When 27-year-old Faisal Almaashoug of Saudi Arabia decided to return to the United States to pursue an MBA degree, he found everything he was looking for – and more – at Lawrence Technological University.
Almaashoug earned his bachelor’s degree in management at Southern Illinois University at Carbondale and then worked for three years as a planning analyst at Saudi Aramco. When the company decided to send him back to the United States for his MBA, and he and his advisor discovered that LTU had a concentration in operations management. LTU’s “theory and practice” approach to education was another major attraction.
Almaashoug decided Metro Detroit was a good place to go to graduate school because of the presence of many major companies. Faculty in LTU’s College of Management have many years of corporate experience and draw upon their own experiences to illustrate what they are teaching.
“We looked at the biographies of the faculty, and each had at least seven years of experience, often with major companies and some international,” he said.
Small class sizes were another attraction at LTU, and Almaashoug has since found that the faculty are even more accessible than he anticipated. “I see professors in the hall and they are always asking if I need anything. It’s not just during office hours,” he said.
He also figured that many of his fellow students would be working for major companies nearby and would have experiences to share. He has since found that his classmates also provide him with a global perspective. He has interactions with students from China, India, South America, and Africa.
“In one of my classes there were students from seven different countries,” he said. “The globalization is really great.”
In Human Resource Management, a course taught by Assistant Professor David Egleston, he was teamed with Lu Qian, a student from China, and Kelly Holland, an African American working for AT&T, on a class project on constructing a training program for an airline company. “We learned a lot from each other in writing our report and coming up with our presentation in Prezi,” Almaashoug said.
Another strength of the Lawrence Tech approach is outside evaluation by a member of the College of Management’s advisory board. “The College of Management seeks input from working professionals in order to make the MBA degree program responsive to the latest developments in management. It’s an important component of our ‘theory and practice’ approach to education,” Egleston said.
Timothy Tarczynski of the U.S. Army’s TACOM facility in Warren attended the project presentations for Human Resource Management and provided an assessment of each student team.
“In today’s business world, a constant dialogue of ideas and sharing is necessary within any global enterprise. The LTU students seemed to grasp that concept and are open and willing to share and discuss ideas, suggestions and different approaches to analytically solving complex global business problems,” said Tarczynski, who is deputy chief of staff for human capital at TACOM.
Tarczynski also sees the interaction between different countries and cultures as a plus. “The diverse student population of LTU is a testament of the strength of LTU’s reputation to provide a strategic, thought-based business based approach to addressing the complex global economic issues facing our world today,” he said.
Almaashoug is also pleased that LTU’s College of Management is seeking accreditation from the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB) to go along with two other accreditations it already has.
Only 5 percent of management programs have AACSB accreditation. “It will help me to come from an AACSB program later in my career,” Almaashoug said.