Leaving your family and loved ones behind to study for an MBA is a difficult step many students take in the hope of a better future. With no airport in Gaza, but an Israeli permit to travel through Jordan, Palestinian Amany Haniya proved her determination to study for an MBA at Edinburgh Business School, and reflects that in the end the challenges she faced were worth it. This diary summary from The Economist presents a few things you should keep in mind before you apply to top MBA programs.
Helpful for: MBA Applicants
Read Time: 6 minutes
- Do your research well, as there are many non-profit organizations that may be able to fund your MBA. In Amany’s case, after being accepted to study at Edinburgh Business School, she applied to a Jordanian foundation and received the Hani Qaddumi Scholarship. It was a competitive process since, out of more than 80 applicants, two were chosen.
- Visa processing takes a while. Make sure you give yourself enough time to meet deadlines when planning your application. Amany explains:
My place in Edinburgh had been assured since the summer, when I applied for the temporary UK entry visas I would need for my daughter and I to travel to Scotland. But after hers was refused, I was left with the most difficult decision of my life. With time running out on my own visa, I asked Gisha, an Israeli NGO, to help me negotiate my exit from Gaza on my own. Without its coordination and support, Israeli security checks could have taken take months with no guarantee of success. The school could only extend my final deadline to October 4th but on the morning of October 3rd a miracle happened. I got a call from Gisha telling me to come to the Israeli crossing immediately, to get the permit and to travel.
- Be aware of the cultural changes you might experience when moving to pursue your MBA studies. Amany felt Edinburgh was a safe place for a woman, however she comments that in Palestine it is considered strange for a woman to leave the country alone to study. Gender equality there is currently becoming more mainstream.
- MBA programs admit students from varied professional backgrounds. You shouldn’t feel anxious if you are coming from a non-business related field. For example, Amani graduated as an electrical engineer, and her curiosity for an MBA grew as her career went in a new direction. Her skill development in project coordination led her to apply for an MBA, with the end goal of returning afterwards to her home country and working in an international NGO.
Check Out: The Student Visa – What You Should Know
Good luck with your academic journey, and make sure you register on PrepAdviser to stay updated about the latest information on preparing for and applying to international MBA and Master’s programs!
Source: The Economist