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Making the best of second chances

Isaac Li Fa Ji

Alumnus, Master of Business Administration, The University of Nottingham

Class of 2017 (October)

As a the management staff of a local bank, it might be hard to imagine that just a few years ago, Isaac faced rejection by several companies while he was on the search for a job, after dropping out of a local university. Now a proud MBA graduate from the University of Nottingham(NU), he hopes to become a more effective leader in his field, and make better business decisions with newfound perspectives on organizational structure and change. 

The journey has not been easy, and though he was humbled by the initial failure, Isaac, a strong believer in second chances, made every effort to do better at his undergraduate studies at a private university, where he earned second upper class honours, and then continued with his postgraduate studies. 

The course of his 3 to 4 years at NU showed him that time truly was a precious commodity, as it was not always easy to manage his work, time with family, and his part-time studies. Despite having to miss out on recreational events like hanging out with friends, and sometimes sacrificing sleep, Isaac even managed to complete a Chartered Life Underwriter Course with the Singapore College of Insurance in 6 months and was conferred as one of the top students in his cohort, all while completing his MBA. 

His single-minded focus and investment on personal development has already paid off in some ways. During this time, the persistence that drove Isaac to pursue his ambitions in education for personal development, was rewarded with career opportunities and progression within his organization. 

While interactions with his classmates is something he continues to cherish, Isaac thinks that outside of just networking opportunities, the true value of his MBA, comes from his new ability to think ahead, and have a clearer vision and direction for his work. 

The intensity that came with managing more responsibilities, has also helped him develop a greater capacity and will to tackle challenges. And yet, his learning journey does not stop here—he hopes to be able to pursue a doctoral degree should the opportunity arise.