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April 2023

Ria Gurpreet Sidhu

Ria Gurpreet Sidhu

Master of Business Administration 2022

1. Tell us about yourself.
I am originally from Mumbai, India and have lived in the UK for over 13 years. In 2009, after a move to the UK, I began a successful career within higher education in the UK and since completing my MBA from ARU, I have moved up the career ladder with senior leadership roles. I am currently in the last year of my PhD and will soon publish my report that reflects on pedagogy within higher education but sits within the business and management domain.

My MBA from ARU, especially understanding entrepreneurial bricolage, has helped me establish myself as an entrepreneur, having invested in properties in the UK and in Dubai. I am now a member of the Dubai Business Women Council, which is a great channel for me to utilise to showcase my achievements and explore opportunities as well as support other women in business.

2. What is your fondest memory of Anglia Ruskin University?
My fondest memory of Anglia Ruskin University was when my name was called on graduation day and my family sat in the auditorium feeling proud of my achievements. My 5-year-old said ‘look, mummy got a prize’- Indeed!

3. What has been your favourite job?
I have been lecturing within the higher education space for over 13 years. My MBA from ARU has had a massive impact on my career, from being accepted as a member of Dubai's Business Women Council to being offered Senior Lecturer roles.

4. In one word, how would you describe Anglia Ruskin University?

5. How did your time at ARU help you?
My research into Entrepreneurial Bricolage for my MBA, which focussed on critically reviewing literature that looked at how entrepreneurs can succeed, even with limited resources, changed my perception of what I had always wanted to achieve, and really has impacted everything I do now.

6. What did you love about your chosen course?
The flexibility and autonomous learning.

7. What advice would you give to current students as they’re preparing to graduate?
Take advantage of the resources – ARU is outstanding at everything they do and what they provide students with.

8. What do you know now that you wish you had known whilst studying?
I know now that I can pursue my dreams, as my MBA has given me direction and a clear understanding of what it is like to be an entrepreneur and succeed.

9. Who was the biggest influence on your career?
Throughout my MBA, I wanted to understand all aspects of business as I appreciate that real business world challenges are very different to lecturing Business and evaluating models. My encounter with the concepts, context and entrepreneurs I learnt above, as well as the concept and context of businesses from SMEs to large organisations were the influencers.

10. What advice would you give your younger self?
Network; it's the key to success.

11. Tell us something about yourself that most people don’t know.
I want to work for a top UK university in the highest position.

12. What’s next?
Once my PhD is finished, I then want to pursue my role as a Senior Lecturer in a UK university. I'll then get on with my move to the United Arab Emirates, where I would like to create a UK-UAE partnership that could offer a wealth of knowledge and quality education to students who want to live and work in Dubai.