Bridging the gaps: why I chose to study at WBS

26 July 2021

Hear from Global Online MBA (London) participant Abba Almas to find out why he chose Warwick Business School and what to consider when choosing where to study your MBA. 

My reasons for choosing Warwick’s Global Online MBA program were partly down to serendipity and partly down to need.

In 2004 I was planning to pursue a BSc in Actuarial Science at the University of Warwick, after graduating high school with the highest grades amongst all the schools in the Kingdom of Bahrain.

As excited as I was back then, life had other plans, which as the eldest child required me to stay at home and take care of the family. Therefore, I chose a University and course that enabled me to work and study at the same time, and completed my bachelor’s degree in Banking and Finance just at the start of the global financial crisis. Not a great time for those who had dreams pursuing the Wall Street kind of jobs, but as cliché as it is, life does work out and you will only walk the path that is written for you.

After graduating, I ended up working in various industries ranging from banking to higher education management, and from telecoms to government reform projects, where I excelled and became an all-round marketing, operations and BD ‘specialist’. Along the way, I honed, learned, gained, and used all my practical experience and knowledge until I became a C-Level executive.

However, due to the pandemic, I chose to leave my job and willingly become unemployed to return home to be with my family. I’m sure everyone in the world has been affected by this pandemic one way or another, but for me personally, the one good thing I whole-heartedly can say about it is - it gave me an opportunity to slow down and start reflecting on my journey, both personal and professional, and reconnect with myself and my family.

The break in work highlighted something very clearly to me, which is that in the process of growing professionally, I have also limited myself intellectually. It is easy to lose yourself in the corporate ways of doing business, where you rely mostly on your ‘tried and tested’ methods, your gut instinct, your practical knowledge and experience.

I am very blessed to have worked alongside great colleagues and mentors, and have achieved so much at a young age, but I still needed that academic refinement and retooling. I needed the more proven theories and intellectual fundamentals. I needed different perspectives from leaders in other industries and fields, and new networks of professionals from all over the world instead of just the GCC and the Middle East. Also, if I wanted to continue carrying out successful C-Level future roles, I clearly needed a strong MBA that would, in a nutshell, summarise my business experiences through an academic and intellectual lens, so that I can overcome corporate obstacles not only by sheer experience but by using sound analytical and theoretical grounded decisions.

That is when I started looking into university programmes that would strengthen my knowledge, bridging the gaps between my professional overview, my business approach, and my overall thought process. Plus, I was looking for a university that:

  • Is renowned academically
  • Produces actual leaders
  • Provides great value for money
  • Would challenge me and push me outside my comfort zone
  • Is up to date in terms of relative content
  • Has great reviews
  • Offers global networking opportunities.

Based on my scorecard, I researched far and wide, and it wasn’t difficult to choose Warwick Business School out of a list of the ‘World’s Top 10’, simply because it is the BEST business school out of them.

Four modules in, and I have already enjoyed learning so much more than I had anticipated, especially as I can relate and put to use what I have learnt and what I am learning in my day-to-day work.

Find out more about our Global Online MBA.