“Be the change you want to see”

Maastricht is not just a city for young students! If you’re a working professional, living in Europe or anywhere on the globe, there’s plenty of possibilities to start a business education in Maastricht city. Whether you’re looking to enhance or change your career, learn about sustainability, or responsible leadership, there are programs that will most certainly suit your ambitions or wishes.

Business education these days, isn’t always what you think it is. It’s not all about profit or top-down decision making and the bigger, the better anymore. The MaastrichtMBA is a modular business education program that helps its students to grow, both as a working professional and a human being. You’d be surprised how diverse the students in the MBA program are! From scientists to entrepreneurs, stay-at-home-moms, musicians (!) and technical engineers, like Charbel Haddad (38) from Lebanon. The following interview is published on the MaastrichtMBA website. Reposted here with permission. Photographs are all taken by Diana Berdun Mingo.

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Can you tell us something about yourself and why you decided to sign up for the MaastrichtMBA programme?

May I start by saying I am a better listener than I am a talker? But I will give it a try. My name is Charbel Haddad, I am 38 years old and married. I was born in Lebanon where I’ve lived most of my life. I studied telecom engineering and I am a working professional for fifteen years in a mostly technical context, with some pre-sales and project management. I moved around between various multinational companies like Siemens and Ericsson, and now I am working for a mobile operator in Luxembourg.

For a long time I wanted to pursue an MBA education, but the timing was never right. After relocating to Luxembourg, my current employer provided me with the time and stability to commit myself to four weeks a year. I chose Maastricht for a few reasons. First, it is modular, which suits both my employer and myself. Second, I’ve read some very positive reviews about the programme, and they’re Triple Crown accredited. The international and diverse character is a major plus, it’s easy for me to blend in among students from many other countries.

Maastricht is also just two hours away from where I work and live, so I can travel by car and I am still close to my family in case of an emergency.

When will you graduate?

Well, I started the program in September 2015, so in a few weeks, sadly enough, I will have my last module, Entrepreneurship. Right after that, I have to start working on my Business Consulting Project. Hopefully, and I am being really optimistic here, I can finish by the end of the year.

Do you use what you’re learning in your work already?

In my current position as a technical expert, at this point, the answer would have to be no, but this program has given me flexibility and tools to deal with topics from different perspectives compared to just my engineering perspective. I’ve learned to discuss with people from all practices, and now I can use appropriate language with different people. This is really helpful.

I am now better equipped to voice my opinion in organizational and business matters, which I was lacking before, I didn’t have the vocabulary. The most interesting part in the MaastrichtMBA for me, is the Leadership Development Trajectory. In my situation, being a leader without authority, it’s much more important. I am not a manager, my leadership comes from my expertise. The coaching sessions, the module on Leading Strategic Change, they changed the way how I look at things and at people.

I started to listen more carefully, observe better and I don’t jump to conclusions as fast as I used to. I am more open to other people’s opinion. In my area of expertise I was really a control freak (laughs) and convinced of my own opinion, but now I can relax better and value other opinions. Continue reading…

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