From the classroom: An MBA in Kazakhstan

From the classroom: An MBA in Kazakhstan
Heykoop believes that Nazarbayev University will provide him great support as an MBA student. Source: Anthony Heykoop

It was not the most conventional of decisions. Yet, American Anthony Heykoop believes getting his Master of Business Administration (MBA) at the Graduate School of Business at Kazakhstan’s Nazarbayev University will set him on a path towards a bright future. For the Oklahoma Wesleyan University graduate, being an MBA student at the Central Asian country and former Soviet republic will provide him with the professional development he needs. 

“My home country, the US, is known for having several high-ranked business schools in the world. However, I feel that the quality of education and expertise is just as high at Nazarbayev University as it is in the US or anywhere else in the world for that matter,” he says. Read on below to find out all the pros, cons and everything in between about being an MBA student in Kazakhstan:

Why did you decide to be an MBA student at Nazarbayev University in Kazakhstan?

I decided on being an MBA student here because I had already been living and working in Kazakhstan for three years, so staying in the country to study seemed like a good idea to me. I researched the first couple of universities near where I was living that were highly-ranked.

I then realised that they didn’t have the accreditations that were most important to me and Nazarbayev University was the third or fourth university I looked into, where I saw that they had the highest quality faculty, programme, and accreditations in my opinion. 

What has been your most memorable class so far and why? Have the lecturers supported you in your studies thus far?

Everytime I bridge a significant gap in my knowledge as an MBA student, I am very excited. My accounting class, for instance, was fantastic because even though I spent hours studying, reviewing, and doing homework, the professor made us feel like the work was easy to comprehend and that we were making progress. 

Heykoop had been living in Kazakhstan for three years before he decided to be an MBA student there. Source: Anthony Heykoop

What are the practical learning elements in your course? Do you get to apply the theories you gained in lecture halls and classrooms to the real world?

Yes, we absolutely do get the opportunity to apply the theories and skills we learn in the course. As an MBA student, we have a summer internship and an autumn practicum where we work with companies and apply the skills we learnt in the classroom for the real world. 

What are your academic goals as an MBA student? Tell us about the skills you’ve gained so far. 

Getting good grades can sometimes be an indicator of academic success, but for me. it’s much more important to practice the skills you learn and spend a lot of time networking, especially as an MBA student. So far, I feel much more confident in my accounting skills, project management, and financial modelling.

Do you plan to progress after your course as an MBA student? What do you plan to do after graduating?

Yes, I would like to get my Project Management Professional certification in a couple of years. I then would like to plan to use the skills I learned in this programme to effectively manage NGO projects.