Sher Khan: The 1,000th Graduate

Professional Certificate, Stanford Strategic Decision and Risk Management

Six countries. Four continents. One online campus. 

Sher Khan has lived and worked all across the world. In 2015, he met a new milestone: He earned his professional certificate from Stanford and became the SDRM program's 1,000th graduate. 

"Stanford's online courses provided me tools and learning directly applicable to my job."

  • Managing Director, King Fahd International Airport
  • Professional Certificate in Strategic Decision and Risk Management, Stanford University
  • Master of Business Administration (Strategic Planning), University of Strathclyde
  • Bachelor of Engineering with honors (Electrical and Electronics Engineering), National University of Singapore

What initially interested you in pursuing a Professional Certificate in Strategic Decision and Risk Management (SDRM)?

Being a senior executive in the aviation industry, I have to work with a lot of diverse communities through different assignments. I wanted to learn how to best handle the various nuances and the difficulties in decision making I could encounter. Stanford's online courses provided me tools and learning directly applicable to my job.

What has been the most valuable part of earning the certificate?

I'm a strong believer in life-long learning. A favorite saying of mine is: “Learn as though you will live forever. Be good as though you will die tomorrow." Since the SDRM program was offered entirely online, I was able to pursue my education, continue my career, and benefit from experiencing both, despite the challenges of geographical location and time.

What was your favorite course?

I enjoyed the program's core courses - Decision Quality and Decision Analysis. They were rigorous and intense, but rewarding. 

In Asian culture, the decision making process has its advantages - it's fast and centralized. What it lacks is the consideration of diverse point of views. The SDRM program teaches you a formal process to address strategic issues whilst giving consideration to diversity. In cases where outcomes may not be beneficial for all stakeholders, you revisit the decision. The process you establish makes you more aware and able to combine a thoughtful approach with quick, confident decisiveness.

What advice would you give current participant in the program?

It's important to have a long-term view in decision making and life. I would encourage every participant to remind themselves of this when feeling challenged to complete the SDRM program or any 'project.' Once you reach a milestone, move on to another. Keep challenging yourself, take pride in everything you do, and you will never regret your efforts.