Ashar Rafiuddin

Ashar RafiuddinSubject of study: MSc Purchasing Supply Chain and Management
Year of graduation: 2017
Current position: Founder, The Velocity

What are you doing now?

I am currently planning and implementing a new strategy for my company's expansion and growth. As the CEO of my company, my aim is to apply the gained knowledge from my degree course as well as gather new talent to foster new ways to increase brand awareness.

What did you find most valuable about your course at Westminster? How did the skills you learnt during your degree help you to shape your career?

The course structure was very advanced and enabled me to reflect on the world’s latest developments within that sector. Each module was designed in a way that enabled me to catch up in areas that I was lacking knowledge in which helped me in starting my own business, the Velocity watches. The core and optional modules were impeccably organised to ensure every student enjoys their desired modules for example, one optional model, the International Aspects of Business Law highly assisted me in learning more about trade laws when shipping from China to London and from other countries around the world which was important for me to know for my own business. The best module for me was Purchasing Management as the coursework was very interactive and advanced. It required me to learn skills such as business pitching unique and business research, which is very valuable entrepreneurs in order to stand out in the market. This was particularly useful for me to apply it to my own business as the watches I sell are Arabic numbered which is very distinctive in UK market.

Why would you recommend Westminster as a place to study?

The University’s overall profile is perfect for any international student who wants to gain a high quality for education as well as experience the city to its best as all the campuses are located nearby in the heart of London.

However, the key to quality education is the lecturers, as they played very important roles having the substantial and respectable experience in their fields. This allowed them to build upon students’ knowledge and apply the theory we learnt to real world situations in business. The fact that they were able to explain and relate each scenario to a real life scenarios made the concepts more interesting.

What was the best thing about being a student in London?

Networking with people from all around the world, and even if you are not good at it, you start to habitually network with your class mates and get involved in various events. Besides that, you have access to the British Library in London.

What extra-curricular activities did you participate in that enhanced your time at the University?

I usually took on the opportunity to go for entrepreneurship events and guest talks from professionals with different business background. I also used to go to the university gym facility in the science campus mainly after exams and assignments.

What advice would you give to someone thinking for pursuing a similar career?

Take the advantage of free courses such as PRINCE2 and SAP which is a plus for a CV as well as setting up your own business in such a competitive market.

Lastly, the seminars after the lectures are very important as they help a lot in understanding the lectures in more detail. The lecturers also give group tasks and brain-storming sessions which make student think out of the box and relate theories to their own businesses and jobs.

Is there anything else you would like to tell us?

I have always linked my academic knowledge to my professional life tasks. In this way, I have managed to achieve a lot. As they say, "Knowledge is of no value unless you put it into practice". While doing my degree, I developed my skills on presenting and speaking which resulted in me winning the LG Electronics 4 Global promoter award in South Korea, representing the UK among other 120 countries. Additionally while doing my masters I launched my own start-up company where I was implementing all knowledge I gained to build the brand. This resulted in astonishing experiences and I sought guidance from the lecturers in order to take the right approach in different sectors of business to achieve results.