When we spoke to him, Sam Khazanchi was working in BT Openreach's Operations Management Team and was just a few weeks from finishing the part-time Executive MBA at Norwich Business School. Before his started the course at UEA, two years earlier, Sam confessed to being a little uncertain about his progression in the company and the future of the career –
‘I felt I was getting overtaken by people with more experience and qualifications, and it was as if I was setting a glass ceiling for myself. But since I started the part-time MBA course, new opportunities have opened up for me at work and I have changed my outlook completely. I have much more confidence in my work now – I really feel I know what I am talking about and that I am good at what I do! I can see that the course has raised other people's confidence levels in me as well – recently my boss gave me an internal consultancy project to lead on.'
‘When I came to choose from the Masters level courses which would help boost my career I looked at a few options and asked around amongst friends and colleagues. Everyone gave UEA a positive representation, but what really sold it to me was the MBA brochure and the testimonials on the website from past NBS students. When I read the things people had written about how their MBAs had helped them ‘raise their confidence levels' and ‘break into senior management', I felt I could have written those comments myself! Suddenly I knew the Executive MBA was going to tick all the boxes for me – it was exactly what I was looking for.'
‘Now I've nearly completed the 27 month part-time course, I can look back and go even further – I'd say this is the greatest thing I've ever done!'
‘Once the programme was underway, I began to feel more confident about the course and my own abilities. I started to feel I had definitely done the right thing because the lecturers were very good at getting the best out of you. It was when I nearing the end of my first consultancy though that I found it the most telling. I realised just how much I had learned and how much I was using the MBA in my job. My boss will occasionally say that they have learnt something from me and the fact that I have been given the internal consultancy project is very encouraging.'
‘Another good thing about the consultancy projects is that you get to learn how to interact better with people in business. In part of the programme you get the chance to take on a week-long consultancy project in Prague. Throughout the consultancy projects, you are constantly learning from the other students as well as condensing your ideas to convince others with your own structured arguments. There is a reflective process to complete at the end of the consultancies and these were useful at validating my views. The consultancies have given me a lot of strength and the confidence to know that I can be a CEO or run my own business one day.'
‘When I started the Executive MBA there were times when I wasn't sure if I had done the right thing. The work was really challenging and I hadn't fully realised how involved it would be – how much pressure it would put on your time and your family life. Now that I am nearly finished, to anyone with a family considering doing this, I would say – make sure you have their support, and if you do, go for it!'