Catch up with class of 2019 MBA Finance and Sustainability graduate Mary Samuel to find out how her course has helped her career.
What course did you study?
MBA Finance and Sustainability
Year of graduation?
Where are you from originally?
Are you the first in your family to attend university?
I am a young and ambitious girl from a small town called Kitui in Kenya, who always wanted to make a difference and I am happy that I did so by being the first in my family lineage to graduate from a prestigious global university and also the first in my lineage to have the opportunity of working outside Kenya. I am happy that I am a good example to the ones that follow me and an inspiration to many and my dream is to influence and also help my family members to be greater than they ever imagined.
Why University of Cumbria, what attracted you?
I was attracted to the MBA Finance and Sustainability course because of the content and also the flexibility of studying online. My job required me to travel often and it was hard for me to attend a class, online studying fit in perfectly with my schedule.
What did you study at UG level?
For my undergraduate degree, I studied Bachelors of Commerce (Finance) from Strathmore University in Kenya and also Certified Public Accountant (CPA) from the same university, assessed by Kenya Accountants and Secretaries National Examinations Board (KASNEB). After successful completion, I was certified as a Certified Public Accountant of Kenya (CPAK).
Why did you choose your particular course?
I chose MBA Finance and Sustainability because of the course content. It had a good blend of management, leadership, ethics, finance and sustainability aspects and I believed I would gain rich knowledge from each unit offered. I was attracted mostly by the sustainability aspects of the course and I was intrigued to learn about financial sustainability and how to establish this in organisations, especially non-profit organisations.
What is the most important thing you learnt as a result of your course?
I learnt so many things but what stood out the most for me is financial sustainability, ethics and responsibility as well as the use of environmental, social and governance practices as this was new knowledge for me and it really interested me.
Did you make any lifelong friendships at university?
Yes, I have made great friends from the university especially from the residential class.
RSRTF Finance Coordinator
What were your career ambitions when you started studying and do you think that you have achieved them?
My career ambition is to work with World Bank as a YPP (Young Professionals Programme) and having now completed my masters, I am waiting for the next YPP to apply for it. I also wanted to work for a humanitarian organisation in the headquarters level and help in making strategic decisions (especially on sustainable finance) that will then trickle down to all other field offices. I am still working on this and actively looking for such an opportunity.
Would you be where you are today, without your degree?
I believe I got this current job because of my degree. I am four months into my current job and I got selected because I had completed my masters and I was awaiting my graduation, of course in addition to my professional experience.
Has it changed your life and shaped your career?
Yes it has opened me up to an expatriate career in South Sudan, which is changing my life immensely.
What is the most satisfying aspect of your job?
The most satisfying aspect of my job is seeing the impact and change it brings to the community. I work with a non-governmental organisation that serves the most vulnerable and it is always a great satisfaction seeing the good impact stories from the community and the positive change we bring in.
What are you most proud of?
I am proud of the person I am becoming day by day and the ability to follow my dream and also living my life in a way that glorifies God. I am also proud of the milestones I have crossed and the ones I will cross in the future that I am tirelessly working towards.
Why should prospective students choose University of Cumbria?
They should choose University of Cumbria because it is tailored to meet their needs and every unit taught has impact and relevance in today's society. It has the flexibility one needs and the lectures are very resourceful.
What is your advice to current and prospective students considering a career similar to yours?
My advice is that everything in life is at the reach of those who work towards it without excuses, doubt or laziness. You can be where you want in your career by simply working tirelessly towards it and not making any excuses.
Sum up your thoughts about studying at University of Cumbria in one line:
Studying at University of Cumbria was educative, enlightening, adventurous and impacted my life immensely.
Anything else you want to add?
I look forward to studying my Phd with University of Cumbria too.
If you would like to submit your alumni profile for inclusion in our next newsletter, you can find the form here.