Newly appointed UAE Chapter Chairperson wants to strengthen networks across the globe
Jay Bester, an alumnus of the business school who obtained a Postgraduate Diploma in Business Management and Administration and an MBA, currently resides in Saudi Arabia, where he works in real estate development. He also holds a bachelor’s degree in Quantity Surveying.
Bester, who is passionate about startups, collaboration, and teamwork, has been serving on the Alumni Committee since January 2021. He says he chose the business school because the blended programme allowed him to live abroad while studying back home in South Africa. “The MBA has opened my perspective about business in international markets and has grown my network extensively,” he says.
He adds: “I have learned to manage my time to ensure high performance in all areas of my life. In addition, regular journaling about my progress, successes, and failures has helped me identify my main constraints in life, what things make me successful, and in its weird way, helps me shape me.”
Bester says his leadership journey at the business school made him realise that he is constantly developing. “To be a real influential leader, I need to realise that there are challenges of being an influential leader on the management team and leveraging human resources for maximum benefit are not always.”
After graduating, the landscape changed in his career. “I became a non-executive director at i7 capital Pty Ltd based in South Africa. Venture capital has always been a passion for me, and this opportunity solidified my interaction with SME’s and startups,” he says.
He relocated to Saudi Arabia and became part of the Diriyah Gate Project, a new cultural and lifestyle tourism destination located in Diriyah, Riyadh. He names this move to Riyadh, being the lead cost consultant on several Expo 2020 projects in Dubai SME’s and startups, and founding Besteq Pty Ltd, a private equity portfolio, as career highlights.
He says the Alumni Association is important to connect the institution’s loyal alumni members through get-togethers, fundraisers, and other networking opportunities. “We aim to create a platform where others can connect worldwide and not only in South Africa. It’s important to keep the university’s footprint and image as a priority and share our thoughts with others considering becoming a student at the business school,” he says.
His vision this year is to explore the possible merger of the UAE Chapter with a broader demographic of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC). “We have several event activities in the pipeline in collaboration with the South African Business Council in the United Arab Emirates (SABCO UAE).”