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2021 Best & Brightest Online MBAs: Alaa Alhazmi, George Washington University

Alaa Alhazmi

George Washington University School of Business

“Ambitious, passionate, relentless, hardworking, determined, crafty, observant, collaborative, productive, meticulous, inspirational, committed, tenacious, compassionate, conscientious.”

Age: 43

Hometown: Madinah, Saudi Arabia

Fun fact about yourself: I am a die-hard AC Milan soccer fan.

Undergraduate School and Degree:

Bachelor of Science (Accelerated Premedical Program) 1995-1999.

The Columbian College of Arts and Sciences.

The George Washington University.

Doctor of Medicine 1999-2003.

The George Washington University School of Medicine

Where are you currently working?  

1- King Faisal Specialist Hospital and Research Center:

Section Head of General Oncology Surgery

– Deputy Chairman of the Department of Surgery

2- Aldara Hospital and Medical Center

Bariatric Surgery Service Leader

What achievement are you most proud of in your professional career? It was the courage and dedication to go back to school while leading a hectic life between my full-time job and my part-time private clinic in pursuit of knowledge.

Why did you choose this school’s online MBA program? I needed to have the flexibility of a structured education while being a full-time employee. And I chose GW because of the program’s quality.

What was your favorite part of being in an online MBA program? It has ignited in me the desire to be a lifelong learner.

What was the most surprising thing about an online learning environment? I underestimated the amount of work and resources it required.

How did your online experience compare with your in-the-classroom experience as an undergraduate student? Compared to the in-the-classroom experience, online studying allowed me to have more control over my education and go at it at my own pace.

What is your best piece of advice to an applicant for thriving in an online MBA program? My best advice is not to cram credits in a semester. Pace yourself. The main point is to acquire knowledge, and you cannot do that by flying through your education.

What would you change about an online MBA Program? I have noticed that the workload for 1.5 credit courses is almost as much as that for the three-credit courses. I would change the allocation of the workload on courses so that it is more balanced. Also, most of those studying an online MBA Program have chosen it specifically for its educational flexibility and having mandatory attendance for select live classes can defeat that purpose.

How has your online education helped you in your current job? The knowledge gained has helped me understand my work and process interactions better, and I believe it is one of the most significant benefits of taking this online MBA Program. In short, I have gotten more productive and effective at my work.

Number of Hours Per Week Spent On Online MBA: 10-15 Hours

What is your ultimate long-term professional goal? My ultimate goal is to maintain the drive for lifelong learning and set no limits for myself in order to live a fulfilling life.