The law and martial arts go together in Saiful Nizam Ashari’s life. He worked his way up from the position of legal assistant to running a law firm, Messrs Saiful & Nor, with his wife, Normaizaiah Haji Awang, in Kemaman, Terengganu.
Also strongly passionate about taekwondo, Saiful rose from being a coach and state representative for the Terengganu Taekwondo Federation to becoming its Vice President 1. He and his wife, who is the federation’s Vice President 2, also own a martial arts academy. It offers both taekwondo and muay thai classes, with the help of his other friends who are also martial arts practitioners.
The competitive spirit in Saiful, 41, drove him to take on another challenge – pursuing a Master of Business Administration (MBA) while still keeping up with his many commitments. A packed schedule was never going to keep him from enhancing his qualifications.
So, he enrolled as a learner at the Kuala Terengganu Learning Centre.
“I chose the MBA as it covers business theories and practices which include legal matters. I was quite lucky as most of my lecturers were PhD holders and professors and a lot of them were quite prominent in their respective academic fields.”
The face-to-face interaction with lecturers was complemented with online learning and support, which made studying even more convenient for Saiful.
“I became a better learner than I was before. I also made friends with other experienced professionals among the lecturers and my peers,” he says.
Saiful earned his degree in 2016. His connection to the academic world didn’t end there as he then became a part-time tutor at a few local colleges in Terengganu.
“OUM nurtured me to become an effective educator who understands the needs of my students,” he says.
At present, his days are still full, as he is also learning various martial arts styles including techniques used by the Royal Malaysian Police. In addition, he is involved in various community development programmes which include sports activities.
“Learning should never stop,” Saiful says. “Determination and commitment to learning will eventually lead to success.”
The MBA programme is designed to enhance managerial skills and capability in managing organisations efficiently and effectively. It provides both theoretical and practical knowledge for understanding the main processes and skills that link the management of resources in an organisation. It also provides current organisational best practices which can be applied to attain higher productivity, performance and profits.
If you are interested, you can seek admission via normal or flexible entry. Normal entry requires a bachelor’s degree while flexible entry requires you to be at least 30 years old, possess a diploma/A-Levels/STPM qualification or equivalent and relevant learning or working experience. You will also need to pass the Accreditation of Prior Experiential Learning assessment test.
You can major in marketing, human resource management, entrepreneurship, conventional finance, Islamic finance or project management. Or you can do a general MBA with two elective courses from any specialisation.
Among the subjects you will study are managerial economics, managerial finance, organisation and business management, accounting for business decision making, business law, business research methods, marketing management, human resource management, strategic management and IT for managers.
If a lawyer and martial arts exponent can make room for an MBA, we’re sure anyone else can too.