Executive MBA (Finance) Graduation

At the start of the COVID-19 pandemic I set out to complete several significant projects, one of which was to obtain a graduate degree. I had the choice of business (i.e., MBA) or science (i.e., MSc in Computer Science, Artificial Intelligence, or a related field), but given my gravitation towards venture capital, corporate governance, etc. I opted to do the former first — we’ll see if I ever make it back around to following Evan Prodromou’s lead (and excellent research) in doing the latter!

I’m pleased to share that — having now completed and published my thesis on Sustainable Venture Capital — I recently graduated from S P Jain School of Global Management in Dubai with an Executive MBA (Specialising in Finance) and have just collected my graduation statement and transcript from the school’s Singapore campus.

It’s hard to believe I gave up almost every weekend for 2 years, had many 3am Saturday & Sunday morning starts while in Europe, and submitted to dozens of 3 hour exams, all to secure a single piece of paper, but here it is:

I was also pleasantly surprised on the day to receive 3 of 3 Dean’s List awards (one for each term), especially after a particularly trying third term:

Like my undergraduate program, it’s an Australian (TEQSA) accredited degree issued out of their Sydney campus, and they also have a fourth in Mumbai. An Australian who studied computer science at The University of New South Wales (UNSW) in Sydney, living in Singapore on the new Tech.Pass visa program, running global teams including throughout India (where my paternal grandparents were born, and the reason I hope to one day acquire Overseas Citizenship of India and spend more time there), and having done business in Dubai for years, this was a great fit for me — especially with their opening a Silicon Valley campus soon!

Being the middle of a global pandemic, the closest I got to a physical classroom was after graduation, but that wasn’t an issue because of the school’s award-winning Engaged Learning Online (ELO) platform. This was reminiscent of Harvard Business School Online’s virtual classrooms (built at a nearby TV studio) that I had previously used for classes with Mihir A. Desai and the late, great Clayton Christensen.

Indeed, one of the reasons I transferred over from the Macquarie Global MBA before commencing it was that every single one of the full-day sessions was live rather than pre-recorded, and at a time when we didn’t know how dangerous COVID-19 was (for many, very!) the idea of stepping into a crowded classroom was an absolute non-starter.

It would be remiss for me not to mention the highlight of the program, which was my amazing class from around the world, from Silicon Valley to Singapore. Many of them were able to make it to the graduation ceremony in Dubai (despite ongoing travel restrictions) where we met in person for the first time! My own family were not so fortunate however, with my uncle being the only one to make it as far as Dubai only to be quarantined at his hotel after testing positive on arrival!

To give you a taste of what to expect from the program — do get in touch if you want to know more about it — here’s the classes we completed over 18-months (exactly 2 years for me all up with the thesis):

Term 1

  • Managerial Economics
  • Macroeconomics
  • Business Economics
  • Financial Accounting for Decision Making
  • Financial Statement Analysis
  • Management Accounting
  • Corporate Finance 1
  • Corporate Finance 2
  • Marketing Management 1
  • Marketing Management 2
  • Human Resource Management
  • Personal Effectiveness
  • Operations Management
  • Operations Research
  • Business Statistics
  • Research Methodology
  • Global Immersion Project

Term 2

  • Business Analytics
  • Negotiation and Conflict Resolution Management
  • Business Strategy & Sustainability
  • Strategic Innovation
  • Financial Markets
  • Portfolio Management
  • Corporate Valuation
  • Project Finance
  • Operational Excellence in Manufacturing
  • Strategic Brand Management

Term 3

  • Leading Teams & Organizations
  • Enhancing Stakeholder Value
  • Cost Leadership
  • Customer Value Management
  • Integrative Decision Making
  • Applied Business Research (ABR)