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AUS celebrates 20th anniversary of Master of Business Administration program
This September marks 20 years since American University of Sharjah (AUS) first introduced the Master of Business Administration (MBA) to its portfolio of programs. Over the past two decades, hundreds of students have graduated from the program, with it now being recognized as one of the region’s best MBAs. QS World University Subject Rankings recently named AUS as number one in the Middle East for business and management studies.
The program boasts an impressive list of alumni, with many successful entrepreneurs, and leaders of government and business having graduated from the program since its launch in 2000. Examples include His Excellency Charles Mbakka, former Ambassador of Kenya to the UAE; Mishal Kanoo, Chairman of the Kanoo Group; Adil Ismail Saeedi Al Zarooni, Senior Vice President for Sales at Economic Zones World and JAFZA; and Leila Nalouti, Associate Vice President—Finance, Waha Capital, among many others.
Rana Jamshed, who joined the MBA in its inaugural year, has credited the degree with giving her the confidence and know-how to succeed in a number of roles and industries. Currently a partner at advisory firm Solitaire Partners, she has worked across the financial areas of private equity, corporate restructuring, and mergers and acquisitions since completing her MBA. She also contributes to her family business, Smart Chem Hygiene, and has ventured into the fashion industry, starting fashion brand PolkaDotCat. She said of her AUS MBA experience:
“After completing a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration, majoring in Finance and Accounting, a few of us promised to come back for the MBA and to relive college life. Although the program was demanding alongside my full-time job…it was definitely a career step forward, with fun times with friends, colleagues and professors. The degree was complementary to my business journey. It gave me opportunities such as teaching business and economics in Vancouver and helped me as an entrepreneur.”
Engineer Ali Alsuwaidi, another of the program’s first graduates, has also scaled extraordinary career heights since completing his MBA at AUS. Now Chief Operating Officer at Global Village, he was previously the senior director of operations during the pre- and post-opening phases of the Burj Khalifa. Other career highlights include being responsible for the setup and launch of Souq Al Jubail, for which the Souq team received a token of appreciation from His Highness Sheikh Dr. Sultan bin Muhammad Al Qasimi, Member of the UAE Supreme Council and Ruler of Sharjah. Alsuwaidi said:
“I have very fond memories of my interactions with the AUS faculty, and of course, the other MBA students…It is an amazing environment. Through the MBA program, I definitely grew as a leader and became better equipped to add value to the organization I work for and the teams I manage. Through the MBA I became more of a subject-matter expert. I became passionate about delivering value and leading by example.”
The launch of the MBA in 2000 was an important milestone in AUS’ rise as a leading Middle East university. Dr. Rod French, who was Chancellor of AUS at the time, said:
“In the early years of AUS, undergraduate enrollment in the School of Business Administration grew very quickly under the leadership of its first dean, Dr. Wadiah Atiya. Requests came from business leaders to offer programs at more advanced levels to key employees, and hence the MBA was born.”
Such strong links with industry have been one of the hallmarks of success of the MBA. The program has been modified over the years to reflect changing needs in regional and global economies, as well as the expectations of employers, across many different sectors. AUS MBA students are given opportunities to work with many of the world’s most prestigious employers, with Unilever, Proctor & Gamble, L’Oreal, Etihad, Emirates and PWC just a sample of the organizations with whom MBA graduates have found employment.
Dr. Narjess Boubakri, Dean of AUS’ School of Business Administration, is confident that the program will continue to deliver outstanding talent to organizations, regionally and globally:
“Our current cohort of MBA students is showing real tenacity and innovation at this time when COVID-19 is impacting the way in which we all study and work. These students are continuing to strive for excellence and the skills they are fostering in coping with the pandemic will set them in good stead for long and prosperous careers ahead.”
For more information about the AUS MBA program, please visit www.aus.edu/mba.