MANCOSA’s top MBA graduate – A Military Officer and Pharmacist!

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The adage powered by passion and fuelled by ambition has been the inspirational force behind Management College of Southern Africa’s (MANCOSA’s) top Master of Business Administration (MBA) graduate, Captain Reshma Ramnandan.

Captain Ramnandan was conferred with her degree Cum Laude at MANCOSA’s May 2014 graduation taking place at the International Convention Centre (ICC) on Saturday, 24 May, 2014. She is the institution’s top MBA graduate for her research titled: Investigation of the Factors that Contribute to the Retention of Health Care Professionals in the South African Military Health Services (SAMHS).

Captain Ramnandan, a pharmacist by profession, serves as a military officer at the South African National Defence Force (SANDF) and is the Pharmacy Manager within its Military Health Services sector based at the Bluff in Durban.

Her career in the military began in 2004 when she undertook her community service as a pharmacist at the SAMHS. Exposure to various military courses over the years heightened her patriotism towards her country and fuelled her passion for pharmacy making the SAMHS her ideal workplace.

Being in a career where one has to take on a dual role – that of military officer who has to be “combat ready and operationally deployable at short notice” – and undertaking the duties of a pharmacist can be challenging says Captain Ramnandan, however she achieves this through diplomacy and ethics.

Her research topic was inspired by the South African Military Health Service’s challenge of retaining its young health care professionals (HCPs) despite the many opportunities available to them. Captain Ramnandan’s research sought to identify factors that would help the SANDF retain young healthy uniformed HCPs help support the SANDF.

Academic excellence is nothing new for the mother of twins who obtained her undergraduate Bachelor of Pharmacy degree at the former University of Durban Westville, Cum Laude. Captain Ramnandan admits that the initial stages of her MBA journey was a challenging one where she had to juggle her time between her career at the SANDF, her demanding two-year-old twins and additional work commitments.

“Time management, prioritisation and multi-tasking were amongst the tools I employed. The key factors to me successfully completing the degree in the shortest time were that of dedication, perseverance and family and divine support. I felt powered by passion, and fuelled by ambition,” said Captain Ramnandan.

Acquiring her MBA signified upward career mobility for Captain Ramnandan who said it has earned her the respect of colleagues at all levels. In addition, her new academic qualification has motivated other younger colleagues to reach for their own career goals.

In response to graduating yet again with distinction, Captain Ramnandan said: “Accomplishment- I have actually done it! Despite the challenges and demands, tears and sleepless nights, I have achieved a goal that brings me closer to my brilliant tomorrow. I have completed a phase of my journey that brings me closer to my destination, and I’ve enjoyed every bit of it.”