From science to academic research via the MBA

From science to academic research via the MBA

Dr. Zulfa Al Disi, PhD, MBA, MSc
Postdoctoral Researcher
Qatar University
Cohort of 2006

Tell us briefly about your career journey so far.

I decided to study the Global Part-time MBA in 2006 to support my role in quality assurance management. I came from a science background and needed the additional broader knowledge. I  completed my MBA in 2010 and attended the graduation ceremony on campus in Manchester, in 2011.  

During my MBA studies, my professional career improved and progressed significantly and eventually I was promoted to the position of Quality Assurance Manager. After I completed the MBA programme, I immediately enrolled on a new Master’s in Environmental Sciences at Qatar University in 2011, and graduated in 2013. 

I then started my PhD in Biological and Environmental Sciences at Qatar University and was awarded my PhD in January 2018. I stayed in my Quality Assurance Management role at Nasser Bin Khaled Holding Company (NBK) until October 2014,  when I moved into the research field at Qatar University.

How did the MBA contribute to your career success?

The MBA certainly contributed to my professional career as a Quality Assurance Manager and then this led directly to my second Master’s degree, leading on to the PhD and eventually my role as an academic researcher.  

When I started the MBA, I wanted to improve my management skills and to support my job as Quality Assurance Manager and this was a consistent goal. However, since graduating my career goals have changed a lot as I spent nine years in the QA management position, then I decided to revisit an earlier ambition to develop my career in the academic scientific field.

What was the highlight of your MBA? 

In terms of programme highlights, the MBA workshops in Dubai were great learning experiences, with the group assignments and the team powerpoint presentations. All of this experience gave us the confidence to stand up and present and defend our ideas. All my fellow students contributed a lot to the workshops and added to my learning experience. The operational management and strategic management courses were terrific, although my experience with dissertation writing was difficult but I have to admit that the learning outcome was great and this has helped me a lot with my academic scientific career. 

What changed during your studies?

The MBA led to some very interesting and useful developments. For example, I did not have any background in management and finance when I joined and but I learned how to manage my time and then devoted time to handling balance sheets and learning how to persuade others. On top of this, earning an MBA degree from such a prestigious university made me proud and very self-confident. The MBA was something that I really needed at this stage of my career and it certainly made a difference. When looking for an MBA, I made an extensive search on the internet and evaluated many MBA programmes worldwide before deciding on the Manchester Global MBA and based on my experience, I would definitely recommend it.

The 15th anniversary 

I would like to congratulate the team on the 15th anniversary of the Middle East Centre and wish them all the very best and every success for the future.