Umar Lebbe Mohamed Fahim

MSc Marketing and Business Management, 2007

Umar Lebbe Mohamed Fahim

What inspired you to take the course that you did?
After completing a Post-Graduate Diploma in Marketing from CIM, UK (Chartered Institute of Marketing) through distance learning from Sri Lanka, it was my late father’s wish that I continue my postgraduate studies in UK. I was looking for a course that would help me further improve my practical knowledge about marketing and equip me with deeper knowledge about running a business in an international context. The MSc Marketing and Business Management offered by the University of Bedfordshire had all the curriculum elements I was looking for in a Masters program.

Why did you choose to study at the University of Bedfordshire?
I was quite impressed with the resources offered by the university and the quality of the panel of lecturers. Putteridge Bury campus, a neo-Elizabethan manor house that was home to our postgraduate program offered a beautiful and peaceful setting for lectures and research. I still remember the quality time I spent with my mates after lecturers, wandering around gardens!

Tell us a little about yourself and what you have been doing since graduating?
I decided to pursue a career in the financial services industry in UK after graduating. For the last 13 years, I have been working in a number of different roles for a company called ChangeGroup (www.changegroup.co.uk), one of the world’s leading provider of retail financial services.

What is your current role and how has your career developed?
Currently, I work as Marketing Excellence Manager at ChangeGroup’s global head office in Central London. I am responsible for all group marketing activities in over 10 countries across Europe, USA & Australia.

What is the most rewarding aspect of your current role?
I work closely with the COO-EMEA and Group CEO, at a strategic level. Although this can be very challenging at times, it is what I enjoy the most about my role. Additionally, as a marketer, I am tasked with challenging the status quo and exploring innovative ideas to sustain and grow the business. In today’s climate, markets are volatile & evolving at a rapid phase so this task can be very complex, but the possibility for learning and improving myself is endless.

What is your most memorable achievement to date?
Completing the Professional Post-Graduate Diploma in Marketing at the age of 22 & then a Master's degree at the age of 23.

How did your time at Bedfordshire help?
My time at the University of Bedfordshire helped me develop skills which have proved useful for real-life work. The course helped build my confidence in delivering presentations and taught me the skills to undertake meaningful research, problem solving, time management and team work.

What are you aspirations for the future?
I am hoping to pursue further studies in the financial compliance area.

What advice would you like to share with current students or recent graduates?
Always try to do some work while you study. It can be in any industry, full time/ part-time work, it doesn’t really matter. You will learn key skills which will be extremely useful for your studies and more importantly for your future career. This experience will be invaluable and compliment everything you learn in the classroom. I still remember starting a shift at 4 am in London Luton Airport and then go for classes around noon! I am always happy to share my experiences, so drop me a line at www.linkedin.com/in/mohamedfahimumar

What 5 people would you invite to a dinner party - they can be living or dead?
My parents, especially my father who sacrificed a lot to educate me.
My wife Hiba and little daughter Haniyah
My best friends Imran, Nashar, Imaaz and Inthi- we don’t speak often as we are all living in different parts of the world, but when we speak it is like our conversation is continuing from where we left off yesterday!

Apologies, research says 8 is the ideal number for a party!

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