Evelyn Listanco Herrera, Maldives – Top Paper Award in Digital Marketing Strategy & Strategic Marketing, studied at MAPS college
Evelyn was drawn to ABE qualifications because the flexible learning they offer allowed her to balance working in a demanding job role whilst studying. Here's her story:
"I am a Filipino, currently living and working in the Maldives for Maldives Airports Company Limited (MACL Duty Free Maldives) as a Buying & Merchandising Manager for over 7 years now, before moving to Maldives I was in Dubai UAE for about 5 years, working as a junior buyer for Landmark Group. I am the only member of my family who is working abroad after my father retired in 2010, it has been almost 12 years now since I left the Philippines to pursue a career overseas and I am very happy to share that prior working abroad I was in an industry that bores me and I guess I am one of those lucky ones now that can say that I truly enjoy my current job and love what I do. Hence, I wanted to advance in this field and study something which is valuable and helpful for my career growth.
A friend from Dubai who is Sri Lankan introduced me to the programme; she also studied with ABE and finished her degree in 2015. I signed up the same year and assessed whether ABE is something that I could do whilst working as my current job demands a lot of time and travelling as well. I chose ABE because of its flexibility and I believe the structure and the course modules are really helpful for people like me who are in an industry that require deeper management understanding but a simple and straight forward way of learning.
When I started, I was self-studying and attending exams without any proper classes attended, I also stopped in between due to workload, but in 2016-2017, I found out that MAPS College offers ABE courses. Since I wanted to improve my grades and do better, I have decided to enrol in MAPS College in the Maldives and since then I have been with the same centre.
Most of my classmates are working students like me. I believe ABE has been a great tool for working people who would like to pursue management skills and complete their degree.
At the moment I am considering to maybe complete my masters, but I am currently also considering to advance in my career once I get the certificate, it can be in the same company if opportunity comes or explore greater opportunities somewhere else in the same field. I aim to continue to learn in all possible ways and develop myself further.
The best thing about studying with ABE is the flexibility and the course structure is very helpful for working students like me. It gives us an opportunity to work and study at the same time and doesn’t cost us a fortune.
My education background prior to ABE is more of product development and industrial design; I have no management and/or finance background which sometimes makes it challenging being in the Travel Retail Industry and managing Luxury brands as a Buyer and Merchandiser which involves a lot of financial works. After completing L5 and being in the last semester of L6, I would proudly say that it has helped me a lot to understand the MACL business structure and learned well on dealing with the financial works involve in my current job responsibilities. Also, the module Organizational Behaviour (OB) I must say has been a great tool for me to appreciate and understand the impacts of individuals, groups and the company structure towards the organisation’s behaviours, it gave me some sort of a guideline as to how I should effectively respond, deal and make decisions within my scope of work.
My financial accounting skills and staff management skills have improved a lot while studying with ABE. I currently have three (3) junior buyers within my team and almost fifty-five (55) sales staff.
I believe each of us has our own ways and levels of studying and learning effectively, we cannot guarantee that a tool or style of learning that works for me would work equally the same to others. I would rather advise my co-students to be creative, explore different ways of studying and remembering lectures/lessons and eventually you will discover the best and most effective way/s for you. Like for me, I know reading the materials out loud and re-writing important notes help me remember and at the same time practice my writing skills for exams. Also reading materials outside the study guides give more perspective, ideas and examples to better understand a lesson. However, it takes a lot of time which may not be as effective to others. Some people are simply gifted with great minds and memorization skills but remember that the people who work hard and study smarter are often the more successful ones. Lastly, one thing that surely would help anyone is application, applying what you learned is the best way to completely understand and remember a certain lesson.
As mentioned earlier, I am considering pursuing a masters program that will give me an advantage and competitiveness in the Travel Retail Industry market. I still see myself within the same industry in the next 5 years but hopefully in a bigger role. Currently, I am working with the retailer operator side and aiming one day to move to one of the prestigious and luxury brands in the next 1-2 years."