In conversation with Global MBA student Dana El-Tawil

Posted by Bayes Business School on 01-Jun-2021 09:00:00

Investing in a Global MBA is a decision that certainly deserves plenty of consideration. If you’re thinking about joining our online, part-time programme, you may have a variety of questions about what to expect.

You’re not alone in this – our team of helpful Course Advisers answer numerous questions every day from prospective students. It’s a process that we actively encourage, to ensure you can make the best out of your education.

To help provide a first-hand account of what our online Global MBA offers, we sat down for a livestreamed Q&A with Dana El-Tawil, one of our current students. She spoke to Ricardo de Paula, one of our Course Advisers, about her experience on the course thus far, and answered questions submitted by viewers of the event.Dana El Tawil

Read on for the first part of our conversation with Dana.

Ricardo: To get started, it would be nice to let everyone get to know you better. Could you tell us a bit about yourself and your background?

Dana: Sure! As you know, my name is Dana. I was born in Canada, but I've grown up and spent the majority of my life in the Middle East, where I'm currently based in Qatar.

I've worked for several years in the communications industry, in many different roles, so not your typical business background.

I actually graduated with a degree in political science and art history, and I now work in strategic marketing at Qatar Foundation. It’s a non-profit organisation that works in research, community development, and education. So yeah, I love working with people. I love understanding organisations, cultures, and how people work. And that's kind of what drove me into wanting to get an MBA.

Ricardo: One of the most popular questions from prospective students is: What actually motivated you to study this course? I know that you joined with your husband, which is quite interesting. I think it's the first time that something like that has happened!

Dana: It's true, my husband and I actually did make the decision to do this together. The reason partially was because our wedding was supposed to be last May in Greece and unfortunately, due to COVID-19 and all the travel restrictions, we had to postpone it.

So, we were thinking about what else we could do for ourselves right now that we really wanted to do. Earning our MBAs has been something that we've both been talking about for a few years. It's been brewing. Rather than put it off any longer, we decided to start our applications together.

For me personally, I wanted to advance myself and give myself the certification needed to move up in my career – but also to understand business a little more. You know, I'm more of an ideas person, but I don't really have the same business acumen that most people who studied business as undergraduates have.

Plus, there’s no better time to invest in yourself than right now. I wanted to be able to continue my career whilst developing academically and the online aspect of the MBA was just the perfect fit. So, yeah, it was kind of a no brainer.

Ricardo: Excellent - and why did you did you decide to opt for the Business School and not a different school in the UK, for example?

Dana: I think there's so many schools and MBA programmes nowadays that you can get a bit confused. It’s important to narrow down your interests. I think Dr. Aneesh said this to me and Sebastian when we first joined the MBA programme: ‘You can look at it as a buffet or you can look at as like a seated dinner.’ If you know what you want, you’ll get the most out of it.

There's no wrong way around it, but I think figuring that out before you start an MBA is really important, at least for me personally. I absolutely loved the way that the programme was presented. I loved hearing other people's experiences through webinars just like this one before I applied – for me that was really empowering and motivating to join the school.

Another super important thing was that it was a Triple Crown accredited degree, which is which makes it a very well recognised qualification globally. I mean, I work in Qatar right now. I'm from Canada and my husband is British-Dutch. The world is kind of just one big place for us. I really wanted to get our MBA from a school that will be recognised no matter where we end up. 

Ricardo: One of the things that people normally ask about is the amount of hours required for the Global MBA programme. We recommend 15 hours per week. Do you think that's accurate for you since starting the course?

Dana: Yeah, I think that's fair. I think you need about three hours a day if you're not including weekends, though that’s generally what most people will tell you they do.

I've found that I've been waking up an hour earlier so I can study in the morning before work and before my meetings and Zoom fatigue – which we’re all experiencing. I then do two hours of reading in the evening.

I mean, we're all human. Sometimes you’ll have a busy week and won't be able to, so you'll have to study some more on the weekend. But it's really manageable. I was one of those people that was extremely terrified of taking this commitment on because I have a very demanding job. I was thinking there's no way I'm going to be able to do this – but as soon as you’re in it, it gets better. And there's also a great team behind you that helps.

Ricardo: I have another question from a prospective student: What are the assignments like?

Dana: That’s a really good question. At the end of every module, there's an individual assignment and a group assignment that you have to submit. You get to apply all of the knowledge that you gained over the last six weeks. The individual assignments are usually around a thousand words. It's not really trying to catch you out or anything. It's just helping you ensure that you understood and absorbed everything to the point of being able to it into your own words, using course material, the readings, and everything else.

Ricardo: And how have you found the course’s networking opportunities so far?

Dana: The all-MBA networking setup is something that I really enjoy. People from all the different MBA programmes within the Business School get together every month, and we have a Zoom chat, do icebreakers, and get to know each other.

You get to meet people from the Executive MBA and from the on-campus MBA and so many different other ones, which is really cool because you get to connect with people from different business courses.

And there’s also so many student groups, societies, and communities that you can become a part of. When I looked at it online, I was amazed. Whatever it is that you're interested in, there's something for everyone. And if not, then who says you can't start it?

Ricardo: This next question’s more about the future: How do you think this course will help you advance in your career?

Dana: The course is teaching me how to be my own type of leader, it’s making me think about how I want to lead an organisation. My leadership style may not necessarily be the most conventional way, but the MBA is really good because it gives you that opportunity to think for yourself. No one's telling you to do things one specific way.

For me, I feel that things like empathy and compassion are extremely important, so those are qualities I want to take forward as a leader.

Plus, with the aspect of it being global – I mean, it's in the name – you really do get exposure to understanding and dealing with different people's perspectives within organisations and where they come from. It’s enhanced my thinking completely.

Do you think a Global MBA is the next step in your career’s progression? Our online, part-time Global MBA course makes it possible for you to earn your qualification from anywhere in the world, on a flexible schedule.

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Topics: Global MBA

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