Majid Al Battashi is a London Met MBA graduate from Oman, now pursuing a PhD. He talks about the challenges of studying at London Met while raising a family and how he overcame them to successfully graduate.
Tell us a bit about your background
I am a chemistry teacher since 2007. I travelled with my family to the US in 2013, we spent three years there. Then, we moved to London, England and I have studied an MBA in London Met. I am accompanying my family, my wife is currently undertaking a PhD at another London university and my three children Mariya (9 years old), Ahmed (8 years old) and Ghassan (4 years old).
Thinking back before you started your MBA, did you ever think you’d be where you are now? if not why not?
I thought I can barely finish this program given my previous background in chemistry. It took time and effort to work to prove myself.
Do you feel that going to uni sends other people in your family or friendship circle a positive message? Why?
Absolutely yes. Going to university in an English speaking country, especially in the UK and in London gives my family and friends an encouraging message to pursue their education. My family used to ask about my grades and when I told them that I got a distinction, they were so excited and happy. One of them who is looking forward to pursuing their postgraduate studies asked me about the requirements to apply for this MBA and I shared the info with them.
How would you describe the journey you’ve been on?
The journey was challenging given that I have three children (all of which are at school age) and who need drop-offs and pick-ups to and from school, while my wife was taking classes at another university at the same time. Reading class materials, planning and working on assignments was planned in advance and prioritized despite the fact that negotiating time in such situation was difficult but I managed to do it well!
How has London Met and MBA helped in that journey?
When I remember the MBA, the first thing that comes to my mind is the lecturers. They were supportive and helpful, especially the program leader Dr. Hazel Messenger and my dissertation supervisor Katie Heming. This does not mean that there were no difficulties. In Katie’s class, she used to motivate me to read and to improve my drafts many times. This is what made me improve in my written work in almost all of my other assignments, even in ones which included mathematical calculations in accounting. In the end, all written work is formed of a criteria to follow and a new interest in the field, which has leading scholars that we must focus on. For me, it was about sustaining new interests and working according to the criteria to explore under investigated topics. This is the core of postgraduate study.
Regarding the University, it has a multicultural environment and provides many activities for students to choose and participate in, such as the business breakfast and the Big Idea Challenge.
What makes MBA an especially valuable degree?
The MBA enables a person to have the necessary skills and the responsibility to be a successful leader or manager to develop professionally.
Do you feel that you’ve changed as a person through your uni experience? If so how?
Yes, I have changed. This is because the MBA was not only useful to help me manage my investments in real estate but, most importantly, it is a stage that equipped me with important knowledge and skills to pursue a PhD degree in the near future.
How has the uni helped in terms of inspiring you? Specifically, guest lecturers outside of the uni? Connecting you to business opportunities? Work experience and work skills?
I attended some of the meetings which had some guests who talked about their success stories where they started from zero and then they became millionaires due to their efforts in good management. I remember a talk given by a visitor , Dr. Sheun David Onamusi who is an author and a business owner of a luxury bespoke shoe company called Solemate. After his talk, I became motivated to try hard, aspire and do many things at once just like him.
What’s it been like studying among such diverse students, what benefit did it bring?
A diverse environment helps bring experiences from various countries together so the benefit becomes maximized and culture becomes enriched. I benefited from the international students on my program. This diversity enabled me to work with people from different countries, to discuss businesses from their countries and to gain new information about the evaluation of marketing plans, leadership models and so on.
What’s next in your journey? What’s your ambition for the future?
To pursue a PhD degree in the next academic year.
Sum up how you feel about London Met and its impact on you?
London Met has helped me to develop many things but most memorably my writing skills, which makes me want to pursue a PhD degree but I am awaiting the scholarships from my country Oman, which will be awarded at the end of May 2020.
Can you describe your experience in one word?