SCIENCE and business formed a successful union when Cheah Chor Eng, a business developer in a pharmaceutical company, recently won Ernst & Young’s Best MBA Dissertation Award, presented yearly to a University of Nottingham Malaysia Master’s of Business Administration student. The winner gets RM1,000 and, of course, strong recommendation for his work.
Chor Eng’s 20,000-word MBA dissertation explored “Salesperson Behaviour and Buyer Seller Relationship: An Analysis of its Impact on Buyer Loyalty in the Malaysian Pharmaceutical Industry.”
The process of selecting the award winner involved the review of papers by an external examiner from another British university, but Chor Eng’s supervisor, Prof John Zinkin also spoke highly of his dissertation: “It was extremely good, thoroughly researched and well prepared. It was of doctoral quality - if he was doing a doctorate he could have got it with a bit more work.”
The 34-year-old, who graduated from Universiti Sains Malaysia in 1994 with a pharmaceutical degree, has been working in the pharmaceutical industry for just over nine years. He explained that he decided to go back to university to pursue an MBA because he had encountered marketing, sales, and business concepts in his work and thought it was “high time I got a firm grounding! Taking an MBA was a useful bridge between the technical and scientific background that I have.”
Chor Eng, who studied part time while working, said his biggest challenge was time management: “I really had to prioritise, especially when work deadlines started to pile up and exams were around the corner.”
Ernest & Young country managing partner See Huey Beng, who presented the award to Chor Eng, said: “This is the third year we are working with Nottingham to give due recognition to its students who excel. It is our way of promoting quality and academic excellence amongst students to enhance their education and careers in their respective fields.”