Thursday, 4 February 2016

David Osman Chazungulira, HR and Operations Manager, Victory Christian Children's Home, Malawi


David grew up in an orphanage having lost his parents and brothers early in life so his path has been far from easy.  However, through hard work and determination achieved his ABE HRM Diploma and has built a successful career.

“I am from a family of five.  I have two sisters and two brothers, unfortunately my brothers passed away together with both my parents when I was five and I was taken to an orphanage where I grew up and did all my studies. I did my ABE studies in HRM from 2009 to 2012. Now I am married and have a daughter.

I work at Victory Christian Children’s Home - an orphanage founded by Dr. Charles Trombley in 1993. Its main objective is to provide homes for orphans and morally, spiritually and generally educate them.  I work here as Human Resource and Operations Manager
I particularly enjoy the conflict resolving part of HR, because it broadens knowledge and experience in HRM field

It hasn’t been an easy path to come to this point it took hard-work and determination. I did not do well all at once but I never gave up, I pushed until I got what I needed.


I learnt about ABE qualifications from a friend who was doing Business Administration, I initially I thought I would just try the qualifications but along the way I begun to like my studies more and more. I had no knowledge about the HRM field until I opted for this course and now I can do things that I never dreamt of doing before.

ABE studies are not easy to a lazy person, it takes time studying and determination to accomplish your goal. Study hard and never give up until you get what you strive for - that’s my advice to those starting ABE studies.”

Monday, 1 February 2016

Your guide to choosing optional units

When you start your ABE Level 5 or Level 6 qualification one of the things you will need to think about is which optional units to choose.  If you have gone on to a Bachelors or Masters programme these too may well require you to select from a list of several subject areas.



For some this will be easy but for others making that selection can be difficult and stressful.  It can feel like a big responsibility.  Your choice can help to shape the types of jobs you are most likely to be considered for and therefore the way in which your career could develop.  Your selection may also lead you in a particular direction to future areas of study or higher level qualifications.   For these reasons it is important that you have weighed up all the options and worked out what is right for you.

So, if you are finding selecting optional units a daunting prospect, here are some ideas about how to approach this.

1. Understand your choices. Read the syllabus and learning outcomes of all the optional units don’t just rely on the unit title.  Whilst the title is a reflection of the unit, it won’t necessarily give you a full picture of all aspects and areas of study and, with just a title to go on, it is too easy to make assumptions, so to fully understand your options make sure you really understand the content of each unit.

2. Understand yourself.  Think about the subjects you liked and did well at previously, think about the sort of things you enjoy doing, what you want to learn and the areas where you shine.   If you enjoy your subjects you are likely to do well at them and ultimately this could lead you build a career in a field you love.

3. Think about your ambitions.  If you have a particular ambition or area of work you aspire to, find out what skills and expertise employers in that sector would value most and this may help you narrow down your choices.

4. Identify opportunities. If you don’t yet have a specific career path you want to follow find out what sort of skills would be valued in different roles.  Also find out if employers feel there is a skills shortage or high volume of work opportunities in any of the areas covered by the optional units.  If there are, gaining those skills could be a route to quick success.

5. Talk to your tutor.  Tutors at ABE accredited centres are well placed to give you good advice from a local view point.

For points 3 and 4, a good employment agency should be able to advise.  But talk to several so that you benefit from more than one perspective.  Also keep an eye on local job advertisements.

Finally, remember there is no right or wrong choice - all units will develop your knowledge and add to your professional skill set.  These are just some ideas if you are finding it difficult to narrow things down – we hope you found them helpful and wish you all the best with your choices.

Wednesday, 27 January 2016

Michael Eberechukwu Obasi, CEO / Founder of Embassy Educational Consultancy, UK / Nigeria





Having built a successful business in the UK, Michael has now expanded into Nigeria and also found time to be a published author and motivational speaker.


"I am the last from a family of eight. My family are very passionate about education and this is evident from the way they promote educational activities in Nigeria.

In October 2004, I came to UK to study Business Management and joined ABE in March 2005 as a student member. After joining ABE my life changed for the better.

ABE has helped me to fulfil my dream of obtaining a sound academic career from UK higher education institutions and has also helped me to own my own business which is known as Embassy Educational Consultancy. Presently, I am a motivational speaker, author, entrepreneur, educational consultant with over six years' experience in lecturing in international business, international marketing and management in the UK. I am the author of "Push and Pull Factor Book" which explores marketing strategies used by UK higher education institutions in attracting international students.

