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An international experience to fuel career ambitions

By Cameron Campbell - Posted on 6 July 2017

Cameron Campbell took part in a field study trip to Dubai with a group of fellow Strathclyde Business School students. Here, he tells how the trip helped them gain valuable international business insights.

A small group of adventurous Strathclyde Business School undergraduates, fired up with career ambitions, embarked upon a study trip to Dubai recently.  Not only were our expectations realised, but they were surpassed as a result of an eye-opening adventure into the multi-cultural business environment of Dubai.

The stage was set by Karen Ryan of the Strathclyde Business School UAE centres, supported by Strathclyde alumni and a web of education and business contacts including prominent local and internationally experienced Emirati professionals.

A key aspect of our business field study trip was the transformation of our ‘book learning’ into practical experience, and this was clearly the place to benefit from that at first hand.

At the Sheikh Mohammed Centre for Cultural Understanding we took a heritage tour and learned of the importance of religion and culture, both locally and internationally, and how these values are enshrined within Emirati daily life and business transactions.

We visited and had a guided tour of the Emirates Flight Catering operations and enjoyed seeing ‘process’ work on a production line.  Previously, none of us had ever experienced anything other than the product being hand delivered to us on a plane.  Now we knew and appreciated the work that went into that and the time and cost pressures to achieve it.

At the Jebel Ali Free Zone Authority (JAFZA) we were enthralled by a presentation by Mohammed Ali Lootah (Channel Management Sales Manager) who explained the trading and business strategy behind the ‘free zone’ concept, its significance to trade for the whole of UAE and its success due to the thought, planning and support invested in this unique portal facility which we later toured.

So much of the degree of business success in the Middle East hinges on having a deep understanding of working in a multi-cultural society, its past, its present and its ambitions for the future.  To this end we were given insight by Ammar Shams, formerly of HSBC, Strathclyde’s GCC Advisory Board member who delivered a highly professionally polished presentation and deeply revealing vision of UAE and its ambitious key position in the business world.  I enjoyed a brief 1:1 chat with him and his address stoked the fire of ambition within me to succeed.

IHG’s Vice President of Operations, Fergus Stewart, provided an in depth presentation and behind-the-scenes tours of the Intercontinental and Crowne Plaza Dubai Festival City.  Additionally, Jeff Strachan, Business Development Director at Dubai College of Tourism, gave a thought provoking presentation on Dubai’s tourism history and plans for the future.

At the end of the week we networked with Strathclyde Business School specially invited guests including MBA students and Strathclyde alumni.  We summarised the benefits of our field trip via some poster presentations and taking part in this made us realise how much knowledge and experience had been amassed over the course of the week - the culmination of theory enhanced by practice.

So exhilarated was I by the atmosphere in that hub of business activity that another student and I stayed on to further investigate the Business Start Up aspects that the city has to offer.  Our purpose was to gain more exposure to this environment in Dubai and so we visited a few entrepreneurs and a business incubator to capture more of the development, workings and expansion of a business.  This did more than stoke the business fire now within me: it has set me ablaze.

I can wholeheartedly recommend this experience to any other undergraduate who chooses to apply and is successful in the competitive selective process for a place in this study programme.

Contact details

 Undergraduate admissions
 +44 (0)141 548 4114

 Postgraduate admissions
 +44(0)141 553 6118 / 6119


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