The team from the Middle East Centre has welcomed the latest (January 2024) cohort of Global Part-time MBA students with an induction session followed by the first face to face workshops with Manchester faculty, hosted at Dubai Knowledge Park conference centre. A total of 80 new students joined the programme in the first of two intakes in 2024, bringing outstanding professional experience and expertise to the growing regional community of students and alumni.
The induction session began with a video message by Xavier Duran, MBA Programmes Director at the University, followed by an in-person welcome from Randa Bessiso, Founding Director of the Middle East Centre and an introduction to the Middle East Centre team. An interactive ice-breaker session warmed up the group which then learned more about Student Support, Finance, and Careers and Alumni Support services, and heard more about the student experience from University alumni. The students also toured the Middle East Centre facilities, posed for a group photograph, and later moved on to a networking and team building event for the evening.
The vast majority (over 80%) of students in the new cohort are resident in the United Arab Emirates and Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, and 50% have 11-20 years’ of high-quality work experience to share with the cohort. In terms of industry, the single largest group of students are working in the technology industry, followed by oil & gas, construction, real estate, education, technology and management. Almost two-thirds of the students fall into the 31-40 years age range and the gender split shows that female students account for an encouraging one-third of the new cohort.
In his welcome comments, Xavier Duran, MBA Programmes Director at Alliance Manchester Business School, said: “Welcome to all our new Global MBA January 2024 intake students. As we meet you all across our international centres over the next few weeks for your first workshops, we wish you a productive and enjoyable learning experience for the next 18 to 24 months.” Xavier also shared some advice with students embarking on this transformative journey: “plan, plan, plan, because time is precious; make the most of the programme by engaging with the team as much as possible because you get out of the programme what you put in; enjoy the journey - and there’s a lot to be enjoyed.”