Twenty-seven year old Ahmad Alanezi attends Winthrop University and he clearly tell us how he eventually got to that university. “I am from Riyadh, the capital and largest city of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. I attend Winthrop University last fall where I am pursuing M.B.A degree and have one year left to complete my studies. Winthrop is located in Rock Hill, South Carolina, which is in the northeastern part of South Carolina state about 30 minutes from Charlotte, North Carolina.
“I came to Winthrop on a full scholarship provided by the Saudi Arabian government. I am one of about 18,000 students they have sent abroad for education. I already have a degree in Chemical Engineering from Riyadh College of Technology. I have worked in marketing and sales for a Saudi company for four years and took the opportunity to come to the University of South Carolina in Columbia, S.C. to improve my English and get the TOEFL and GMAT test. Five months later in June, 2006 I passed the two tests then had a choice of three universities in North and South Carolina to attend for a master’s degree and chose Winthrop because of the suitable program and location.”
Coming to the United States to receive an education is something that Ahmad doesn't take lightly. He says he knows his education here will help him achieve his dreams back home. “I wanted to come to America to learn about business because the United States remains the most advanced country in the world, especially for business. It is a fact that United States has the best educational system in the world. The marketing techniques, the management style, the leadership philosophy, the strategies are the best in the world,” he says. “I felt a degree from Winthrop as an American university would be very valuable once I return home. It will help me a lot to achieve most of my dreams. Anyone there would love to have the experiences I am gaining now,” he says.
“Education here is constantly evolving to take advantage of all the technology. It is based on pragmatic practice. And my textbooks are all new and have been published in the last couple of years. I am learning how to take advantage of the new technologies, how management take advantages from the new telecommunication and networking technology and get benefit from the new emerging e-business environment. This is the nearest future business emerging, e-business environment. This is the nearest future business approach. We can see it here in the states and we will have it all over the world. E-commerce is booming and become so dominant.”
Ahmad says there are even new skills he has learned from his professors as well as other students attending the university. “Some of skills that I learn are how to design websites and use all of the software applications. It’s very helpful. How to think as a manager and discover any hidden useful information that may help you make a good decision, “he says.”
“Having been in the business world already in Saudi Arabia, I see the practical applications of some of the business lessons we’re learning in here in my classes at Winthrop University. From my professors, I have learned how to work more proficiently and to communicate better. I’ve also worked with diverse groups – men and women of all ages, religions, and races who come together to learn. I have learned to improve my writing and my reading skills.”
Where Ahmad is from, the use of the Internet and other technology is expensive so he says he is enjoying the availability of it while being in the United States. “What I love about living in the United States is the access to technology and the Internet. In Saudi Arabia, access to information is very limited and it is very expensive. Internet high-speed line (broadband) is being supplied to home users, while in my country this technology is very expensive and dedicated to businesses only, “he says.”
Ahmad will graduate in 2008. His goals after that consist of....”My short-term goal is to work for the Saudi Arabian government with a chemical company and to use my knowledge and experience and what I learn here in the states. To participate in the development processes in my country, “he says.
“In the long term, I would love to become a senior manager for an organization and possibly run my own business. I established my own small business back home few years ago and looking to improve it and expand it.”