Taking The Next Leap
After a Degree and some eight years in the industry, Dennis Foo felt it was the right time to enhance his engineering experience with some professional financial knowledge. The University of Nottingham MBA delivered at PSB Academy gave him access to quality education on a schedule that best suited him.
1. You already had a Degree and some solid years of work experience under your belt. What made you decide to further your studies?
It was indeed a tough decision to make as juggling work and family is strenuous enough. Taking up a post-graduate education over a number of years also meant I must have the determination to see it through. Weighing the commitment I must invest versus the benefits, I eventually found that the course at PSB Academy satisfied my requirements. I was particularly drawn to the prospect of meeting different industry experts from various fields in the same class, in an academic environment quite different from a local university.
2. Years after you completed the course, how do you think it has brought you new opportunities and value added to your career and personal development?
I have always believed formal training is only one aspect of my holistic education. Other aspects which are just as important include exposure to successes and failures, experience in and outside of work, networking and industry relationships, etc.
During my course, I enjoyed exchanges of views with fellow students and lecturers from diverse backgrounds, helping me cultivate different perspectives to everyday issues. The opportunities that welcome you once your mind is opened are quite boundless.
3. How do you manage your time when you worked and studied at the same time? Any tips or words of wisdom for current and prospective students?
Admittedly, the prospect of not completing the course weighed heavily on my mind then. The pressure was not so much in being unable to meet course requirements and graduate, but rather the less time I got to spend with my wife and two young children, as whatever time I had was dedicated to my full-time job and my studies.
I would say that perseverance is critical, and so is time management. As I could only afford limited time for every module, coursework and individual / group project work, I timed my schedules with clear, simple and attainable objectives that I stuck to and always delivered. Like someone once said, in order not to procrastinate, the best way to get something done is to begin.
4. Was there anyone who motivated you through the challenges of completing the course?
I thank my parents and my parents-in-law for taking care of their grandchildren while I mugged over my coursework at the library or alone at home. I also thank my classmates who always helped push one other to get our work done when it got challenging.
Most of all, I thank my wife for being understanding and allowing me to go on my “leave of absence” away from the family from time to time. Her constant encouragement made me wondered then that if I had not had that support, would I have made it through?
5. What do you do in your leisure / spare time? How do you strike a balance in your life?
Nowadays, I pursue a more balanced work life. While I enjoy the weekly golf with my kakis, I am still ever aware of the opportunities around me both at work and outside work, and I would grab them if I could. I don’t want to regret at some point in time, not knowing what I had missed out from passing on the opportunity. The notion of knowing you can do so much more for your family and yourself, and also to contribute to society in a general manner, is also a very strong motivation for me to continuously want to get ahead.