Raeesa Mohamed, Senior Ecommerce Planner, is both a mother and a career-woman. After completing her Management Development Programme (MDP), at USB Executive Development, we caught up with her to find out about her experience of the programme.
She shares that she was given the opportunity to do the course by her organisation. “As part of my career progression, our management identified me as an individual that they’d like to develop in terms of talent and they pushed me forward for the MDP course. When I was approached about this, I felt honoured by the fact that I had been identified as a leader. Instead of hiding away from it, I could see that they were wanting to equip me with the skill-set to effectively lead the space – especially in e-commerce. This arena is quite a big deal – it’s where the world is going at the moment. So I needed to be able to manage an entire team, understand them better, and utilise their skillset and place them accordingly.”
Going into the programme, she understood that she was looking to deepen her understanding of leadership and working with others. She shares, “ I felt like I needed to better understand people. I also needed to learn how to utilize and optimise their individual skill-sets. I am obviously on track to become a manager and a future leader, so what I needed to take out of the programme was how to work with direct reports, and how to effectively work alongside people from other organisations. One of my development areas is that I have a tendency to take charge too much. I needed to learn to take a step back and to allow others to do the work. I learned that this is, at the core of it, a trust issue. The MDP really gave me the insight that I needed to understand how to allow others to do their jobs and contribute in more effective and encouraging ways. I needed to learn how to let go more and actually hand over more to give others their opportunities to shine!”
The benefits of the course became evident to her quickly. “MDP has not only added value to my role, it has also increased my growth and development in our business and organisation, and how to manage direct reports. I completed MDP last November. In January I had a growing team of direct reports – and I had to manage them. I found I was immediately putting to use all the skills that I had obtained in the MDP, especially the ones I had had the opportunity to hone in on in the Business Driven Action Learning (BDAL) project. That project one was a big one – we had to run with it on our own, with our team members. Within that project, we had to put in place a whole bunch of spreadsheets with macro calculations and how to effectively manage time and progress overall. Since the completion of the course, I’ve utilised all the models – especially the leadership modules in how to effectively drive results in the retail e-commerce space. And the results have been very evident! The skills I’ve acquired have already been used in both my professional and personal life – which if you’d told me that before, I’d have said it’s crazy. It has overflowed into all aspects of my life, especially being a working female and mother (and added to that with the current schooling methods – a teacher from home!)”
Raeesa goes on to share that while her existing skills did assist her, the major highlight for her was honing in on learning more about implementing people skills. “I’m already in marketing, and I’m also in finance. So the marketing module and the finance module – the stuff that I’d previously been exposed to – was quite a strong point for me already. I could bring that as a strength to our BDAL team, which was a highlight for me. But my big take-away from the programme was the leadership and people skills: mostly how best to work with people, and how to implement soft-skills more effectively… With every type of team there are going to be strong links and weak links and struggling links and challenging links. And having the right skill-set, in terms of people-skills, to effectively manage every single person in that team. I learnt so much from MDP in just those 6 months, it was really good learning for me! What happens some of the time is that you are given the skill-set, but then it’s the implementation of that skill-set that is equally more important.”
As a message to those who may be interested in doing the MDP, she shares that, “This course has the ability to incorporate all types of models to achieve being a leader, as well as grow future leaders. It is an exceptionally beneficial course and I would highly recommend it, simply because you have the ability to become a leader yourself and the opportunity to grow future leaders. That’s really been my focus point. Because stuff like marketing, finance and project management, those type of things you can go and study for and you can learn that. Those are very theory-based and you have on-the-job training. But leadership is different. Anybody can be a manager. But not everyone can be a leader. For me, the MDP has really given me the skill set and the tools to become a leader and to also grow future leaders. That for me was the biggest take-out.” It is with this crucial skill that we are able not only to do things ourselves, but also to ensure that we are able to make an impact beyond ourselves – to empower others and to grow them to also realise their own potential too.” Her biggest take away was the skillset to be able to inspire and activate the essence of leadership in other people, and indeed equip them to become leaders in their own right. “It really gave me so many useful insights and tactics. It’s been an investment into the person that I am becoming.”
For further information about upcoming Management Development Programmes (MDP), please click here.