathclyde as having the highest academic credibility available to me in Malaysia. Also, as a working professional the immediate accessibility of the PJ teaching centre relative to my home and work in Bangsar / Damansara respectively ensured that I could absorb the program into my lifestyle.

As a Brit living overseas it was important to study the best course available. Especially from a highly regarded UK institution, so maintaining continuity, indeed academic standards for if I ever choose to work again in the UK.

My longstanding intention has been to grow my career beyond say, a specialist within AEC but rather to use this background with MBA skills, as foundation when operating within the wider real estate industry.

After semester one I moved to Myanmar – frequently travelled back to K.L. to conduct the studies. Then upon completion I leveraged my Final Project research to commence a new role in the real estate industry.

Starting the course

I started MBA after establishing my professional career, at a time when I was taking more senior roles. It was an appropriate time (10 years after graduating) since I was eager to re-engage the brain with academic rigour.

I studied part-time enabling the learning to be absorbed and reflected upon over a longer period. I viewed the studying process as continuous education as oppose to racing to have the status of ‘MBA’ imprinted on a business card.

I chose to specialise with my Final Project, exploring industrial development in Myanmar, since I believed this would open new areas of knowledge yet relates to my background within AEC industry. Furthermore, I see this area as having increasing relevance.

The best bits

Living, working and studying in Myanmar, a hot bed of entrepreneurial activity, meant that I was able to enjoy a far deeper understanding of the country’s development in real time – by meeting people from a broad range of industries. I have been able to interact on a higher level.

I joined Colliers International Myanmar where I have created an Industrial Department that offers research and advisory services, alongside classic transaction activity for the business community looking to invest in this growing Real Estate sub-sector.

My advice

I believe that an MBA has instrumentally enhanced my career path yet I see the competition to grow and succeed as an internal personal one. Today, MBA’s are more common place. I see few business cards with ‘MBA’ on them, yet many times I have had a fascinating conversation with somebody, only to later discover that they have also earned an MBA!

I’m glad I embarked on this qualification because this education empowered my sideways career step from practicing architecture into the business of real estate.

Notably, in anticipation of taking the course I would have benefited from improving on the more numerical skills namely Excel and exploring the latest collaboration software used by more recent graduates, since foundation of my practical skills previously angled towards the architectural, construction, engineering (AEC) sector.

Strathclyde MBA programme introduced me to aspects of business that I had not previously understood in isolation yet through covering such diverse realms the course nurtured my holistic business understanding. When I embarked on my new career path I was immediately able to identify then apply those practical skills to solve the real challenges that our clients presented to us. In summary the MBA elevated my confidence in dealing with all aspects of the business world head-on.

Written by
Name: James Hayton
Age: 39
Qualifications: MBA, University of Strathclyde Business School, 2017
Job title: Industrial Specialist, Real Estate
Employer: Colliers International
Location: Yangon, Myanmar

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