Our students from United Arab Emirates
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Students and graduates from your country share their experiences of living and studying with us.
Student name: Khaled Ahmed Bin Braik
Course: Master of Business Administration (MBA)
Country: Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Year of graduation: 2011
Current employer: PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC)
Khaled earned a distinction for his MBA in Cardiff University. He still recalls the guidance and support offered by the Business School that helped in the completion of his intensive MBA course.
He is currently a Partner in PwC’s Government & Public Sector consulting practice in the Middle East. He has extensive local, regional and global experience with the public sector organisations and central governments and has led the design and execution of various large-scale public sector transformation programmes with a focus on strategy, governance and human capital management. During his tenure at PwC, Khaled partnered with some of the largest clients from the public sector across a number of industry sectors in the region through articulating strategy and priorities, setting-up operating models and organisation structures, establishing performance management systems and delivering change and communication management programmes.
He recently graduated from the Impactful Leaders Program, run by the Mohammed bin Rashid Center for Leadership Development, which is a national leadership development program for the top 1% of the Emirati senior leaders across both the public and private sector.
Why did you choose Cardiff University to do your MBA?
After reviewing the range of business schools across the United Kingdom, I selected Cardiff Business School for many reasons.
Firstly, Cardiff Business School provides first-class educational facilities and world-renowned lecturers and professors. In the 2008 Research Assessment Exercise, Cardiff Business School was ranked 4th in the United Kingdom of all business and management schools.
Secondly, the MBA programme, particularly the combination of theoretical and practical work was a unique offering that would satisfy my career aspirations.
Finally, the diversity at Cardiff Business School both in terms of cultural and industry backgrounds played an important part in my decision.
Do you think Cardiff University equipped you with the necessary skills for your job?
Yes! I acquired greater business acumen and expertise through the critical thinking lectures, integrated case studies and the various syndicates and tutorials. I also developed better problem solving and analytical skills in the process.
Tell me a little about your time here? Did you enjoy the MBA? Did you learn a lot that was useful to your later work?
As an academic experience, Cardiff was unforgettable. Cardiff is a cosmopolitan and vibrant city with a rich historical setting. The city not only provided a good platform for learning but also quenched my thirst for exploring new destinations.
Overall, the MBA programme was great, particularly the dissertation which constituted the final phase of the programme, reflecting on the entire learning absorbed throughout the academic year. I would like to sincerely express my gratitude to my dissertation supervisor and Academic Director of the MBA programme, Professor Emmanuel Ogbonna, for his invaluable guidance and support. I would also like to sincerely thank the Government of the United Arab Emirates for awarding me a scholarship for both my undergraduate and postgraduate degrees.
I believe that the learning acquired from the dissertation was very useful as it provided me with an opportunity to critically analyse and evaluate specific business and management areas of concern and to better understand organisational complexities in the context of the real world; in turn transforming me into a well rounded leader capable of reaping the benefits of globalised markets.
You’ve had an exciting career so far! What does your job entail now? What are your responsibilities?
My job entails providing consultancy services and solutions in the areas of corporate governance, organisation design, change management, performance management, leadership development, and talent management with the aim of improving the business performance of clients.
My responsibilities are often complex and varied depending on the nature of the project. The most recent project I was involved in was commissioned by one of the leading governments in the region. My responsibilities entailed developing a government-wide change management programme and the objective of my role was to support the effective implementation and integration of a strategic government-wide initiative.
What does a typical work day look like for you now?
The truth is that there never really is a typical day in consulting – this fact, along with the erratic, exhilarating, challenging nature of the job, is not only what drew most of us to the field, but is also what keeps us constantly engaged.
In general, however, a typical day depends on the project that you are involved in. Projects can vary in length depending on the intricate requirements and needs of clients. They usually involve cross-functional teams and are based across several international borders. In essence, there is no typical day in consulting; in fact the only constant is change.
The fast-paced lifestyle that consulting demands looks something like this:
It's 05:00 and you’re airborne, off to visit a client at 10:00, a large family business based in the region. On the plane, you review notes that the project director gave you about the client: its background, needs, requirements, and financial resources. When you first meet with the client, you are pedalling hard. You return to the hotel at 20:00. This is followed by a team debrief to agree on the next steps and accountabilities. You then start to review notes and work until 02:00, since the client is expecting something in the morning. And the saga continues...
What do you enjoy most about your job?
What I enjoy most is the variety which I am exposed to. Consulting involves working, with clients across multiple industries, in house teams spanning over different specialisations and competencies, and in various jurisdictions for disparate periods of time. The exposure to the wide array of client issues is an enriching and compelling experience, and serves to strengthen my knowledge of the business world today.