Case study

MBA graduate — Mohamed Gabril Elshrief

Mohamed graduated with an online MBA from Edinburgh Business School and now works in the pharmaceuticals industry

Why did you study for an MBA?

After completing a Bachelors degree in pharmaceutical science at the University of Tanta in Egypt, I've been working in sales, marketing and development for the pharmaceuticals industry. This sector is huge in terms of business opportunities, value for money and its macroeconomic impact.

My employer provided training, so I went on a number of related pharmaceutical courses. I also conducted several lectures including presenting to the Egyptian Pharmacists Syndicate in Cairo. I'm still planning to further my contribution to the sector and share my experience again in future.

At this stage, I believed that an MBA would add value to my existing knowledge and skills. The fantastic reputation of Edinburgh Business School and the challenging programme is what attracted me to this university.

How did you fund your postgraduate study?

I was mainly counting on my monthly pay from my employer. It was difficult, but it was worth every pound I spent on gaining the qualification.

How did you balance work and study?

I had a full-time job as a pharmacist/professional medical representative, but managed my time properly by skipping some social gatherings and events. I utilised every minute that I had to focus on studying. As I was travelling on a regular basis, I had to make time to study in the airports and on the planes. This was ideal, as I had no distractions.

What did you enjoy most about the course?

My favourite units were economics, accounting and finance. I was able to gain excellent understanding of the financial and economic aspects of business. I presented some lectures in my role as a medical representative about some of the most widely used terminology in our industry.

What were the most challenging aspects?

Postgraduate life is very different to that as an undergraduate student, while I had to learn new subjects such as economics, accounting and finance. However, these subjects are now the ones I enjoy the most, as they helped to improve my skills in both my personal and professional life.

Balancing work with family and having to keep any social commitments to a minimum were the most difficult things I had to manage during my studies.

How has the MBA benefited your career?

My MBA has had a great impact on both my personal and professional life.

The programme at Edinburgh Business School is geared towards widening the scope of the students' knowledge and this has certainly been the case with my learning.

As a pharmacist, I had no previous experience of the financial world, but by completing my MBA I gained an insight into this unknown world I'd never have known about if I hadn't undertaken this qualification.

What are your ambitions for the future?

I worked hard to improve my skills and knowledge and aim to continue applying it to both my personal life and career. I work hard in helping other students to succeed, as well as positively contributing to society.

What tips would you give to others on pursuing postgraduate study?

Never give up on learning and developing yourself. An MBA is not an easy task, but once you decide to start it, you're no longer a student; you're a real fighter and challenger.

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