The Silk Road comes to Melbourne
The historic Silk Road that links Beijing to Istanbul now extends to Melbourne thanks to the Asian Development Bank Scholarship, which is helping Khusan Yuldashev complete his MBA at Melbourne Business School.
Before travelling from his home in Uzbekistan to Melbourne, Khusan headed the Trade Finance Division at IPOTEKA-BANK in the Uzbek capital of Tashkent. He’s confident his MBA will give him the leadership skills to help his country negotiate the challenges of rapid development.
“The re-emergence of the Silk Road and investment from China will help Uzbekistan build the infrastructure needed to develop our economy. The biggest challenge is making sure the new opportunities benefit the population.”
Khusan says the Asian Development Bank Scholarship has allowed him to gain invaluable skills, knowledge and confidence, and study in the most liveable city in the world with his wife and children.
“I was aware of some business leadership inefficiencies in Uzbekistan, but to point them out or push my opinion, I need the right knowledge, skills and experiences. Having an international education has given me a new perspective and will really help me justify and communicate my point of view.”
Like Australia, Uzbekistan is a major commodity exporter – of minerals, natural gas and cotton, being the No. 3 producer – and, like Australia, it’s also trying to innovate.
“After so many years under a Soviet communist system, we’re trying to change into a more free-market economy,” he says, adding that his year at Melbourne Business School has changed him too.
“It’s been such a different experience to what I had as an undergraduate in Uzbekistan – really refreshing and challenging, great subject content, excellent and very engaging professors, and I’m surrounded by really bright students from all over the world.”
A financial modelling expert, Khusan has just finished an internship with Qantas’s sustainability team as part of his MBA, working out the viability of converting solid waste into biofuel. He’s preparing for a second internship at NAB Labs, National Australia Bank’s innovation arm, and says his whole MBS experience will help him on his return home.
“MBS is one of the best school’s for marketing and strategy, and that’s how I will brand myself when I return and look for a job in a bank’s strategy department. And the ADB Scholarship is excellent because it supports countries that need new leaders. I strongly recommend people in developing countries to consider studying at MBS and applying for the scholarship to get a world-class education experience.”