Mujtaba Sevany is an account manager for commercial finance at Ritchie Bros, the world’s largest industrial auctioneer headquartered in Vancouver, Canada.
He enrolled in the MBA at the Sauder School of Business at UBC in 2013 and graduated this year. He specialized in Product and Service Management, one of the career tracks offered in the UBC MBA.
Before business school, Mujtaba worked as a consultant at Decase Chemicals, an importer and exporter of chemicals, which is based in Kenya. He first joined the company in 2009 as a sales and marketing manager.
During his MBA, Mujtaba worked an internship at the Association of Women in Finance as a marketing strategy consultant. Long term, he hopes to work in a marketing management role, leveraging the capabilities of digital and analytics.
Why did you decide to begin an MBA?
Having been based in Kenya in a sales and marketing management role, I believed I had reached the highest point I could in that career path. I had decided it was time to take the next step in my career and, naturally for me, that was to pursue an MBA, as it had always been on the cards to complete a master’s program.
I decided to apply to UBC Sauder due to its reputation, and the doors that it would open up in future.
How would you describe your experience so far at UBC?
My experience at UBC has been a mixed bag. On one hand it has been a tough experience - intense and stressful. Loaded with information and constant pressure, the MBA has been a challenging program that pushed me to my limits.
But it was one of the most fulfilling and life-changing experiences I have had. I’ve learnt valuable lessons from great professors and mentors, and made lifelong friends.
What are the key benefits of being based in Vancouver?
Vancouver is a beautiful city full of outgoing and friendly people. It is a hub, isolated but still connected to the business world. Whether you are looking for work at leading financial institutions, or in start-ups, Vancouver has what you are looking for.
Social and business networking events are plentiful, and the potential for growth, both personal and professional, is tangible.
Vancouver is also a tossed salad of different cultures, so no matter how far you are away from home, you do still feel at home.
What has been the highlight of the Product and Service Management curriculum?
The PSM curriculum at UBC was loaded with great courses, professors and events.
But the highlight of this track was our Global Immersion Program, whereby the class had a choice to go to three locations for three weeks - India, China or Denmark. I chose India, and we got to work with real businesses, charities and hospitals to improve their business processes. This experience allowed us to test our knowledge in the real world, and we were fully immersed in the wonderful culture of India.
You've worked across marketing. How were you able to utilize new digital tools like analytics in your career?
Decisions need to be made in marketing, and the more data you have, the “easier” the decisions become. Analytics has made collecting and analysing this data a lot more convenient, whether it be comparing the effectiveness of two different marketing campaigns, or determining what audience to target your messages and campaigns toward.
What are your future career plans?
I am currently in a career that I am thoroughly enjoying, which has a lot of growth potential. I do see myself in a management role, hopefully in a position with more of a marketing focus, in the years to come. I am, however, taking every day as it comes and am soaking up the experience.
What advice do you have for people who are applying to business school?
Do your research, and look for a school that has curricula suited for your intended career path. You should understand why you want to go to business school and what you will get out of it.
Do your research on the city you intend to move to — it does play a big role in your future career.
Lastly, get ready for an intense program, a great social life and a great set of new friends.