MBA students from Kuwait follow courses at MSM in Maastricht
On 3 February 2023, it was time to welcome the MBA students from MSM’s partner in Kuwait. In total 58 MBA students traveled to Maastricht to follow their expertise track courses at MSM. The students were divided over three different expertise tracks: International Business, Banking and Finance, and Retail Management.
During their 12-day programme they followed interactive classes, conducted group work and had a chance to explore Maastricht.
The learning experience
Mr. Jafar Behbehani followed the MBA expertise track in International Business, which gave him valuable insights into various business related topics: “We now know what sorts of challenges an international manager might experience. I have a clear awareness of the marketplace and the difficulties I might encounter in the future. And I possess the methods, theories, materials, and tools necessary to overcome these obstacles. I also developed the abilities and information necessary to lead a global organisation. Additionally, one of the things about this programme that I like the most is how it uses a mix of practical and applied research techniques to develop our management thinking.” Fellow student Ms. Afifa Aryan agrees: “This course has broaden my understanding, helped me developing new skills and prepared me for diverse business opportunities, not limiting the boundaries and culture.”
Mr. Ahmad AlDabasi, who also followed the expertise track in International Business, indicated that he had a wonderful experience from different aspects: “The atmosphere was so cosy and it was a really friendly place to be, the staff were approachable and helpful and all the facilities were available for the students. As an intake representative, I can speak for my peers when I say that the university has made great strides toward sustainability, including the use of renewable energy to power the building's lighting and the implementation of innovative measures to reduce plastic waste. MSM provided each of us with a stylish, reusable water bottle, intelligently promoting longevity and some kind of environmental duty.”
Mr. Yusuf AlRashed followed the Retail Management expertise track and enjoyed the courses as these related with and added value to his career: “As a Customer Experience data analyst, the courses helped me to combine my experience, which is quantitative to the lectors and theories, and combined both qualitative and quantitative methods. I gained deeper understanding in retail management and tools that we can use to measure retail pricing, financial measures and performance measures, including customer retention, customer relationship and service performance metrics and we learned from each other in our group works.”
Prior to starting the expertise track, Ms. Dana AlGhanim was very eager to learn all about Retail Management: “Once we had started the courses I was excited to learn more. Our lecturer Mrs. Yasmeen Al Musallam introduced us to the course by taking us on a field trip where we were able to link what we have learned in class through literature, to what retailers are doing. The most excited part was, finally understanding why retailers do what they do and how they are doing it.”
Learning from experienced lecturers
Jafar was very impressed with the lecturers: “The lecturers at MSM-Maastricht University are spectacular. What I like the most is that they have an amazing experience in the subject that they are teaching, both from an academic and practical perspective. This is a very useful asset, because during the lectures we can use their real life examples. They can provide more details than if we were reading a case study or an article about the subject. Also, the diversity of their personalities, cultures, and teaching methods provided us as participants knowledge and examples from different regions of the world. I believe that the diversity of the lecturers’ background provides added value to the programme.”
Ahmad agrees: “The professors hoped their students would complete the assignments and get a deeper understanding of the material rather than just checking off the required items on the syllabus. The lecturers we had, Mr. David Dingli, Dr. Terry Kakeeto and Dr. Aad van Mourik were all excellent since they were geared at helping us grasp these concepts.”
Also Yusuf appreciated the lecturers: “Our lecturers Mrs. Yasmeen Al-Musallam and Dr. Sharma are both excellent as they bring years of experience and are well versed in guiding the students in our journey to become retailers and retail management professionals.”
Dana adds: We were very fortunate to have Dr. Sharma and Mrs. Yasmeen teaching us this course. We were all very engaged in the classroom, we had the freedom to ask questions and debate our answers, and we learned from each other. Our questions and concerns were addressed with a smile, and we had a safe space to talk.
With the days filled with lectures and group work, there was little time to explore Maastricht. However, Jafar arrived a few days earlier and took some time to explore the city: “I had enough time to explore the centre, the halal restaurants (there are various cuisines), the markets, and the supermarkets as well. Once we started the lectures, the time was short to explore new places. However, in the centre, we could find whatever we needed. And the campus is 10 minutes walking away from the centre of Maastricht. Moreover, I was lucky to witness the first day of the carnival in Maastricht this year.” Afifa also had a chance to get a glimpse of Carnival: “I had fun and indeed it was a great experience to witness this festival.”
Ahmad enjoyed his stay in Maastricht as well: “Maastricht is one of the most attractive European cities from a tourist's perspective, especially when the city's rich cultural heritage is taken into account. To a large extent, this is because it is one of the most livable cities, with relatively clean streets and a refined approach to citizen care.”
Yusuf has been quite active in Maastricht together with his classmates: “My classmates and myself really enjoyed Maastricht from the City Square to the outstanding restaurants to the activities that we participated in such as bowling and padel. One other activity that we really enjoyed was Prison Island in Maastricht, as it is a great team building exercise where communication and teamwork are key to achieve most of the challenges. I definitely will plan to pass by Maastricht again in the near future to take in more of the historical sites such the Fort of Saint Peter and the caves.”
Dana actually fell in love with the city: “In the 14 days I stayed in Maastricht I had the opportunity to check out the city and I wasn’t expecting to fall in love with it. It is a very beautiful city with beautiful structures, and kind and friendly people.”