Three of four MBA cum laude graduates, from left:
Ms Karen Bailey, Mr Sandesh Singh and Ms Fiona

Academic excellence saw several Masters in Business Administration (MBA) graduates acquiring their degrees cum laude at this year’s Graduation ceremonies. Among them were Mr Sandesh Singh, Ms Karen Bayley, Ms Fiona Calitz and Mr Manoj Ramkissor who all completed their academic programme with distinction.

The Graduate School of Business and Leadership (GSB&L) conferred a total of 85 MBA degrees to graduates in the 2013 Graduation ceremony.

Singh worked in various managerial positions for five years before he decided to pursue his MBA studies at the GSB&L in 2011. He believed that acquiring an MBA would complement his technical skills and knowledge in the discipline of mechanical engineering.

Currently the General Manager of Forgeweld Engineering in Isithebe on the North Coast, Singh believes the relevance of his research dissertation – “Job Readiness of FET Mechanical Engineering Graduates” – contributed to his passing with distinction. His research touched on organisational behaviour and its influence on the mechanical engineering sector, particularly FET graduates entering this field.

Singh said he enjoyed UKZN’s MBA programme for its practicality and relevance to the current industrial climate. While challenging he found the programme offered a broad perspective on management and helped him grasp how environmental elements such as the economy and human resources affect the running of a business.

‘I was part of a helpful and competitive study group that obtained distinctions and this inspired me to tap into my inherent ability and perform well.  I feel very good about graduating cum laude. Everybody has the ability to do well. We must not bring ourselves down and believe we cannot do things. Obstacles should be considered challenges. I would feel a sense of personal pride even if I graduated without the cum laude honour,’ said Singh.

Ms Karen Bayley, the Financial Director of CIM Chemicals (Pty) Ltd, attributed her academic success to God, her supportive family and hard work. Bayley’s dissertation topic, “Logistics Efficiency in the South African Chemical Distribution Sector” investigated the opportunities to achieve a more efficient logistic operations system for the sector. Her research took cognisance of best practices, skills development, the latest technological tools and information systems required to transform the logistics operations systems.

‘I am pleased that the hard work and dedication, and tireless love and support of my husband John and family over the three years, has resulted in me graduating with a good result … I have never been one that can do anything by half measures. If I do something I want to do it properly and well, or not at all. If my employer is paying for my studies, out of respect and gratitude and because of their faith in me, I must give it my best effort and attention.’

Bayley described the MBA programme as “intense” with one having to be disciplined to maintain high standards of work in tests, assignments and examinations.