Name: Sayida Bano
Course being pursued: MBA with specialisation in international business from University Institute of Applied Management Sciences, Panjab University.
Current occupation: Assistant manager (CRM and Business Promotion) at Little Bee Impex, Doraha, Ludhiana
Previous qualification: BCom honours from Goswami Ganesh Dutta Sanatan Dharam (GGDSD) College, Chandigarh
Age: 24 years
Why did you go for open learning?
I joined Little Bee Impex as an export executive in the international marketing department in May 2007. The company is the largest exporter of honey and allied products from India and has a presence in 48 countries. During the first few years, I realised that I should also enrol in a related MBA programme to enhance my skills from a recognised institute. I was fortunate because Panjab University started offering MBA off campus right then. The distance learning programme being offered by the University Institute of Applied Management Studies, Panjab University, proved the best bet for me as I could continue my studies simultaneously and I also had one year of practical management experience. I found the admission process was very fair because aspirants were asked to take entrance tests to qualify for admission. Also, the curriculum offered by the varsity is very refined. And most of all, it is a degree course and not a diploma.
How was your experience?
I had been staying in Ludhiana before I took admission in this programme. I hail from a place called Maheshpur, near Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh. After completing my BCOM from GGDSD College, Chandigarh, I came to Doraha, Ludhiana, to join Little Bee Impex. The experience of pursuing the course was amazing as it made my concepts clearer and enabled me to apply whatever I had learnt during the programme into my workplace. Also my practical work experience was very handy in cracking the course as theory was easily comprehendible and I could quote practical experience in the papers. In each semester, we were to submit assignments of each subject, which was also a good learning experience. I was one of the toppers of the University School of Open Learning and stood first in international business with 72% marks.
How was the study material, and teachers?
The study material was very comprehensive. The fact that you have to study on your own and improvise proved an advantage for me. We had extra classes delivered by experienced faculties in the weekends so that the working executive can attend the same without disturbing their work schedule.
Did you face any challenges in studying on your own?
Not many. We could interact with teachers on campus as and when we wanted and address our queries.
How did you manage your studies with your job and family responsibility?
Managing studies with my job was a plus for me. Studying and working at the same time was my biggest advantage.
My job is very involving and I have engaging family responsibilities along with this. But I try to strike a balance. Since my conceptual grasp of management from Class 12 was excellent, it did not take many efforts. Managing studies with my job was a plus for me. Studying and working at the same time was my biggest advantage.
How did the course help you?
I have grown a lot in the last four years in my job profile. From an export executive, I'm now an assistant manager and even handle customer relationship management and business promotion for my company. I directly report to the CMD and CEO of my firm.
I take care of both the bulk and packed honey’s export business. Besides this, I am involved in organising international and national exhibitions. My CTC has also gone up to four times in as many years.
Any wish list for the authorities to improve/change anything in the open learning system?
. Project based assignments can be included.
. They can also give the students the chance for undergoing industrial training.
. Placement cells for off-campus students should also be arranged.
Interviewed by Gauri Kohli