Joseph Ajal

MSc Human Resource Management and Development(International Development)

Why did you choose to study at The University of Manchester?

Joseph Ajal

The University of Manchester is one of the most respected universities in the world. It’s pedigree and academic rigour are well known globally. There are also some high profile Ugandan alumni of the University like Eng. Winnie Byanyima the Executive Director of UNAIDS, Geraldine Ssali Busuulwa, former Deputy Managing Director of the National Social Security Fund where I worked. Louis Kasekende former Deputy Governor of the Central Bank of Uganda amongst others. So I was convinced it was the right place for me to get my Masters degree.

Why did you choose your particular course?

I chose a Masters of Science in Human Resources Management and Development (International Development) because I was already practicing HR and the course would go a long way to build my competencies and skills and put me at a level to practice strategic HR and add the most value to my employers, clients and partners. Undoubtedly, I have experienced tremendous growth in my skills, networks and career. My thesis was entitled, “The Growth of Technology Enabled OnDemand Learning; A Case Study of the National Social Security Fund (NSSF) Uganda”. My Supervisor was Professor Anthony Kumasey.

Has your qualification helped you in your career?

Yes definitely. I have built international networks of fellow HR practitioners. It has allowed me to have the requisite strategic ability to build Talent Pipelines across several industries and sectors and add value at the level of corporate governance to the boards on which I am privileged to serve. The respect that a qualification from UoM gives is global. It has been a door opener for me, allowing me to become a much sought after Learning Navigator and Coach, not just in several African countries but also on other continents. 

Where then any specific modules or lecturers who particularly inspired you?

Yes. Core Issues in HR Management with Professor Justice Bawole. Then Learning, Training and Development with Kate Rowland.

Was your degree funded by a scholarship or donor? 

Yes I was an Equity and Merit Fellow. I am forever grateful to the funders of the scholarship fund for affording me this high level qualification of a global standard, one that I would most certainly not been able to afford on my own. May the work of the fellowship team and the scholarship fund continue gaining strength. 

What is your best memory from your time at Manchester? 

The International networks of colleagues who became friends from different countries round the world. We still enjoy one another’s association and seek one another out for professional guidance on different assignments and projects.

Do you have any tips or advice for current or prospective students?

Yes I do. Take the programme very seriously right from the motivation letter to the modules and up to the dissertation. Excellence is not an option, but it will come at a heavy price of commitment to the academic rigour and cutting back on some social activities. It is only 2 ½ after all.