When Michella Rakotolahy Ep Ramarojaona enrolled on the MBA at Bournemouth University, she was looking forward meeting students from around the world.

Having made the move to Bournemouth from her home in Madagascar before starting her studies, the pandemic meant that the majority of Michella’s learning took place online. She said: “I was obviously disappointed not to be able to work alongside my fellow students in the classroom, but the course was still a hugely valuable experience and I was able to enjoy the beautiful environment of Bournemouth. Working online with students from around the world brought its challenges, but it taught me how to be a better listener and how to lead teams remotely across different time zones. These are skills that I will take forward into my future career. Working with people of different nationalities was a great opportunity to share ideas and experiences and to hear different perspectives. The academic staff provided great support in the move to online learning and were a big part of helping me to succeed on the course despite all the challenges.”

Michella completed an undergraduate degree in business administration and management, and worked in logistics and supply chain management, before winning a scholarship to begin the MBA. She said: “I felt that this additional qualification was important for me to progress in my career, particularly as a woman in a predominantly male working environment where the glass ceiling is very much in evidence. I am already seeing how it can open doors as I apply for new roles.”

The MBA at Bournemouth stood out because of it’s focus on the future of the workplace and sustainability. Michella said: “Sustainability needs to be a key focus for businesses, particularly for those in developing countries such as Madagascar. I hope to be able to bring the skills and knowledge I have learnt to benefit my home country, where there is a great deal to be done to improve quality of life through better health services and education. There is a saying here in Madagascar that translates as ‘do things slowly’ but I want to challenge that mindset and bring some momentum and drive to the way we do business. That is something that the MBA has instilled in me, together with an increased sense of personal resilience. I remain incredibly grateful for the experience.”