Sana’a – Twenty MBA students graduated with an E-MBA this past Thursday in a large ceremony. The Sana’a University’s Center of Business Administration (CBA) in partnership with the Netherlands’ Maastricht School of Management presented Masters in Business Administration (MBA) to its third graduating class.
Hundreds of friends, families and colleagues attended the festive graduation ceremony that featured live music, food and speeches from distinguished guests such as the Ministry of Information, Hassan Al-Lawzi, on behalf of the Prime Minister, Dr. Ali Mujawar; the Vice-Minister of Higher Education, Dr. Mohammed Al-Mutahhar; Sana’a University Rector, Dr. Khaled Tameem; Dutch Embassy Deputy Head of Mission, Mrs. drs. Elena Reesch; CBA Director, Dr. Ahmed Bin-Mubarak, and MSM Director of Outreach Programs, Mrs. drs. Helena Koolen.
The graduation was a huge event celebrating the participants as they concluded two years of rigorous study. “This celebration highlights the academic achievements which we have all worked so hard for, I think it has been exceptionally organized and has been very inspiring for all of us” said Ms. Helmy Koolen, the Director of Outreach Programs at the Maastricht School of Management, the Netherlands.
For many of the faculty and participants it was an emotional day, “It feels almost as if today is the wedding day for both my sons,” said Dr. Ahmed Bin-Mubarak, the Director of the Center of Business Administration. “It is so difficult to describe my feelings because we’ve been working with the participants for over two years through this program step by step from the very beginning,” Dr Bin-Mubarak continued.
The electric and festive celebration matched the accomplishment of the newly minted graduates as they not only completed two years of rigorous study, but achieved this success in evening courses as they maintained full time work in their respective careers. Many participants found the program challenging even though they were already veterans of the business sector as they all held positions as senior managers in some of the most prominent Yemeni businesses throughout their studies.
These rigors of this program are a reflection of the high standards set by the Center for Business Administration’s MBA program. “We are very strict with our participants because we need to meet the international standards set by our school,” said Dr. Bin-Mubarak. The standards are so high that it is now currently the only fully internationally certified MBA program in Yemen. Thus far, it was received three international certifications solidifying the center’s position as one of the strongest MBA programs in the world. The program is able to set these high standards and meet them as the CBA’s program is supported by and works very closely with the Maastricht School of Management; a world leading business school based out of the Netherlands. To meet these standards, the school focuses on three areas: knowledge, such as theories of management, tangible skills in effective management and most importantly networking not just in Yemen but with international counterparts from all over the world.
Many students spoke highly of the standards and how the studies have benefited their career. “This program has been very helpful to me as I was taught with the latest curriculum from the best universities in the world and with distinguished local and international faculty that not only served as teachers but leaders for us,” said the class valedictorian, Mohammed Al-Asaadi.
One of the distinguishing factors students claimed that notably marked their experience was that they were encouraged to apply their education to their personal career, future goals and interests and in return personalize their education. Mohammed Al-Asaadi, Freelance Journalist / Consultant, who received the University Award for the best academic performance and top student in class, focused his dissertation and research on his background of private media, “I hope that my research on private media in Yemen will develop this important sector and ignite the interest of other researches to study this topic.”
On the other hand, Ms. Dalal Al-Yazidi, Management Assistant – ICT Project, spoke highly about the program, faculty and overall experience. “I always aspired to obtain a master’s degree from abroad for one simple reason: unlike us, people there do study for the sake of knowledge and not just for passing their exams,” Al-Yazidi, recipient of CBA Award for the best dissertation, said. “The CBA brought the world to us here.”
On the same line, Mr. Abdulmalek Alhaddad, Managing Director – Grand Entertainment Ltd, says that the CBA provides a unique environment for such educational experience and an excellent mosaic of facility, faculty and management team. Talking about the participating students, Alhaddad said, “the participants and their level of competitiveness and diversified backgrounds and expertise add value to the whole experience.”
Mr. Fadie Shaif, HR Manager – OMV Yemen, says in appreciation of this academic experience: “The grueling test of character that I and my fellow graduates have overcome to meet the extremely demanding standards of this MBA program will stand us in good stead no matter what we come across.” Agreeing with him, Mr. Mohammed Abdo Al-Haddi, OMV Yemen as well, said that the class set-up and professor approach added value to his project management and problem solving approaches through feedback of real life experiences and group work. “This program had opened my eyes on business and management in general which made me seriously plan for a big move in my personal life and career,” he added.
With the effectiveness of the Center for Business Administration’s MBA program, the program hopes to create a better future for Yemen by training individuals that meet the needs of Yemen. “The biggest problem in Yemen at the moment is that there are no management skills, “ Dr. Ahmed Bin Mubarak, CBA Director, “Like all others, the Yemeni government depends mainly on the private sector which CBA thrives to improve. Although defined as an essential part of the development in the 10 Priorities, greater effort and time should still be exerted to CBA.” The Minister of Higher Education, stressed the importance of this, “This is a very important program from our point of view and will contribute to the development and capacity of the private sector.” Mrs. drs. Helmy Koolen added, “The students will advance their career and with the knowledge and skills learned from this program will benefit their places of work and their country whether it be private business, government, or a non-governmental organization.”
With the continued importance of this program to the private sector development of Yemen, a strong need for its graduates continues far into the future. The program has already started recruiting for it’s 6th class as the 4th and 5th classes are currently working towards their very own celebration, just like the one held this past Thursday. By fulfilling its vision to create a center of excellence in Management for Yemen that directly targets the leadership roles of the private and public sectors, CBA will continue to play an integral role to Yemen’s development and future.