Rami Baddour completed the Strathclyde MBA in Dubai in 2010. Below he talks about his experience as a Strathclyde MBA alumnus.
What were you doing before the MBA?
I was working with one of the biggest contracting companies in the UAE - the Consolidated Contractors Company (CCC). This company is ranked among the top 15 international contractors with a workforce of 130,000 employees. My title was ‘Senior Procurement Engineer’ and I was handling multimillion-dollar projects of different types and complexities
What led you to choose Strathclyde?
Strathclyde offers the MBA programme with great flexibility such that it is possible to pursue your postgraduate studies while still working. Over and above, the programme is offered in two centres in the UAE (Dubai and Abu Dhabi)*. This flexibility facilitated my decision in choosing Strathclyde over other universities for my postgraduate studies given that I was commuting between Abu Dhabi and Dubai on a daily basis.
What were your overall thoughts on the programme?
The programme is intensive in nature and supports the development of essential skills such as leadership, time management, strategic thinking, and so on. Within two years, I was exposed to many topics in the area of marketing management, data analysis, financial management, operations management, etc.; not to mention the fact that there is a complete module about strategy which supported me in developing a 3-year strategy along with a balanced scorecard during my tenure with one of my previous employers.
I truly enjoyed the thesis part of the MBA programme. The challenge was about developing a thesis that must fully meet the criteria set out by Strathclyde. Despite the short timeframe, it was possible to deliver it in a way that exceeded the expectations of my supervisor
How has the learning positively impacted you?
Shortly after completing the MBA programme, I was offered a managerial position in one of the biggest telecommunication companies in the MENA region. As a manager, you have to have the right skills in managing people which is more challenging than managing a process. Having said that, I was able to effectively and efficiently manage the procurement department and exceed the expectations of all the stakeholders.
What has your journey been post-MBA and how did the MBA affect your career journey?
As mentioned earlier, I was offered a title of ‘Procurement Manager’, which requires extensive years of experience as well as exceptional soft skills to reach this level, not to mention the fact that I interacted with employees of different seniority levels including the CEO and the CFO of the company. Moreover, I handled a more senior position (i.e. Project Manager) which required the management of complex projects with tight deadlines. Today, I train and mentor international professionals working in leading global supply chain companies.
Any tips you’d give someone starting their MBA next year?
Although complex and intensive in nature, I recommend that the students make best use of the MBA programme given that it exposes them to useful theory, comprehensive business topics and real case studies. During their MBA journey, it is important that the students expand their network and work in different teams to confidently handle senior positions in the future.
*Note: We currently only offer the Strathclyde MBA UAE at our international centre in Dubai.