Global Head – Acquiring Solution, Windcave
Master of Business in Information Systems
Sheraz Zahid already had a successful career in payment technology, but he decided to enrol in postgraduate study in business to help him take his career even further.
“I’m passionate about payment technology, and believe that we have an opportunity to make an impact on the lives of people and societies. This is such a dynamic field to work in and there is always innovation happening in this area.
“AUT’s Master of Business fit with my aspiration to combine my work knowledge with a postgraduate degree to back me up for leadership positions. I appreciated that it included hands-on experience with ERP, analytics and project management tools, and gave me a perspective of leading a technology business by applying both commercial and technical knowledge.”
Being able to complete research relevant to his career has been a highlight of his studies, says Sheraz who researched the impact of digital payment systems on societal wellbeing. His master’s degree dissertation was supervised by Dr Harminder Singh from the AUT Business School.
“The research is very critical for my future aspiration in this field as I really want to make a difference to developing countries where cash is dominant. With my research, I can advocate for the importance of digital payment and the significant positive impact it can have on society. The topic is very pertinent in the current environment, and I’ve been encouraged to publish an academic journal article based on my dissertation.”
Flexibility and new knowledge
Balancing postgraduate study with the other aspects of his life wasn’t always easy, Sheraz admits.
“I was a part-time student as well as a full-time employee of a large global organisation, and also had two kids and a lovely wife waiting for my time. Fortunately, the degree was flexible enough to fit into my busy schedule. It was very demanding but I was able to complete it part-time over three years.”
While he previously had little exposure to academic writing, he says this ended up being the highlight of his studies.
“The academic writing was the biggest learning for me. It helped me to approach new theory and facts, and I’ve enjoyed collecting data, putting it all together in a report and contributing to the knowledge in my field. I’ve gained so much knowledge in the process and the research was so meaningful for me. I’m very proud of choosing the Master of Business degree.”
Advice for other students
Sheraz, who completed his Master of Business at the end of 2021, has some great advice for other students.
“Have aspirations, dream about your passion, and then fuel that passion through knowledge and new learning. AUT courses will enable you to gain knowledge and expand your horizon to increase knowledge. As we all know, knowledge is power.”
There is good support available for postgraduate students, he adds.
“The AUT support in general and from my supervisor in particular was outstanding. They helped me wherever I needed support, kept me going and enabled me to achieve my dream of completing my master’s degree. This wouldn’t have been possible without the untiring support from my supervisor and all the other staff I interacted with during my time at AUT.”