Country of origin: Malaysia
Workforce Development Regional Service Manager, Micron Technology (Singapore)
Malaysian-born Wai Leong Mook did his engineering degree in the US, joined the US firm Micron Technology in 2002, then moved with them to Singapore. When researching where to do an MBA, he deliberately selected a UK programme as he wanted to try something new.
His rationale for doing an MBA was to broaden his professional expertise and knowledge, and, not surprisingly, to extend his career opportunities.
"As a principal engineer, the nature of my work is essentially engineering-based and technical. I wanted to know more about business side of the operation – the management, finance and economics. My goal is to move up gradually through the management path, and this global programme will help prepare me for future opportunities as they come along.
“The Lancaster Executive MBA is definitely a little different from any other programme I’ve been on, or from others I’ve heard about from friends doing MBAs at other schools. It’s not so task-intensive – and the way the modules are organised, it gives you a very fresh and different view of learning. That’s one thing I hadn’t expected: how different learning could be, just by changing the way the courses are structured and also how you are being evaluated as students.
“Doing assignments, rather than purely tests and exams, meant that we got to focus on reading, analysing and critically taking on a subject and working on it. I think more about what I’m learning than I did before.
“Most of the assignment topics were based on what I was doing at work. So in terms of management aspects or economics, I started to look at the business side of my work. Looking at my own organisation gave me a broader view of what I was currently working on. That helped me a lot in approaching my work and understanding it from a different perspective.
“Doing one module at a time is very different from doing two or three modules in a single semester. It gives you more time to learn to think about subjects – freedom to study subjects that interest you more, rather than going through three or four months on multiple courses.
"What I most enjoyed was learning new stuff. But besides the academic work, it was great meeting the students in the class, working with them and sharing ideas. They came from different backgrounds and were very interesting, as they had different ideas. People were pretty outspoken. They didn’t shy away from giving their own opinions – and the EMBA encourages that – so that kept it pretty exciting!”