2019 Best Online MBAs: Yasmine Alsadek, Northeastern University (D’Amore-McKim)

Yasmine Alsadek

D’Amore-McKim School of Business at Northeastern University

“Ambitious and goal-oriented young professional who aims to leave a legacy of kindness and change.”

Age: 28

Hometown: Fairfax, Virginia

Fun fact about yourself: I’ve lived all over the world as a child and teenager. Although I was born in Florida in the US, other places I’ve lived include the US (Virginia, North Carolina, and Oregon) as well as internationally in Qatar and the United Arab Emirates.

Undergraduate School and Degree: Portland State University, B.S. in Micro/Molecular Biology

Where are you currently working?

  • Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi, Academic Operations Manager
  • I’m the operations manager for the academic office at Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi (CCAD) in the United Arab Emirates, which is an extension hospital of the Cleveland Clinic in the United States. As academic operations manager, I support the medical education and clinical research departments under the direct supervision of the Chief Academic Officer. Some of my roles include support of budget planning, recruitment, procurement, contracting, marketing and communication, and executive reporting.

What achievement are you most proud of in your professional career? In 2016, I was given the unique opportunity to be one of three founding members to lead the transformation of Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi into an academic medical center. Together with my Chief Academic Officer and Director of Medical Education, we developed an entire academic function starting from a “blank page” including the establishment of an entire workforce, budget, and operations in medical education and clinical research. This allowed me to experience the thrill, excitement, and challenge of being in a “start-up” environment and successfully accomplishing that.

Why did you choose this school’s online MBA program? I chose Northeastern’s online MBA program for a few reasons. The first is the opportunity to network with other students in the Boston area, which is very rich in culture, knowledge, and diversity of thought. The second was Northeastern’s reputation of the co-op program, which influenced my decision to apply to a school that clearly values work experience and connecting theory with real-world practice. I knew this “DNA” would be embedded in their online MBA curriculum. Lastly, the opportunity to pursue an on-campus residency or join an international field study was a great balance for achieving the in-classroom experience I didn’t want to miss out on as part of the MBA.

What was your favorite part of being in an online MBA program? My favorite part of being in an Online MBA program was the feeling of a structured curriculum framework with clear expectations and deadlines. There was almost no ambiguity, and our professors and instructors were always easily accessible by email or during the Lectures if we had any questions. This made it easy to focus on the content of the MBA work, because there was always a strong and rigorous curriculum that supported our learning.

What was the most surprising thing about an online learning environment? The most surprising thing about the online learning environment was how interactive it was through group projects, discussion forums, and lecture sessions. My group projects were very engaging as I worked alongside team members all over the US and internationally. In some classes, I would have a conference call with my classmates multiple times a week to review our group projects together.

How did your online experience compare with your in-the-classroom experience as an undergraduate student? The online MBA experience has completely altered my previous perception that the classroom experience is the only optimal learning environment. What I’ve learned is that the online MBA is primarily focused on building your knowledge foundation and allows you to continuously apply it to your existing work environment as you go, while the classroom experience may be focused more on student interactions, networking, and theory of knowledge which you are expected to apply later upon re-entering the real world. After going through this experience, I can see that the ideal combination is an online learning environment that also provides you with opportunities on few occasions to meet with your classmates and collaborate together on what you’ve learned.

What is your best piece of advice to an applicant for thriving in an online MBA program? The key to thriving in an online MBA program is to learn how to manage your time effectively. To avoid burnout, students should study a few hours a day rather than leaving assignments for the weekend. They will also need to make some sacrifices in work and social life, such as leaving right at 5 p.m. instead of working late hours, and skipping some social or family gatherings to make time for study.

What would you change about an online MBA Program? One of the things I would change about the online MBA program would be to develop a mandatory short and immersive on-campus experience for students at the start of their MBA program and at the end. I think this would really tie together the entire experience by allowing students to feel embedded in the campus community.

How has your online education helped you in your current job? My online education has allowed me to continue pursuing my unique and engaging international job assignment and advance in my career in the international healthcare business, while still being able to complete my graduate degree. Furthermore, the online MBA has allowed me to gain insight into other key functional areas of my hospital (e.g. Finance, HR, Operations, IT), which helps me both appreciate and work well with these counterparts in my day-to-day job.

If you had to do it all over again, would you? Why? Absolutely. The online MBA is an opportunity to continue advancing your career while you study. The reality is that employers value candidates with more years of experience as well as the quality of experience. As a young professional, I knew that I didn’t want to lose my international job assignment with the Cleveland Clinic, but instead I wanted to add to my existing skillset in order to strengthen my position there. The online MBA just made sense for me.

What is your ultimate long-term professional goal? My career goal is to continue to evolve in my role until I become an executive leader in a leading healthcare organization. The MBA has taught me to focus on specialized skillsets that will allow me to progress to that point. At the same time, it has also given me insight that there is an immense opportunity for MBA graduates to translate their fund of knowledge across various industries without the need to limit them. This new insight allows me to grow professionally in a flexible manner by grasping various opportunities as they arise, and I look forward to what the future has to offer.



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