Kulsum Nasser, Tanzania - Top Paper Award in Entrepreneurship and Business Development, studied at Financial Training Centre

kulsum nasserFTCI am a recent ABE Level 6 Graduate from Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. I currently work at a corporate finance firm called FTC Consultants Ltd as a financial associate. I mainly assist in accounting, secretarial and admin based tasks.

I opted to study ABE mainly because of how fast paced, yet flexible it is. I completed my qualification in two and a half years from Level 4 all the way to level 6, and I am gaining many exemptions to prestigious degree courses. I was able to select modules that fit my own preference, and completed the course in accordance to my personal, academic and career-based aspirations. The modules offered by ABE have good technical and practical coverage, which is exactly what I wanted as a student.   

Financial Training Centre (FTC) was the home to my ABE journey, and it was an amazing experience. Alongside having the advantages of studying locally and at an affordable price, the quality of education I received matched international standards based on the approaches my lecturers used. My lecturers were caring and helpful, and the classroom discussions were always enlightening.   I attribute a large part of my success to the admin and my teachers who were always there for me, as were my family. I dedicate this achievement to my late grandfather, who was my greatest inspiration and support.

I think the best part about ABE is that it’s always evolving to provide better and more relevant qualifications to students. The public acknowledges that ABE graduates offer a great value proposition to potential employers, because of the wide range of competences and knowledge they acquire during their studies.  I am currently applying to universities that will allow me to obtain my Bachelors degree (Hons) in Business Management. I then plan to pursue a Masters degree in Entrepreneurship shortly after.

I am mostly appreciative to how students can make their studying experiences as flexible as they want. I took extra modules because I desired more in-depth information on certain subjects, and paired the papers I took in such a way that allowed my studying to become a quicker, effective and a more enjoyable learning experience.

I’ve derived so many useful and practical skills from my ABE course that cover all areas of work.  The main thing I’ve learnt is to appreciate that diversity, in all its aspects, should be welcomed and, in fact, encouraged.  Everyone has a different opinion; a different thought process, and an independent set of ideas; and I’ve definitely learned how to become more receptive to that. It’s amazing really, how everyone has their own story; we just need to be there to listen to it, so we can learn from it.

I think the most important step is to know what learning/study approach appeals to an individual –so I would recommend students take the test (available here on the ABE website  ). As a visual learner myself, I would say that online videos, mind maps, and colour coding my notes really helped. I remember watching a YouTube video on the Boston Consultancy Group (BCG) Matrix the night before my Corporate Strategy (CS) exam, and it was examined on. I was ecstatic!

Overall though, preparation well in advance is key, and don’t be afraid to make your own analogies or acronyms as you go along. As long as you remember it during the exam, and can laugh about it afterwards, go for it!   

I enjoy entrepreneurship and do feel that it will make a substantial part of the global economy in the years to come. I love the fact that people have the capacity to conceptualize a good business idea; and a couple of months/years later, you are in an amazing restaurant having a great meal , or going through a soulful art gallery/boutique, that is an embodiment of that person’s ideas, dreams, and to an extent, their personality! However, I currently aspire for corporate exposure, so I’m aiming to obtain the professional experience that will allow me to expand my horizons; but I’ll definitely be heading towards the entrepreneurial side when I am ready. I’m also a huge animal lover and am quite keen on animal rights, so I do plan to actively propagate causes such as those in the near future, and I feel entrepreneurship will be the best path for me to make a difference.