Educating Execs: London Business School, Dubai, UAE
Given that London Business School has been consistently ranked as one of the world’s top business schools, it should come as no surprise that its Dubai Centre has been attracting students by the dozen to its Executive MBA program ever since it launched in 2007. According to Jane Khedair, Head of Entrepreneurship, Career Services, London Business School, the course has so far produced more than 616 graduates in total, many of whom have gone on to either lead at some of the region’s top performing companies, or instead launch their own business enterprises- the latter category includes names like Genny Ghanimeh, founder of the Dubai-based crowd funded micro-financing platform, PiSlice, and Faris Hani Al-Torki, founder of the Jeddah-based restaurant, F6or_Faris. "We are a school whose graduates are some of the most sought-after in the world," Khedair says.
Success stories like these are, of course, inspiring, but one must not think a degree from London Business School is a one-way ticket to startup success either. “Studying for a MBA is by no means a guaranteed method to establishing a successful new business venture, nor is it the only entry route to a career in entrepreneurship,” Khedair says. “However, studying for a MBA can provide would-be entrepreneurs with invaluable experiences and skills critical to running a successful business. It can also be extremely rewarding for the life-long relationships and friendships forged at the school, as peers become indispensable business contacts.”
But Khedair also notes that London Business School has been especially active in encouraging the entrepreneurial-minded among its students. “Many of our alumni who go on to become entrepreneurs first developed their business ideas whilst studying on the MBA program,” Khedair says. “In response to this growing trend, we have launched new initiatives here in the Gulf. This includes the launch last year of our Entrepreneurship Mentor-in-Residence program in Dubai, following an immensely successful run in London. The response to this from students has been strong, and we have been pleased to see successful entrepreneurs from our alumni network wanting to give back to students through mentoring.”
Pick And Choose: Five Things To Look For In A Business School
Jane Khedair's tips on what to look for when deciding on a school to pursue your entrepreneurial and educational aspirations:
- Ask about startup support available through initiatives and schemes, as well as other ongoing initiatives to develop your business ideas throughout the course of the program.
- Ask about mentoring schemes, or other modes of one-to-one support available to budding entrepreneurs.
- Express your interest in entrepreneurship early on in the application process, and do as much research as possible.
- Would-be entrepreneurs can also benefit from speaking to alumni and hearing about their experiences.
- Most importantly, carefully consider the content of the MBA program, as they can vary significantly- there is no single MBA program that looks the same. Research faculty credentials and read some of their work to get a taste of the content.
Aby Sam Thomas is the Editor in Chief of Entrepreneur Middle East. In this role, Aby is responsible for leading the publication on its editorial front, while also working to build the brand and grow its presence across the MENA region through the development and execution of events and other programming, as well as through representation in conferences, media, etc.
Aby has been working in journalism since 2011, prior to which he was an analyst programmer with Accenture, where he worked with J. P. Morgan Chase's investment banking arm at offices in Mumbai, London, and New York. He holds a Master's Degree in Journalism from the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism in New York.