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Commercial Director at Trane air conditioning, part of Ingersoll Rand’s Middle East & Africa Region, in Dubai, UAE, Ghassan Freiwat completed his University of Liverpool MSc in Management through online study, graduating in July 2016.

A strong believer in lifelong learning, he has a special interest in education, media and humanitarian issues and is a published author. He loves to mentor and coach people to help them develop their talents, citing a quote attributed to Winston Churchill: “We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give.”

What attracted you to studying for your masters degree with the University of Liverpool Online?
The reputation of the University and the availability of the specialisation that I was looking for.

What did you enjoy most about studying online with the University of Liverpool?
The maturity of the discussions taking place with professionals (both professors and students) who have valuable work and life experience that can enrich one’s own personal experience.

What was the focus of your research for your online masters dissertation?
The need for a global mindset among senior leaders posted abroad to culturally diverse emerging markets in the Middle East and Africa. I found that most multinational companies don't prepare their leaders well for the challenges of working in different cultures and managing staff from different countries.

How did you fit online study into your life?
I used to study around 20 hours a week from home, internet cafes, in planes and hotels as I travelled quite a lot due to my job. But the biggest challenge was studying in hospitals. My father had chronic kidney failure and I had to be with him during dialysis sessions which could take around four hours, twice a week.

What are your top tips for other online students?

  • Organise yourself from day one
  • Don’t wait until the deadline to submit your project, assignment or your weekly discussion posts
  • Try to join the discussion and virtual classes on a daily basis
  • Do lots of outside reading
  • Last but not least, there's a huge wealth of knowledge and expertise shared in the online classroom, so make sure that you maximise the benefit and enjoy it.

Is the online masters degree helping you career?
It has definitely helped me in my daily work and in sharing lots of good practices and know-how with my direct reports, peers and even clients. It has helped me a lot from various perspectives, including but not limited to coaching, sales, market approach and leadership development. This has all contributed to improving employee engagement; hence, a much better employee satisfaction survey outcome.

What’s your next big project?
Capitalising on my masters degree and 26 years of work experience – including 16 with multinational corporations – I’ll pursue a formal study in business coaching right away then hopefully next year I’ll start working on my PhD.

I would recommend the University of Liverpool because...
It provides a reputable and well recognised platform and forum to equip students with the desired level of academic knowledge, expertise and know-how. It also gives you the right exposure to professional networking and future growth.

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92% of University of Liverpool online alumni rate their overall experience studying with University of Liverpool as excellent or very good*

* Results gathered by the University of Liverpool in 2014 from 533 online alumni who responded to our survey (10% of those contacted).

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