MBA student profile: Mayuri Manraj

10 September 2020
Written by Mayuri Manraj
MBA student and UN Women Australia scholarship recipient talks about her experience of pivoting to online learning during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Mayuri Manraj

Mayuri Manraj, current MBA student and UN Women Australia MBA scholarship recipient.

From early on, I have been a firm believer that there is no better satisfaction in life than working on the project of ‘you’. There isn't a lot that we are in control of in the world, especially in a global pandemic. However, being in control of your narrative and investing in your personal growth can give you a sense of peace and fulfillment in difficult times.

In 2019, I decided to apply for the UN Women Australia MBA scholarship. At the time, I was taking care of my newborn daughter, and felt I needed to continue building my identity and advance my knowledge to keep contributing to the world in a meaningful way. As I am currently undertaking my third MBA subject, I reflect on the two biggest learnings so far in this journey. 

Resilience through adversity

Throughout my career as a project manager in the railway industry, I have been exposed to several high-pressure environments that require composure, an element of perspective, and trust in the one thing that you value the most at your core; your ‘why’.

Anchoring yourself to your ‘why’ is an invaluable tool in adversity. I experienced its power when after our very first weekend of classes on campus, there was a lockdown imposed due to the COVID-19 pandemic and we had to face a new reality. Understanding that getting better at helping people is at the core of my actions, I leaned into embracing the online sessions and investing energy in developing relationships with new people who were still strangers. There was a fast uptake both from facilitators and my classmates, translating itself into an unphased and rich personal learning experience.

Expand your normal

I am currently studying my third subject in the MBA, but I have already seen changes in what I can bring to the table in a professional sense. My undergraduate degree was in engineering which had a strong focus on funneling perspectives through specialisations.

Adding additional filters into my lens means has allowed more perspective and nuance in my picture of the world.  I have already gained an understanding of how to be an effective leader with financial acumen and an appreciation for the powers of marketing to achieve an outcome.

Adding these new skills to a training in engineering translates into a more diverse opinion to solve complex problems (social or physical) in our communities. This diversity of thought and the networks I am building in my MBA is having a direct impact on my ability to innovate and think beyond normal conventions.

While there needs to be consideration of time requirements and level of commitment in deciding to pursue an MBA, staying true to your passions and embracing your ‘why’ can give you additional fuel you didn’t know you had.

I am grateful to have been given the opportunity to pursue this fantastic adventure and encourage you to have a go at working on the project of ‘you’ by applying for an MBA.

The University of Sydney Business School and UN Women Australia share a commitment to advancing gender equality in the workplace.

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