When Bahrain-based Mohamed Abdulla Isa (MBA, 2010) joined Hull University Business School to study for an MBA, he had two objectives: expand his business knowledge and expand his professional network. In this piece, Mohamed reflects on his post-MBA journey and sets out the ways the programme realized returns beyond expectations. He writes here as an inspiration to others and to pay tribute to HUBS.
Becoming a published author. Getting a distinction for my dissertation subject of Investor Relations made me think: “Shall I keep my dissertation on the shelf and forget about it or shall I capitalize on it?” I consulted few friends and they recommended that I publish it as a book and offered to introduce me to a publisher. The rest is history as they say. Now, my book ‘A Review of IR Practices in Bahrain’ is available in local bookstores in Bahrain. You can find more information about the book here. This experience was fascinating and taught me that publishing books is not as difficult as I thought.
I co-authored two other books. The first one is World Class Speaking in Action which was an Amazon Best Seller in the Meetings & Presentations and the Public Speaking Reference categories. The other one is Heart of a Toastmaster which was the Best Anthology recipient by the International Books Awards. Currently, I am writing two more books. The first one is entitled: 3 Weeks With God (www.3WeeksWithGod.com). The second one is: Your World-Class Speech Coach in a Book.
Becoming a speaker. After publishing the book, I started receiving invitations to speak about Investor Relations (IR) at conferences in Bahrain and beyond. My best experience was at the Investors Conference in April 2010 when the publisher of the Bahrain Banker Magazine approached me. He told me: “This is my business card, can I get yours. I want you to write an article for my magazine.” To my delight, I was not only paid for the article but I also felt like a celebrity because they sent me an expensive professional photographer to take some pictures of me! Now, I am involved at more conferences beyond the subject of IR. Recently, I was the moderator of a distinguished team of panelist including the world renowned celebrity and the creator of mind maps – Tony Buzan. It was a lot of fun!
Getting more publicity. By becoming a writer and a speaker, I received a great amount of publicity in the media. In 2011, I received an invitation to appear on a radio talk show to discuss the subject of my book (IR). The show lasted for two hours. It was a great opportunity to promote the book. I am expected to appear on a morning TV Show on Bahrain National TV in March 2013. What’s next? Who knows!
An expanded professional network. As I highlighted above, one of my objectives in joining the HUBS MBA program was to expand my professional network. It surely did. For example, I met a HUBS MBA graduate who runs an event management company. I partnered with him to co-manage few events on Productivity, Leadership and Customer Service and became a member of the organizing committees and one of the promoters of the events. I am expecting to expand my connections greatly by being involved in the event. In addition, it is one way of getting more publicity. I am expecting more press coverage and I have already appeared on a TV Show promoting the event. Yes, I had my 15 minutes of fame!
Obtaining more professional designations. When I finished HUBS MBA, I started looking for other professional designations to improve my professional profile. The first one on my radar was becoming a Fellow of the Institute of Leadership & Management (ILM) in the UK. I successfully met all the requirements for becoming a Fellow thanks to my work experience and HUBS MBA. Having an MBA exempted me from undertaking further studies with ILM. After becoming a Fellow of ILM, I became a Chartered Manager, which is the highest membership level bestowed by the Chartered Management Institute (CMI) using a similar assessment process to that of the ILM. Now, I am one of only three Chartered Managers in Bahrain. Now, I am targeting the Chartered Director status from the Institute of Directors.
Becoming a CMI Lecturer. After becoming a CMI Chartered Manager, a professional connection introduced me to the CMI Programs Manager in Bahrain Institute of Banking and Finance to teach CMI Modules. So far, I have taught two modules, and I am scheduled to teach four more modules in 2013. Lecturing not only helps in paying for my kids bills but also helps in expanding my professional network, because the students come from different backgrounds and different walks of life. For example, someone connected me with banker in Bahrain Development Bank for some potential financing for my Doctorate level education.
Establishing a consulting practice. It is has been always my dream to start my own consulting practice; having HUBS MBA was my ticket to do that. To gain a consulting license from the Ministry of Commerce in Bahrain, you have to have a higher degree. With HUBS MBA, that was taken care of. I established a speech coaching company with the trade name: 3D Speaking. This is the place where I guide speakers on getting laughs, applause & their message across! You can find more about it here.
There you have it. These are some of the returns I received I after I have finished my HUBS MBA. I was truly delighted because they were returns beyond expectations.
(c) Mohamed Abdulla Isa (MBA, 2010)
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