EBM Graduate 2012-2013
"Every part of the course is relevant for today's business world"
Jou Chean finished her course at WMG in 2013. Just two months after graduating, she began working for Shell on their Future Leaders Programme in Malaysia, where she was managing IT applications in petrol stations across the country. Since then, Jou Chean's career has gone from strength to strength at Shell. Firstly, she moved into a Change and Release Management Advisor role (May 2015), and most recently (Sept 2016) as Customer Operations Manager, where she is responsible for managing the OTC (Offer to Cash) operations for Shell Cards Malaysia.
What were you doing before coming to Warwick?
I had been working for two years as a Diagnostic Tools Development Engineer for Intel Products in Malaysia. Before that, I had studied for a Bachelor of Electronic Engineering, majoring in Telecommunications.
So why did you decide to study for an MSc?
During my time at Intel, I realised that I did not want to develop my career purely as an Engineer. I became more and more interested in management, and I wanted to build the skills and knowledge I would need to move into that area as quickly as possible.
I researched online and discovered WMG’s Engineering Business Management programme. From my experience of industry, I could see that the subjects covered are highly relevant to today’s business. With a technical background though, I knew very little about some of these subjects. After talking to people at WMG, I was sure that I would get full support and wouldn’t be overwhelmed by it all. In addition, the course is for only one year, which was ideal for me.
What were your first impressions of Warwick?
To be honest, I was surprised that it is such a modern campus! It was not how I expected an English university to be at all. I didn’t think that there would be such an international student community either, with a mix of students from so many different countries not just from the UK. As the campus is self-contained, it was like living in a place that was separate from any actual city. It’s a very vibrant and stimulating environment, filled with people who have a passion for learning and discovery.
Did you enjoy your course?
Yes, though it was challenging. Time management is really important. The taught element and lectures for the modules are studied over a one week period, which was intensive and can make for long days. During the Operations Strategy for Industry module, we were working late, beyond office hours. Then you have several weeks to go away and complete a post module assignment.
But it is an extremely effective way to learn, as you have those weeks afterwards to thoroughly absorb the information, research it more fully and explore how it works in practice.
The simulations we carried out as a group were great fun. It’s strange but you are enjoying yourself so much that you don’t realise just how much you are learning. All the time you are discovering how to put the theoretical ideas into practice – and to work well within an international team. During the Strategic Marketing module, we developed a new software product, identified the target audience and worked out how to market it. Then we had feedback on the sales and earnings we delivered. This was a completely new area to me but it was a good experience to work in a team where we all supported each other. I learned so much and it was very exciting.
WMG doesn’t feel like a purely academic institution. It’s more part academia, part industry. Visiting lecturers from businesses help to make everything you learn extremely relevant and WMG works in partnership with a number of leading organisations in the region like Jaguar Land Rover.
Did you get involved in any extra-curricular activities?
I was a Student Ambassador. This involved engaging with potential students, showing them around the campus and answering their questions at open days. It was very rewarding and great to meet so many interesting people. I was also an active member of the Christian Union and led bible study groups. There are a lot of activities available, so it’s easy to find something you enjoy and people you can share your interests with.
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