Management for Business Excellence
What were you doing before you came to WMG?
I was working as a Managing Partner in my family’s business Gest for Metals in Cairo - a leading manufacturer of pressure die-cast nonferrous metals that employs around 250 people. I was also working as a Teaching Assistant at the American University in Cairo, where I gained my first degree in Business Administration and Management in 2013.
Why did you decide to study for an MSc?
It had always been my plan to take my academic career further. Although I was enjoying my professional life and doing well, there was much more I wanted to learn. My sights were set on eventually taking a PhD, so studying for a masters degree was the natural next step to take.
What made you choose to study at WMG?
For me, the most important thing was that the course is very practical. There’s a lot more to it that simply attending lectures and learning theory. The course is more about learning to apply ideas and concepts in real business situations. That’s what really made this programme stand out.
Did the course live up to your expectations?
Definitely. For each module, there is two intensive weeks of lectures and group work, followed by four weeks to complete a post-module assignment. There are no exams; part of your overall mark is for the assignments and part for your dissertation. This structure lets you take control of your own learning. Although you do have to be disciplined, you are free to develop your own learning style. I really enjoyed that.
What was the most important thing you feel you gained from the course?
It completely changed the way I look at organisations and gave me a whole new perspective. Previously, when making business decisions, I had focused on the technical aspects. But I learned that actually people are the most important factor. Whatever you do, you have to bring the people in the business with you. I could see straight away why some of the things we had done in my family’s business had not gone as well as we expected. We hadn’t thought about the human factor. It was like a sudden ‘eureka moment’ for me and transformed the way I think.
Was there anything else that stood out?
The group activities were brillliant. In the Leadership and Excellence module I volunteered to lead. It was something I had never done before and it taught me a huge amount about myself and what I can achieve. All of the activities were very challenging and forced us all to think outside of the box, working together to develop new and creative solutions for real business situations. That was key. It was learning how to apply the theory we had learned to what happens in real life. To me, this group work was as important as the lectures.
What are you planning to do once you complete your MSc?
I’m really keen to get straight back to my family’s business and start to put what I’ve learned into practice. I can see that by implementing changes and developing the decision making process, I can make a positive impact on the future of the organisation. The business is growing and beginning to exploit export opportunities, so I’m very excited about the possibilities ahead.
Are you still planning to move on to a PhD ?
Yes that’s still my aim, and my time at Warwick has made me even more keen to continue my academic career. That will be in a couple of years though. For the moment, I’m looking forward to putting what I have learned to work and building on my practical experience.