KUALA LUMPUR: The first batch of MBA professionals of the Asia School of Business (ASB) from various countries, including Malaysia, today graduated in a convocation ceremony held at The Majestic Hotel here.
The ceremony which was a joint collaboration between Bank Negara Malaysia and world renowned Massachusetts Institute of Technology Sloan School of Management (MIT Sloan) saw 45 graduates for the Class of 2018.
The batch included 15 from Malaysia with the remainder of the graduates hailing from the United States, India, Pakistan, the Philippines, Russia, Mexico and Africa.
These highly motivated professionals come various backgrounds including banking, manufacturing, aviation, energy, education, technology and even the sports sector.
ASB Board of Governors co-chair Tan Sri Dr Zeti Aziz Akhtar Aziz, said that the emerging economies are now contributing more to global growth which results in cross-border connectivity and interdependence.
She said there is a need now for higher calibre talents who not only have the right knowledge and skills, but also be systems thinkers, problem solvers and principled leaders.
“The ASB aspiration and mission to create leaders who are industry-ready and can respond to the environment and shape it better.
“Equally important in this drive will be the standards and values you uphold. This will be key in ensuring that your endeavours will be sustainable,” Zeti said, addressing the graduates during the ceremony.
ASB president and dean Professor Charles Fine said that it was indeed an exciting day, in the journey that began in 2015.
He congratulated the students who had gone through the rigorous and incredibly challenging programme, as their graduation was a testament to their potential, intellectual ability and personal desire to better themselves.
ASB provides a 20-month programme which is unique as it emphasises an Asian perspective to prepare students for global leadership in their line of work.
Student representative Mohan Ponniah Mahadeva, a Malaysian, spoke about his MBA journey that had been challenging but definitely worthwhile.
“I resigned from an established oil and gas company to join this MBA programme, which was the best decision in my life.
“For me it was a unique experience as I have coursemates who are not only from Malaysia but from other countries as well. The challenge was to learn from them, their cultures and backgrounds.
“After almost 20 months of studies, we understand each other even better and I always think that it wasn’t about the content alone but being able to learn so much from my coursemates.
“We hope we have made ASB proud.”
Mohd Afdhal Mohd Nayan, a project engineer from AirAsia found his course to be life-changing.
“This is a very intense programme, not the typical MBA. I have gained confidence and maturity, and have a deeper understanding about doing business in Asian countries.”
Julio Pecero Mariscurrena, an economist from Mexico appreciates the cultural perspective of the MBA programme.
“I gained a lot learning soft skills that incorporate international cultures. I think differently now, and I think more about the bigger picture,” he said.
MIT Sloan and ASB resident faculty teach the same core curriculum at ASB that is delivered in Cambridge, Massachusetts, US.
Additionally, ASB’s signature MBA curriculum includes Action Learning projects with corporate and institutional partners across Asia, working on a broad range of real business challenges, using tools and frameworks taught in the classroom with the support of mentors, faculty experts and industry leaders.
Also present were Higher Education Minister Datuk Seri Idris Jusoh, ASBM's Board of Director AG Marzunisham Omar, ASB Board of Governors co-chair Professor Richard Schmalensee and MIT Sloan School dean Professor David Schmitlein.