After a successful 10 year career in the United Kingdom, I returned to Nigeria in December 2014 where I got married to my beautiful wife Mrs Marvellous Ezinne Obasi. I also decided to benefit from Nigeria’s emerging market by establishing Embassy Educational Consultancy in Nigeria. In addition, I have started a Doctorate Degree programme (PhD) in Business Management with the prestigious Michael Okpara University of Agriculture Umudike, Nigeria.~

I am the founder and Chief Executive Officer of Embassy Educational Consultancy which is one of the leading educational consultancies in the United Kingdom. It was established with the aim of offering academic advice and support to international students presently studying in the UK and those hoping to study abroad. The company is still small but with the aim of growing into a big business. The expansion into Nigeria is aimed at creating awareness with the intention of developing and establishing its branches in vital regions within the country.

The company’s main focus is to educate prospective students about UK higher education institutions, help them complete the institution’s application and ensure that they meet the criteria needed to obtain a UK student visa.  When the student finally arrives in the UK, the company helps to integrate them with UK way of learning. We plan to expand activities to include higher education in the United States, Canada, Australia and Finland.

My role as the founder and CEO of Embassy Educational Consultancy is to oversee the activities of the business by helping it to expand its operations. I am committed to developing it to become a household name across the world. I plan to achieve this by continuously learning new ways of doing things and being dynamic in the way I conduct my activities within an ever changing business environment.

I enjoy the fact that I am able to make a change in society by educating people about a better way of doing things and the right career path to follow. I also enjoy the fact that I am able to provide employment particularly to unemployed young people in Nigeria. My job provides me with the opportunity of practising what I studied in the UK especially the experience and sound education I obtained from ABE.

My career started at South Chelsea College, London, where I sat the ABE exams as a student member. I was highly impressed and motivated by the ABE syllabus. Having worked through the Levels, in the year 2007 I obtained my Advanced Diploma which enabled me to gain admission to the prestigious University of Wales where I graduated with a second class upper (2.1) in Business Management in October 2008.

After my graduation, I lectured briefly at London Academy for Higher Education which is now London Academy Business School. In 2009 I obtained a further Postgraduate Diploma in Strategic Management and then a Master of Business Administration from University of Sunderland. Later in 2013, I obtained a Master of Arts in Marketing and Innovation from Anglia Ruskin University together with an ABP Postgraduate Diploma from London School of Marketing.

Studying with ABE helped me to become the person that I am today. Without ABE, obtaining a degree in the UK would have been very difficult. ABE gave me the right foundation in life in terms of studying business management and owning a business. The advantages of ABE to me are too numerous to mention and I will always remain grateful to ABE for helping me to become a better person and also for the role it played in reshaping my future for the better.

For the present and prospective ABE students, my advice is to take the numerous advantages presented by ABE in building their career. Also take the course very seriously, study very well and attend classes in order to be able to understand the ABE content better. ABE is the best professional body I have ever come across and students should see it as the guaranteed gateway to obtaining UK degrees and qualifications."




Wednesday, 20 January 2016

ABE alumni profile: Mohammad Zahid Hossain, Managing Director, Multitex Group



“I am a young, dynamic and motivated person. 

My father was the President’s Gold Medalist from 1981 Batch of Bangladesh Police and is my idol whom I try to be like in terms of everything he was but I know I am not even close to him. My brother is 4 years younger to me and is currently working for Mitsubishi Dhaka Office. My mom gave up her job to make sure we are raised properly. She has made really a big contribution to whatever I am today.

The name of my company is Multitex Group. We are a trading-based company dealing mainly in garment exports, accessories supply, machine indenting and recently we have started our new business which is related to the supply of hygiene products.

I am the managing director of the group and my role is from start to finish just like any other business owner. It’s an overall supervision of all the processes we go through from order procuring to shipment, from the import of products to delivering to the end customer.  I have a great team who have been working with me for quite some time now and they definitely make my life easier with their hard work.


The element I enjoy most about my work is the sampling part of the garments. Creating something new always fascinates me.

I started in business when I was doing my A’levels. My father had left his job in the police to run a business but was later treated for cancer. Being the elder son, I just had to step in. We used to have a sweater factory back then and I started working there with guidance from my father. After my father left us in September 2004, I took over the responsibility for company which had a huge liability. I had to leave university as I knew that it would be tough to manage the finances. I ran the factory for about five years to eventually get rid of the liability through hard earned income.

