Henrik Tienhaara, 24, from Helsinki in Finland, is an MBA graduate from QMU.

Henrik decided to move from Finland to Scotland as he felt there were more employment opportunities for him and that he would be able to broaden his horizons studying and living in a different country.

Before his postgraduate studies, Henrik had already achieved a first class BA (Hons) Business Management (Fast Track) from QMU in 2016 and completed mandatory military service in Finland.

Why did you to choose to study QMU? 

“For my undergraduate studies, I joined QMU because they offered the Fast Track option for the Business Management degree, which meant that I could finish the programme a year earlier.

“Upon joining and studying in QMU, I recognised that QMU is a very friendly and supportive university, which was portrayed through excellent teaching, engaging lecturers and staff that had a genuine interest towards the well-being of students.

“As I felt very comfortable in QMU, I decided to stay for another year to complete my MBA.”

How did you hope the MBA would provide you with the skills and knowledge to progress your career?

“My initial approach towards the MBA was very transactional; in and out as they’d say. All I wanted was to heighten my intellectual capacity and improve my career prospects. While I attained both, I identified other areas that ultimately transpired to be far more valuable, as an individual, for my career and personal life.

“The MBA course has developed me in multiple ways. First of all, it has provided me with more subject specific practical skills, through various assessments, including revenue management, sales and inventory forecasting, alongside research based activities. More importantly, it has helped me develop new transferable skills for the workplace, such as professional business interaction and emotional intelligence.

“I was able to apply these skills during the final MBA project, which allowed me to undertake a business consultancy project for Scottish oatcake company, Paterson Arran Ltd. As a student on the MBA, you are tasked with partnering with a commercial organisation to problem-solve and provide business solutions on a specific issue they may be facing.

“My project primarily revolved around three factors; to distinguish what Paterson Arran’s supply chain looked like, collect primary data to gain a better understanding how staff perceived their supply chain and undertake secondary research to conduct some comparative analysis.

“I produced a lengthy report for the company, alongside a presentation that discussed all the key aspects of my research. Throughout this process, I learned how to communicate professionally with a commercial organisation, whilst also recognising how crucial it is for any consultant to realistically manage the expectations of their client. As such, I learned that you need to be honest with the client and identify their own capabilities and work capacity. Overconfidence leads to overpromises, which only damages your relationship with your client.

“The project also highlighted the importance of planning, as a well-defined work structure provides focus and saves time. You can also share your plans with your client, which is likely to evoke trust and confidence towards you and your capabilities. Finally, I learned much more about supply chain technologies and the direction many high-class fast-moving consumer goods supply chains may be leaning towards in the next three to five years.

“I can safely say this project has made me more confident in my knowledge about how industry trends and consumer movement affects supply chains. I’m able to map out a field-to-fork supply chain and analyse how supply chain complexity damages internal capabilities. I also recognise why this may be necessary as a practical business solution and have already utilised this knowledge as part of my graduate scheme interview.”

How did you find the workload on the MBA? Did you get support?

“In comparison to the undergraduate degree, the workload was definitely more demanding. However, the workload was never overbearing, as all you need is a bit of self-discipline and prioritisation. All the assignments were genuinely interesting.

“We had a great support network of staff members who were extremely committed to seeing each of us succeed. For example, arranging one-to-one meetings to discuss feedback or to raise personal concerns was natural and I always felt that I was listened to.

“Perhaps it was good fortune but all the other postgraduate students were lovely and we had our own inner circle of helping hands and venting.”

What top tips would you give future MBA students based on your own personal experience?

“Although you’re expected to work hard during your postgraduate studies, don’t over-prioritise work over your social life or miss out on an opportunity to get to know all of your peers. Also, if anything is making you anxious, be brave enough to raise your concerns with the staff; no one is out to get you!

“Furthermore, if you don’t own a calendar or have a structured time-plan to divide your workload, I’d very much advise you to devise one. It will take some time to get adjusted to but will pay for itself in terms of time saved and stress avoided.

“Have fun and push yourself! You’ve been given an opportunity to truly challenge your pre-existing knowledge and skills, so embrace this and you can attain results that you’d never thought you could!

“I would advise all new postgraduate students to start their course with an open, embracing and yet critical mind-set. You can learn and experience tremendous things but this ultimately depends on your approach.”

What are you doing since graduating from QMU?

“While still completing my final assignment for the MBA, I was accepted to a supply chain management graduate scheme for the Kerry Group in Cork, Ireland.

“My role involves planning and scheduling production, while balancing incoming customer orders to available inventory, raw materials and required safety stock levels.

“Once I’ve got some experience of working in my industry, I’d like to return to further study to complete a PhD. I’d like to eventually share my knowledge and experiences with younger generations through lecturing.”

Postgraduate funding

BA (Hons) Business Management

Paterson Arran Ltd



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