Mohammed Al Hassani lives and works in Oman as CCO of the Zubair Corporation. He believes his long-haul commute to Copenhagen to study for his GEMBA is worth every second, and has already gained a fresh perspective on business thanks to the course’s international outlook.
Usually people in Oman don’t go to Copenhagen to study. I am one of very few people to do this – and to brave the eight- or nine-hour flights every six weeks – but I wouldn’t change a thing. We’ve also had courses in Shanghai, London and Chicago and it gave me a whole world of perspectives and exposure to differing business dynamics.
I already have two Masters Degrees, but this is my first MBA. I usually take on a new course every four to five years and I believe in lifelong learning. I’ve had exposure to the UK education system, as well as Switzerland, the US and the Middle East, but I was keen to study in the Nordic region. I’ve mixed with executives from Scandinavia and I like their way of doing things.
In my working life I’m on lots of boards and I’m a member of an executive committee. While in my personal life, I have seven children. So you could say I’m busy! But learning how to manage your time is all part of the experience and part of the course. If you really want to do this, you’ll find a way.
The workload isn’t small, but the quality of learning is fantastic. I like the way it is structured around my business – and not studying the business models of Apple or Samsung as you find on other courses – and that it adds value to me and my employer. I was able to complete a paper that analysed our business and it really helped me a lot.
The second thing I’ve been impressed by is the continuity of the modules. You’ll find that a module such as Leadership, for example, is interconnected with all the other modules and they all came together to create a cohesive structure. The mid-term papers highlight this – as does the project at the end of the course.
One of the best aspects of the course is that I can apply what I learn to my job straightaway – it isn’t a case of waiting until the end of the course to get the certificate before I can roll out my new skills. From day one, I could see things in different ways and apply my education to worthwhile challenges.
Another big advantage is the networking. My colleagues have been fantastic, and I have already learned so much from their different skills, industries, cultures and backgrounds. We work together a lot and it’s been helpful to get advice on real life business topics in Europe. And in return, I can give them insight into doing business in the Middle East.
All in all, this course has provided me with a fantastic experience. I was a little apprehensive about how I would be received, but I have been made to feel right at home!