Maham Nazarali, Tanzania - Top Paper Award in Strategic Marketing Management, studied at Financial Training Centre

Maham MushtakI was a science student in school and was  good in my studies but not very interested in any of the career paths which were being offered. I was mostly interested in business studies but chose the science because I was weak in accounting.

After completing my O levels, I was very confused and did not know what to choose for my further studies. I decided to do a graphic designing course. I did both basic and advanced courses and scored very well in them. This also gave me some time to think about what I wanted to study next.

While I was still figuring out what to do, my sister was completing her ABE Business Management course from Financial Training Centre and she inspired me to join as well.   I was not sure about it, mainly because of the fact that I would have to sit for an accounting paper, so my parents told me to try Level 4 and see how it goes.

At first, I was really bad at accounting, but through hard work and help from my teacher and sister, I was able to score very well and I won my first prize in Introduction to Quantitative Methods. This made me decide that I wanted to continue with the ABE Business Management course.

As I continued the course, I had to take a few evening classes as well and this made me realise that a lot of companies encourage their employees to take courses from ABE as it enables them to learn more about business management as well as how to handle customers and clients in the right way. All in all, iemployees gain experience from realistic scenarios and examples from other companies  which helps them with problem solving in their day-to-day activities.

The best thing about studying with ABE is that it is very flexible and each student can go on at a pace according to his or her capabilities and  time - this is especially good for those who are working.  Not only that, the course content is not  difficult to understand and is interesting due to the fact that real examples are used to explain, which makes it relatable and easy to remember as well as applying in real life situations.

When I started Level 4, I felt it was a little too easy, but going through Level 5 and 6, I realised that they were more challenging which at the same time made it more interesting as well as capturing the true essence of the course.  My experience going through the whole course has been very good and I got to learn a lot of things, one of them being writing a lot, which I was not able to do before, as well as learning about how real companies operate, and the mistakes they make, in order to learn from them. I have also become good at accounting which was one of my biggest fears!

In addition, I have learnt that when answering exam questions you should know how to address your response in a properly structured manner and add real life examples in order to give a complete answer and score good marks. Even if you do not know the whole answer or are not sure about it, you should always try to attempt the question. This is what our teacher had taught us and I have been following his advice throughout.

I was very excited when I received an email from ABE saying that I had achieved a prize for Strategic Marketing Management. I had never thought I would get an award for a theory paper, but I guess I was underestimating myself as I had a very good teacher and all our hard work paid off. I was really happy after receiving this news because I have decided to pursue a degree in marketing.