Somehow I always felt I would be a better trader than a manufacturer. I decided to sell the factory and started my garment buying house in 2010. Today we have a turnover of around $2-million. Our target is $5 -million by 2017.

As I had to leave my studies, I  always had a desire to at least be able to do some higher qualification when I had the opportunity. Once I found out about ABE, I didn’t think twice. My Diploma has helped me to learn a lot about marketing which is a big part of my business. You know when you do things practically you learn a lot of things but not all.  I have learned how to manage marketing as the best tool for my business.

Today, if I want to do my MBA, this Diploma opens the door for it.

ABE studies can take you to heights if you take it seriously. Don’t just study for a diploma, study to learn.”

Thursday, 14 January 2016

Elijah Ferguist, Service Supervisor, Northwest Ltd, St Lucia

The Diploma I have acquired has improved my resume and made me more marketable.”

Elijah enjoys a responsible role heading a team of twelve where he works to ensure that he delivers a positive customer experience.


“I am from the Babonneau area. I have a beautiful five year old daughter by the name of Elise Lily Ferguist, who I sacrifice all I do to make her life better.

The company I work for is a small company of thirty individuals or families as we like to call it. It has been operational for over 30 years now.  We are a car dealership which represents four brands; Isuzu, Kia, Ford & Mazda.

My position with the company is the Service Supervisor (Head of Department). I am responsible for the largest part of the organisation with twelve team members. In my current capacity the overall objective is to improve customer retention through positive informative, efficient and effective services.

The best part of my job is formulating strategies and then seeing those strategies bear fruit.
I originally started at Courts St Lucia Limited as a Customer Service Representative, and in 2010 I became a Supervisor. I resigned to pursue my career in the automotive sector where I became a Service Advisor with another dealership.  I started with Northwest in July 2015.

Pursuing my studies with ABE gave me the opportunity to add to my practical working knowledge. I intend to finish my studies in the coming year and then pursue a higher education degree. The Diploma I have acquired has improved my resume and made me more marketable.

I would encourage anyone considering pursuing an ABE Diploma to do so.”

Monday, 11 January 2016

Magical Moments in Malawi


Here I am with some of the students at Lilongwe Girl's School and their Deputy Head Mrs Ngozo

On my first visit to Malawi something wonderful happened.  As part of ABE’s Corporate Social Responsibility programme, we donated 150 bags of Maize to schools in Malawi this December.  I was given the honour of presenting the donation to Lilongwe Girls’ School.  I was expecting to meet Dr Abraham Sineta, the Education Division Manager for Central West Division and indeed I did so.  Dr Sineta was very gracious and received the donation on behalf of the schools.

What I was not expecting was that all the young ladies of Lilongwe Girls’ School would give us a joyous welcome by greeting us in united song – a sound so beautiful it resonated around the school like a choir of angels.  It was the most exhilarating feeling to walk through 450 girls singing at the top of their voices. The sound set my pulse racing and I knew I would never forget this moment.

I climbed the steps on the stage and surveyed the scene in front of me.  I saw hundreds of young, eager faces, all waiting for the speakers to enthral them.  They greeted their deputy head mistress Mrs Ngozo in traditional school girl fashion – “Gooood Mor-ning Missus N-gozo’ they chanted in unison.  Mrs Ngozo thanked ABE for the donation and said that it would be helpful in stretching the school’s limited resources.  Then without further ado she introduced me.

I stood up and went towards the front of the stage. Lots of the girls were shushing and hushing their friends so that everyone could hear me.  I took a deep breath and said ‘Hello girls!’  Smiling back at me was a sea of excited faces, their eyes wide open and glistening. “I want to tell you a secret. Malawi is ABE’s favourite place. Do you want to know why?” I asked?

“Yes!” they all cried, laughing and nodding their heads.

“It is because Malawi has the best students in the world,” I said, “And not only do you have the best students in the world, but out of those best students, the girls are doing better than the boys!”
This is a phenomenon we have noticed recently at ABE. Out of our prize winning papers, 2/3rds are submitted by girls.  Clearly we are delighted by the girls’ performance but we want our boys to perform just as well, so we need them to study hard.

“You young ladies have the potential to achieve anything you want,” I told the girls, “all you need to do is work hard, believe in yourselves and know that you deserve to do well. You are the business women of the future and I look forward to seeing you on the world stage when you’re grown up.”

