Graduating in Pakistan: Sultan's Story

Sultan Ali

Following our recent graduations in Pakistan, we caught up with one of our inspirational students. 

Sultan Ali, who studied for an MBA with Arden University in partnership with Roots IVY, has recently just graduated from his blended learning course on the Islamabad campus.

In getting to graduation, Sultan has had to overcome a number of challenges, including a stutter which made him feel nervous delivering presentations or speaking in front of groups of people. 

However, overcoming his challenges, Sultan found himself leaving Arden with the award for our Highest Achiever - reflecting his hard work and dedication throughout his time learning with us. 

Find out more about his story below. 

Hi Sultan, what did you enjoy the most about your course?

I think what surprised me the most is how the UK study system is completely different from Pakistan’s system. Everything was new and exciting for me. The research, assignments, and modules, they were all really good. I also loved the student support. Whenever I texted them about a problem they would respond within four to five minutes to provide assistance.

What were you doing before you enrolled with Arden?

I actually studied for a Bachelor's degree in Psychology before, so an, MBA was new for me. I’d started studying towards an MBA before at a Pakistani institution, and travelled to a whole new city for it, but after one semester, I got diagnosed with generalised anxiety disorder. So, I decided to stop. 

After that, I spent a year going for psychological treatment. While I was doing that, my psychologist told me that I should go do an internship there at the psychology clinic. I have a stammer, and she told me doing an internship there, dealing with lots of different patients, might help me. I was doing that when I discovered Roots IVY were providing an option to do an MBA. 

My mother asked me if I would want to try again? But I told her I was afraid. With my anxiety, I didn't want to do an MBA again because of how difficult it would be and I didn’t want to fail again.

However, we decided to visit the campus and they told us about Arden University. I was really excited at the opportunity to study blended learning while getting your guidelines from the UK teachers. I decided to try again, and here we are. It’s been a great journey, but I loved it a lot.

Were there any modules you were worried about repeating?

I was worried about one of the modules – financial management. It was our fourth module and I was very worried about it because I failed the same module in my last MBA. I was talking with my teacher about it, and how nervous about it I was, but they told me don't worry.  So I worked really hard studying for it and, surprisingly, I got the highest marks in the class. That was really motivating for me. 


How was the blended learning experience for you? 

It was good. My teachers here at the Islamabad campus were really good and treated me well. I remember telling one of them about about my condition, and how I would stammer when I had to give a presentation. I was recording my voice for PowerPoint and I used to stammer a lot doing that too. But my teacher told me “You don't have to worry.” So, I recorded my presentation with everything still in, and it was very busy, but they appreciated it anyway.

The facilities on the campus were really good too. I would come in for two classes a week and then, because I wasn’t working at the time, the other five days I would be studying on iLearn.

When I was studying, I tried to be as comprehensive as possible because I wanted to get a full understanding of that specific topic. For example, I studied Financial Management so hard. I was weak in it, but I wanted to do the best in it.

What do you think is the most helpful thing you've learned in terms of developing for the workplace?

I think some of the things I learned about leadership and competitive strategy are really useful for a workplace in the future.

This MBA has also really motivated me so that I now feel able to speak in front of hundreds of people. Even recently, at my graduation, I realised I was standing in front of something like 150 people and I was like, “Okay, I can do this, I can make eye contact, I can do everything.” So, that was really motivating thing for me.

Having recently graduated, what are you doing now?

Right now, I have a part time job as a marketing content specialist, but I'm looking for something full time. I'm motivated to work for a marketing firm, and I am a hobbyist photographer too, so I want to do something creative. I could happily work for 20 hours a day, as long as I’m doing something that is creative and that keeps me awake.

So back to your graduation. You graduated with our Highest Achiever award. When you were starting with Arden, did you think this was something you might achieve?

No, I never imagined it! I came here having already failed my MBA once, I was diagnosed with generalised anxiety disorder which left me getting treatment for a whole year, and I never ever imagined that I would get this award. It’s motivated me a lot again though, and it’s made me realise I can do anything and, in the future, I'm now planning to do a PhD. 

I'm not afraid anymore. I know I can do it. There were people who treated me like I couldn’t do anything because of my situation, because of my mental health issues, but anything is possible in life, you don't have to lose the motivation. In the Quran, God says “Fear not. I'm with you.”

So I think any one can do anything when they have others there to help motivates them. I had my best friend and my parents supporting my journey, and I’m really grateful for everything they did for me. 

To find out how you could be graduating with a degree from Arden University, visit our course pages today