2023 Best & Brightest Online MBA: Mohammad As’ad, Warwick Business School

Mohammad As’ad

Warwick Business School

“Motivated and resolute investment professional, a change leader enthusiastic about driving growth for early-stage businesses.”

Age: 42

Hometown: Amman, Jordan

Fun fact about yourself: Cooking is my passion/ Like a musician jamming with music, I enjoy improvising with ingredients and experimenting with new techniques. While it may lead to a few disasters at first, my innovative and creative approach also pays off in cooking in the end.

Undergraduate School and Degree: CFA Charterholder since 2010 and holder of a BBA degree.

Where are you currently working? I am focused on exploring the world of start-ups and family businesses and have a strong interest in venture capital. I am presently engaged in setting up a consulting practice for small and medium enterprises in emerging markets. Through my work, I have gained valuable experience advising companies on fundraising, restructuring, and turnarounds, and growth strategies in these markets.

What achievement are you most proud of in your professional career? I acquired and led a business providing specialized commercial and residential property services. During its acquisition, I steered the due diligence and feasibility processes and had a first-hand role in drafting the required sale and purchase agreement. I negotiated the acquisition value to include additional assets worth 20% of the offered business as part of the acquisition deal.

I am proud of my role in restructuring the business and working hand-in-hand with my team to manage its day-to-day operations. I identified critical operational deficiencies and executed solutions to increase the utilization of its resources and improve profitability. To achieve this, we implemented a real-time monitoring system that provided instant information about my team’s schedules and gave round-the-clock access to their supervisors, instantly and significantly improving their time utilization. I also established a revenue generation model using an enhanced online booking experience, increasing our client base by 30%. Consequently, I grew my team’s size to service the larger client base and improved the operations’ efficiency by increasing the transportation fleet size and leasing new specialized equipment.

Why did you choose this school’s online MBA program? The renowned academic excellence of WBS and its highly-ranked distance learning MBA program was the primary driving force behind my decision to enroll in their program. I was confident that its emphasis on practical learning and real-world business cases would provide me with invaluable experience to complement my existing business owner and former investment banker skill set. I also expected this long-established program to benefit from its extensive alumni network of successful business leaders. My experience exceeded my expectations, as I was able to learn from and network with accomplished individuals who have already achieved success in their respective fields.

Furthermore, after speaking with WBS MBA alumni, I was convinced of the program’s strong emphasis on practical skill development through guided real-world applications of proven business concepts, models, and frameworks with a global perspective. The experienced faculty and rigorous curriculum also stood out to me, particularly the Innovation and Creativity in Organizations, Strategic Advantage, Leadership, and International Business modules. I am confident that completing this program has equipped me with the knowledge and skills necessary to succeed in a dynamic business environment and make a meaningful impact in my field.

What was your favorite part of being in an online MBA program? The flexibility offered by the online format allowed me to complete coursework and attend virtual lectures with an experienced and diverse cohort from the comfort of my home, giving me the best of both worlds. It was easier for me to balance my professional and personal commitments. Most importantly, as a husband and father, I did not miss out on spending time with my wife and little daughter while pursuing my degree.

What was the most surprising thing about an online learning environment? Despite being physically distant, it was unexpectedly easy to communicate and collaborate with classmates and professors. WBS’s online platform was user-friendly and provided the necessary tools that allowed me to engage in meaningful discussions, share resources and ideas, and receive feedback and real-time guidance. I also appreciated the flexibility and convenience of accessing course materials and lectures any time and from anywhere.

What is your best piece of advice to an applicant for thriving in an online MBA program? When pursuing an online MBA program, choosing a program that offers courses or modules that align with your goals is important. Before making a final decision, try to connect with alumni to get a sense of their experience and what the program is actually like. Remember that your online MBA experience should be enjoyable and rewarding. With adequate time management, you can balance your coursework and assignments while having time for personal and professional commitments. If your chosen program requires you to work on a dissertation, I highly recommend keeping an open eye on the topics you come across while studying that are relevant to your objectives. I am sure you will stumble upon an interesting idea for your research project or expand your knowledge on a pre-selected topic. This will give you ample time to plan and execute your research, resulting in a solid final product you will be proud of. I also recommend using all available resources, such as online professional courses, academic support services, and career counseling. With dedication and a proactive approach, an online MBA program can be an enriching journey that leads to professional success.

What would you change about an online MBA Program? As someone who has completed an online MBA program, I found the overall experience rewarding. However, one thing that could be improved is the availability of partnerships with local universities in less developed countries. Living in Jordan, I found that while online learning was convenient, there were still limitations to the program’s global reach. Partnerships with regional and local universities would allow for more in-person networking and collaboration, an important aspect of any MBA program. Additionally, it would provide excellent opportunities for students in less developed countries to access high-quality education without travelling. I hope online MBA programs can soon expand their reach and better serve students in different regions by creating partnerships with local universities.

How has your online education helped you in your current job? My online MBA journey at WBS enabled me to develop leadership skills while managing my business. It has given me a thorough understanding of entrepreneurship and innovation, which has been particularly helpful in starting a consulting practice to assist early-stage businesses in the Middle East. My dissertation on the UK’s venture capital increased my awareness of start-up challenges and expanded my network to include seasoned VC professionals. I believe that start-ups in less developed ecosystems would particularly benefit from this knowledge to grow and succeed. Overall, my online education has been an excellent investment that equipped me with the tools to make a meaningful impact in my field and the local community.

Did you earn a promotion while in the program or immediately after graduation? The online MBA program at WBS helped me improve my skills and advance my business strategy, leadership, entrepreneurship knowledge, and practical skills in financial analysis, marketing, and operations management. The research project I conducted for my dissertation on venture capital in the UK also expanded my understanding of the challenges faced by start-ups and helped me to expand my network to include seasoned international VC professionals, and exposed me to different perspectives and approaches. This knowledge paved the way to starting my consulting practice, particularly in assisting early-stage businesses to grow in my region, which I believe is my well-earned promotion. I am confident that these skills and knowledge, combined with my passion for entrepreneurship and business, will help me succeed in my future endeavors.

Why did you pursue an online MBA program instead of a full-time residential program? As someone who owned and managed a business and was starting a new consulting practice, following a full-time residential MBA program was impractical. The flexibility and convenience offered by an online MBA program allowed me to balance my personal and professional responsibilities while pursuing an advanced degree. In addition, the COVID-19 pandemic significantly impacted my decision to pursue an online MBA program at WBS. With travel restrictions and health concerns, it was not feasible for me to attend an overseas full-time MBA program. Thanks to the flexibility of the online MBA program at WBS, I could study from my home while still connecting with a diverse group of professionals worldwide.

Number of Hours Per Week Spent on an Online MBA: 8 to 10 hours weekly.

What is your ultimate long-term professional goal? I am enthusiastic about helping start-ups, especially in countries like Jordan, where the ecosystem is still developing. My long-term professional goal is to have a regional consulting practice to assist early-stage businesses grow using the expertise I gained from managing my business and the MBA program at WBS. To achieve this, I aim to create a network of entrepreneurs, investors, and experienced professionals who share my vision of positively impacting their local communities. My ultimate aspiration is to make a meaningful contribution to the business community in less developed economies and leave a legacy for future generations.


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