Educating Execs: University of Wollongong in Dubai, UAE
Established in 1993, the University of Wollongong in Dubai (UOWD) is one of the UAE’s oldest private accredited universities, and that in itself has enabled the institution to build a reputation for “academic excellence, graduate employability and an unparalleled student experience,” says Professor Mohamed Salem, President, UOWD. Besides undergraduate programs in a variety of disciplines, UOWD also offers a number of postgraduate programs, of which the MBA is Prof. Salem’s recommendation for ‘treps and would-be ‘treps. “A MBA is an incredibly useful program for any business executive or entrepreneur as it provides them with the analytical, crossfunctional skillset that will support both top-level managerial decision-making and the day-to-day management of a business,” he says. “Our entrepreneurs in the making tell us that the skills they learn during the MBA program are incredibly useful in the early days of running a startup, when they may not have the funds to invest in manpower and may therefore find themselves undertaking everything from marketing strategy to balancing the books, to building a CSR program.”
But Prof. Salem also notes that UOWD’s MBA program is a good fit for more experienced business people as well. “For entrepreneurs and executives who are further on their business journey, the MBA offers them an opportunity to upgrade their skills, equipping them with advanced management techniques which will help them to grow their business or attain management positions at the highest level,” he explains. The school also encourages entrepreneurship by setting up clubs like the UOWD Business Minded Association, which organizes educational trips to businesses in Dubai and talks from entrepreneurs, in addition to conducting seminars and conferences from organizations like the Human Resources Forum in Dubai, the Association of International Business’ MENA branch, and others.
To UOWD’s credit, its efforts in this particular arena definitely seem to be bearing fruit- Prof. Salem points towards the school’s graduates who are making a name for themselves in the entrepreneurial space, which includes names like Mona Tavassoli, founder and Director of Mom Souq and Mompreneurs Middle East, Faris Ahmed Ramadhan Huma, CEO, Zone Parking Solutions, Shawn Frank and Ronak Dave, co-founders, Mindhyve and Aziz Saeed Alzeqri, co-founder, XploreX. “We take great pride in producing graduates who have the skillsets needed to advance both their careers and bolster the UAE’s economy since 1993,” Prof. Salem says. “We focus strongly on providing our graduates with the depth of education needed to fulfill the UAE’s ambitions, including Expo 2020 and helping work towards the creation of a knowledge based economy which is fuelled by cutting edge research.”
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.