Bachelor of Science in Business Studies, Lebanese American University
Corporate Communications Manager, Bosch Middle East
What work experience/internships did you have before beginning with Imperial College Business School?
During my time as an undergraduate student, I completed several internships in the digital, marketing, and public relations fields – and the latter is where I found my calling. Following my bachelor’s degree, I relocated to Dubai, where I kicked off my career at an international PR agency, focusing on clients in the technology industry, which is a booming sector, especially in Dubai. I worked there for three years and then took on a corporate communications role at my current company, Bosch Middle East, where I develop a range of internal as well as external communications strategies for the company, ensuring the brand is well positioned.
Why did you decide to study MSc Strategic Marketing (online, part-time) at Imperial College Business School?
After six of years of professional work, it was the right time for me to pursue a Master’s, especially after developing a better picture of my true passion. Yet with COVID-19 changing the way we live, work and study, it was crucial for me to enrol in an online programme at a well-poised and internationally recognised university, that would enable me to make the most out of the Master’s.
The part-time MSc Strategic Marketing at Imperial was the ideal programme that would enable me to realise my dream, while in parallel, continuing to grow in my career as a communications professional. My main goal from this programme is to deepen my knowledge in the marketing field, specifically the strategic side, which is nowadays shaping industries and businesses across the globe.
Which has been your favourite module so far and why?
I have learned a lot from all modules taught so far, and I have been able to expand my knowledge across a range of marketing topics. However, my favourites so far have been Strategic Market Management and Consumer Behaviour, as both modules presented an opportunity to get creative when working on projects, whether with team-members or individually.
As I had taken a psychology module during my undergraduate studies, I was able to relate more to Consumer Behaviour as it shed light on the psychology behind decisions made by industry leaders and consumers. On the other hand, Strategic Market Management enabled me to consider innovative business opportunities from a new and fresh perspective. Overall, I am confident that I will continue to use the knowledge presented in all modules in the future and throughout my career, as I have also developed valuable soft skills that are necessary to succeed in life and take my career to greater heights.
What has been the most challenging part of the programme?
As we are taking three modules per term, from my experience, I can say that the quantity of material can be overwhelming at first, especially for those like myself who are trying to balance it with a full-time job. However, as we progressed through the programme and adapted to it, the pace seemed to ease. We also learned to prioritise the various projects and exercise, focusing on the more critical deadlines, to be able to balance our time more efficiently.
Have you found the programme learnings to be directly applicable to your role?
As we progress through the programme, I have been able to apply the material and learnings into my day-to-day tasks as a working professional. From team-building skills, and thinking more strategically and outside the box, to understanding customers and the psychology behind their behaviours, as well as making use of data to better analyse results and make well-informed decisions. Each module has provided me with knowledge to grow further in my role. Moreover, the elective modules I am now enrolled in will certainly feed directly into my role, especially when it comes to topics including leadership, international business and relations, and emerging technologies which are constantly changing the way we work and live.
How have you found studying on The Hub?
The Hub provides me with the flexibility to study at a time and place I deem suitable. Since this is an online programme where I am working full-time in parallel, flexibility is key, as we are working with students across a range of time zones and locations. The Hub has so far been easy to use, especially when working at one’s own pace. It is also convenient to watch previous lectures when I’ve not been able to attend directly, which is ideal especially during these unconventional times.
How would you describe your cohort at Imperial?
Certainly international. It is an absolute pleasure to be meeting and working with students from different backgrounds and from across the globe. I have so far met students from China, Germany, Italy, London, Cairo and much more! The students are also working in diverse fields, where some are in consulting, insurance, theatre, startups, aviation and more – meaning we get to learn from each other as we share experiences and introduce each other to various ways of thinking and tackling challenges.
Can you highlight the positives of working in syndicate groups on the programme?
Through working with diverse students, the programme enhanced the way we work with people from different backgrounds. It has taught me the most efficient and effective ways to communicate to reach a common understanding, and ultimately achieve the goal of successfully accomplishing a task/project.
Did you have a favourite professor/lecturer and why?
I have been able to meet and interact with several renowned professors as well as industry professionals who are well-established and well-versed in their fields. Even though they have all added value to my knowledge and understanding of the material, my favourites so far have been Professor Andreas Eisingerich and Dr Omar Merlo who both presented the material in an engaging and insightful manner, where their passion towards the subject matter and programme was evident through their lectures. They also encouraged us to participate even further and share our diverse experiences and perspectives.
What has been the greatest opportunity you have had at Imperial?
Imperial has enabled me to grow both personally and professionally, by introducing me to innovative topics and strategies that can be implemented in my current job. The material discussed is relevant to the evolving industry dynamics, and even takes into consideration how the Coronavirus pandemic has affected businesses and respective marketing strategies.
Which workshops, events or guest lectures at the school have been useful in developing your skills and knowledge?
The workshop ‘How to interact in a virtual environment’ and ‘Confidence in public speaking’ have been useful since most of our interactions and meetings nowadays (both at work and during our studies) are virtual, as we adapt to the ‘new normal’ following COVID-19. The workshop shared vital tips that would enable us to further develop virtual confidence which I have been able to implement immediately.
How have you benefited from the Business School’s connection to the Imperial College London community?
I was fortunate to be able to meet fellow students and alumni from Imperial’s Lebanese Community who are living across the globe. This encounter enabled me to gain new insights by listening to their unique experiences studying at Imperial, and beyond their studies as working professionals each in their own field and in different markets.
Looking back to when you were applying for the programme, did you attend any online webinars or on-campus information sessions?
Prior to applying to the programme, I read a lot of blogs by students and these to me were helpful in painting a more accurate picture about the programme and helped me set more accurate expectations. Due to the pandemic, I was not able to attend any on-campus information sessions, however I was able to speak with the Recruitment team who shared more information about MSc Strategic Marketing, which was useful to get a better understanding of the programme.
What advice would you give someone who is thinking about applying for the programme?
This is a challenging yet rewarding programme. The MSc Strategic Marketing (online, part-time) requires hard work and dedication to be able to make the most out of it. The programme provides you with a well-rounded opportunity to deepen your understanding of crucial and timely subjects, as the material is constantly updated to meet the industry requirements. It also enables students to think creatively and outside the box when implementing topics.
I would advise future students to put in 100% effort from the very beginning, and not leave things until the last minute (it’s best to study on a regular basis) since a lot of the assignments are project-based and require thorough understanding of the content to tackle them.