Lena's a high flier in every sense
Tuesday, 17 April 2007
Few people are prepared to travel more than 5000 kilometres to attend a lecture at the University of Adelaide, but company manager Lena Low did just that - 18 times.
While completing her MBA, the businesswoman boarded a flight from Tokyo to Singapore every four weeks for 18 months to attend lessons at the University's Ngee Ann-Adelaide Education Centre.
At the time Ms Low was Head of Operations for the Japan office of International SOS, a worldwide leader providing international corporations with medical services in far-flung corners of the globe.
Six months before completing her MBA, the 32-year-old businesswoman secured a job with the world's leading software company, Microsoft, becoming the Senior Regional Service Delivery Manager for Asia Pacific and Japan.
Now based in Singapore, Ms Low manages all Microsoft's outsourced call centre business for Xbox in the region, ensuring the quality and efficiency of the product and directing the business strategy for the Asia Pacific. She reports to the United States.
"The fact that I was within reach of an MBA qualification and had demonstrated such a strong commitment to the program, flying between two countries, really made an impression on the interview panel at Microsoft," she said.
This Saturday, Ms Low will join 114 other students graduating from the University of Adelaide in an offshore ceremony at the Ngee Ann-Adelaide Education Centre in Singapore.
She is confident her MBA will open up more career opportunities, leading to senior management and hopefully a chief operating role for a major company within the next decade.
"Having an MBA is a prerequisite for moving into senior management positions in Asia. I chose the University of Adelaide because it is one of the prestigious Group of 8 universities in Australia and has an outstanding reputation in Singapore," Ms Low said.
Ms Low completed an undergraduate degree at the National University of Singapore in 1996 and won a scholarship a year later to study for her Graduate Diploma in Japanese Studies at Tsukuba University.
She enrolled in the MBA program at the University of Adelaide in 2004, with an international working background which included stints in the United States, France, Britain, China and Japan.