The girls were incredibly kind to me and gave me a fantastic round of applause. Then, I handed over to my colleague Pride Sinkala who talked to them about becoming entrepreneurs.

“Don’t focus on getting a job, “ he said, “Think about creating jobs.”

Pride explained that entrepreneurs can start small.  He gave them a suggestion of par-boiling beans and packaging them in pretty jars, so that time-pressed mothers could produce meals more quickly for their hungry offspring. The girls were really inspired by his speech and many of them gathered around him afterwards for more ideas.

After Pride spoke we heard from Harlod Banda, our representative in Malawi. Harlod discussed the many benefits of studying ABE – namely that our qualifications equip learners with the skills they need to succeed in the workplace. He said he hoped that many of the Lilongwe girls would progress onto ABE qualifications.  Then it was my turn to make the presentation to Dr Sineta. He talked about how important education is, and made the good point that in order to study successfully, young people need to be well fed so they can concentrate properly.

After all the speeches we walked down the steps from the stage and back through the girls.  They were so positive, welcoming, warm and generous with their applause.  What a privilege it was to be among them.  Mrs Ngozo then showed us around the school and introduced us to the staff.  We also met some of the young ladies whose lives were impacted by disability. They were working quietly and diligently on their studies, and were perfectly gracious to us despite our intrusion.

Finally, I had my picture taken with Mrs Ngozo and some of the students. We had a discussion with the head girl about writing a good business case and I told her about the one-page version which my colleague Maria Koukou recommended (shown below).



Visiting the school made me excited about what those young ladies will go on to achieve. I would like to thank them for the warm welcome they gave us and wish them the very best for the future.


By Kate Winter, January 2016





Tuesday, 5 January 2016

Affirmations to make this year your most successful ever!

The start of a new year is a time for reflection when we consider whether we are on the right path to a productive and fulfilling future.  



With this in mind, here are five favourite New Years’ resolutions:

1.  Devote time to professional development


If you are studying with ABE, then you have already invested in your professional development.  But being an ABE member offers the opportunity to do more than obtain a professional qualification - you can access a wealth of resources in the Members Area, including the Emerald academic journal database.  With over 140 respected publications to choose from this provides the opportunity to learn the latest thinking from some of the world’s leading business authorities. 

Spend time taking advantage of these resources and use your ABE membership as an opportunity to become an expert in your field.     This, of course, will also increase your chance of getting a fantastic exam result!

2.  Learn something new every day

Whether or not you are studying, this is a great affirmation to live by.  Consider everything you do and question whether things could be done better; learn what works well and how mistakes can be avoided.  This will hone your ability to understand new situations and make the right choices quickly and decisively.  With this ability you are likely to gain a reputation as a strong leader.

3.  Become a great listener

Learning every day also depends on listening to those around us.  Talk to colleagues and peers, listen to their feedback and try to understand their point of view. Develop the art of being totally focused on what people are saying.  Don’t get distracted by planning your reply or interrupting.  Rather than making their own point, a good listener will ask questions until they have established all the facts and then, if in doubt, check their understanding by summarising what they have heard.
  
If you are in a discussion and find you are doing all the talking, ask someone else to give their opinion and then make a point of keeping quiet for a while allowing others to speak.  If you disagree with someone’s opinion, explain why in a way that makes it clear that you respect their point of view. That way, people are encouraged to share their thoughts and you benefit from hearing their perspective.

4.  Be positive

We all have setbacks, for instance when we don’t get a job promotion or the exam results we had hoped for.  When this happens it's easy to feel defeated.  But remember, to achieve in life you need to retain a positive ‘can-do’ attitude.  For example, if you don’t pass an exam and say; “It’s too hard, I give up”, you will never learn where your knowledge was lacking or get the qualification you wanted.  However, if you remain positive, look at what went wrong with your paper and study hard in the areas that let you down you will be rewarded with success.   Take inspiration from the words of inventor and entrepreneur James Dyson, who overcame many setbacks in his early career; "Enjoy failure and learn from it. You can never learn from success."

5. Enjoy what you do

You time is precious so use it wisely.  Work out what makes you happy and fulfilled and then set your goals based on these values.    A quote from late journalist and television presenter, David Frost, sums this up nicely, “Don’t aim for success if you want it; just do what you love and believe in and it will come naturally.”

Good luck!

Words by ABE Marketing and Communications Manager, Linda Wilkin
Illustration by Marketing Assistant, Michelle Mejia