MBE Student 2016-2017
What were you doing before you came to WMG?
I had studied for a Bachelor of Pharmacy and went on to gain my professional pharmacist qualification in Indonesia. One of my internships was at Pfizer’s Operational Excellence Production Department where I learned about Lean Six Sigma and how it can be used to drive improved business processes. I became really interested in this area and found the continuous improvement philosophy and the concept of ‘excellence’ fascinating.
Why did you decide to study for an MSc?
I wanted to bring my interest in business improvement and my pharmaceutical background together to help me launch a career in the pharma industry. But first, I needed to turn that interest into knowledge. It was also a dream of mine to study in the UK so I searched for courses, though I found that many were focused of the technical aspects of pharmaceuticals, which isn’t what I wanted. When I looked into WMG’s Management for Business Excellence MSc, I found that it combines leadership, business management, technology and process development, with a strong emphasis on Six Sigma – and I could do it all in just one year. It was perfect for me.
Was the course what you expected?
It wasn’t what I expected at all. I knew that each module began with an intensive learning week and I thought that would be all lectures. Instead, there were lots of simulations and opportunities for group work. Rather than just sitting, listening and memorising information, these helped me to understand how to use the tools in real situations,. It’s so much more powerful and effective to learn this way. For example, when we used Six Sigma to improve processes in a simulation of a real industry situation, I understood how to bring the methodologies together to create a working solution. You can’t really gain that understanding unless you actually do it.
Did you find the programme challenging?
Yes, but in a very good way. In the simulations we all had the chance to be the team leader. I had never done that before so this was very new and definitely challenging! Through that experience, I found myself looking at and questioning my own attitude and behaviour. It changed the way I think and my whole perspective. That’s actually true of the entire course. I gained a much broader understanding of myself and of how business works – and I couldn’t have gained that by simply reading books or listening to lectures. You have to experience it.
What is you dissertation subject?
I am bringing all of my knowledge together to explore how pharmaceutical companies in Indonesia can implement Lean Six Sigma to drive improvement. I have interviewed people in a number of businesses and they all say that yes, they know that they need to improve to increase their competitiveness. There are lots of barriers and challenges to overcome though, and I’m looking into ways to help them overcome those barriers.
What will you do when you finish your course?
I will be going back to Indonesia and applying for jobs with global pharma companies. I do feel confident and I know that what I have learned at WMG will help me a lot in the future. I don’t just mean the formal learning either. I have developed so many skills that are highly valued by employers, like teamworking, leadership and the ability to think critically. The first time I gave a presentation I was very nervous, as I had never presented in English before. It went well though and I gained more and more confidence as I worked through the course. It was an amazing year that I will never forget.