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Paul Keng’ara

Programme
Executive MBA
Nationality
Kenyan
Job after graduation
Open Source Intelligence Analyst (OSINT), United Stated Armed Forces
Year of graduation
2019
Paul-Kengara-Executive-MBA-Imperial
Paul Keng’ara, Executive MBA
“The key takeaway of the Executive MBA so far is the networking and genuine great friendships I have formed in the last nine months of my two-year programme. I can’t wait for tomorrow because yesterday was amazing. Whenever we meet for our Executive MBA on campus sessions, you learn something different about someone personally and professionally. ”

Professional background

In my final year before graduating from my undergraduate degree, I decided to join the United States Armed Forces. There was a recruiting centre right next to the bank I went to and I asked them about it and whether I could join after finishing the semester. I joined that summer of 2004 and continued my studies taking fewer courses until I graduated in 2006. My first assignment was in San Diego followed by Japan in 2007, moving to Japan as an aviation mechanic fixing helicopters. In 2009, I became commissioned as a Naval Officer in the flying programme. I did it for nine months but didn’t like it so while in the training programme, I opted for something else. My family were also not too enthusiastic about me being in a military plane during the height of Iraq war. I then applied for an intelligence role and was selected as an Intelligence Officer. I moved to the Middle East in late-2012 in the Bahrain/Dubai area. In 2015 I moved to England.

Choosing the Executive MBA and Imperial

I felt like I had plateaued at the Department of Defence and I wanted to do something that is more assignable. When I was looking at my resume, I realised that my work experience could not really be applied to the world outside the military. I chose the Executive MBA because I had 12 years of work experience and this was the MBA option where I would get a balanced cohort.

I looked at many great schools at the time when I was applying for the MBA. When I visited Imperial College Business School for admissions day, it had a great vibe to it. The people whom I met were intellectually stimulating, and at the same time hungry and eager to take whatever career they are in to the next level. There was no measurement of achievement but there was an inherent thirst I saw that attracted me to Imperial.

"The people whom I met were intellectually stimulating, and at the same time hungry and eager to take whatever career they are in to the next level. There was no measurement of achievement but there was an inherent thirst I saw that attracted me to Imperial."

Creating friendships with an amazing cohort

The key takeaway of the Executive MBA so far is the networking and genuine great friendships I have formed in the last nine months of my two-year programme. I can’t wait for tomorrow because yesterday was amazing. Whenever we meet for our Executive MBA on campus sessions, you learn something different about someone personally and professionally. The reward has been our international residencies. They are just amazing. We came back having a way better bond and it’s now become a professional social setting; where every piece is as important as any other to complete this puzzle of MBA and beyond.

Career goals

I am currently working out the next step in my career after the Executive MBA, though I’m considering going back and running the family business in real estate in Kenya. I want to use my MBA classes and networking to make the business realise its full potential. Alternatively, I am also looking into employment in the Middle East, I’m definitely getting away from the Western world in Europe and America. I would like to work for a security apparatus in the real estate/finance area.

Advice to prospective students

Really look at what you want to get out of the Executive MBA. Look at the programme holistically including what electives are on offer and see what’s going to be beneficial to you. The Executive MBA is not just one weekend a month, it’s a full-time commitment for two years that you have to account for in your life – whether emotionally, mentally or academically. Imperial is a great institution that speaks for itself. Numbers don’t lie and it’s been featured in several publications both academically, for employability and the mix of students in a cohort. There are those who join an MBA to change careers, to move up in their fields, start businesses or join a family business like myself. So, whatever it is you want to do, there’s someone else who’s thinking what you’re thinking. At Imperial as an Executive MBA, ‘you’ll never walk alone’.

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