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Publication of research paper a career highlight for MBA alumna

Arshia Narula

I chose Brunel because of their focus on developing professionals who are fit for purpose in the challenging business scenario today. The successful alumni base of Brunel is a testament to how the institution has produced not just managers but people who are the leaders in their respective fields.

Arshia, Alumni, Postgraduate

Team Lead, NSW Electoral Commission

Business Administration MBA - 2013

From India

Which country do you currently live in?

Australia

Tell us about your educational and/or career journey since you graduated from Brunel?

Life after Brunel has been a rollercoaster ride, there have been many professional highs and many adrenaline-filled twists and turns. I have worked with global IT services giants in India and then decided to change bases to Australia - now after over a decade of experience in leading projects and teams in the private sector I am trying to explore the public sector world. So, in one line I can sum it up as ‘so far so good.’

What does a typical day at work involve for you?

In my current role as the Team Lead at NSW Electoral Commission, my usual day starts with a team stand-up that often uncovers the challenges and road blocks that my team is facing to get their jobs done. That then sets up my firefighting agenda for the day. The second half is spent in usually a slightly medium to longer term planning of where we are heading which means a lot of meetings with various stakeholders. Depending on where we are at with the project delivery cycle, the firefighting and strategy part of the day grows and shrinks accordingly.

What’s been the highlight of your career journey so far?

Although there have been many interesting and impactful projects that I have done in my career so far, the biggest highlight of my career is my research paper on Location Determinants of Foreign Direct Investment: An Empirical Study of sub-Saharan African Countries. Working on the paper was such an enlightening experience and when it was published and widely appreciated, it was just cherry on top of the cake.

How would you say your Brunel experience has helped you to get where you are today?

Brunel is a world-renowned institute with faculty and research opportunities that rival the best in the world. I chose Brunel because of their focus on developing professionals who are fit for purpose in the challenging business scenario today. The focus of the education is not on just teaching you classic cases, they use those classic cases and add a lens of today's context on those and make them even more relevant.

Why did you choose to study at Brunel and why would you recommend Brunel to others?

The successful alumni base of Brunel is a testament to how the institution has produced not just managers but people who are the leaders in their respective fields.

What is your best memory of studying here?

The best moments were the practical sessions after the theory class. I loved the way we brainstormed together in groups and presented our ideas on the numerous case studies throughout the curriculum.

If you could give one piece of advice to current Brunel students, what would that be?

I think if I could give one piece of advice to the current student group, it will just be to " keep exploring". As a student, you have the luxury of both time and resources on your side, use this well and find out more about your field, more about the challenges and then lastly and most importantly more about what interests you, what gives you joy as a professional. This exploration will form a solid bedrock for the next few decades of your career. Enjoy the time at Brunel!

What would be your top tip or key advice for new graduates as they begin their career journey after leaving Brunel?

My advice to the recently graduated students will be to weigh the choices that they have wisely. Often, we think that more money or a fancier title will give us the happiness that we are after. But I think the last 10 years of my experience have taught me that the happiness that I get from challenging and impactful work outweighs the title and the pay (after a threshold, obviously). So, if there is an opportunity to make an impact, grab it with both hands. Always remember each of you will now make a brand of yourself, so be conscious of how you treat people, especially those who haven't had the good fortune to get a world class education like yourself or who aren't as privileged as you in any sense.

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