Interpersonal Skills Required

The MBA Student of the Year award (sponsored by The Independent) went to Husameldin Elnasri from Lancaster University Management School. Collecting his award, Elnasri – from Sudan – told the audience that he felt like an ambassador not just for his country, but for Africa and Amba as well. Joking that he is not “a numbers person,” he described his relief on realising that an MBA isn’t about focusing on numbers, but on people. “It is also about being mindful, culturally sensitive and emotionally intelligent,” he said.

Originally a veterinary graduate, Elnasri gained a research Masters degree and has worked in both the not-for-profit and more recently corporate sectors. Describing himself as having “a keen interest in the role of business in societies”, he taught part of the course on global responsibility and responsible management, bringing his experiences of implementing CSR strategies in Sudan to the classroom.

“Today’s MBA programmes are helping students understand and appreciate diversity, exchange cultures and to rediscover their leadership potential,” Elnasri says. “With organisations becoming increasingly global and diverse, the latter set of skills is particularly important for the managers of tomorrow.”

Elnasri also believes that his own experiences of the MBA have equipped him with new skills, networks and hopefully lifelong friendships. “I can confidently say I have a better understanding of myself, my abilities and to some extent my potential,” he says, but acknowledges there’s always more to do. “The MBA has also made me realise my shortcomings and my enormous need to continue seeking knowledge and ‘practical wisdom’.”

Categories: Academic

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