Mariam Polding

  • Degree Programme: Executive MBA Dubai
  • Global Nationality: British
  • Profile Job Pre-programme: Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Meem Ink Sports & Education
  • Profile Job Post-programme: Co-founder and Business Development, Bak2basix

“The beautiful aspect of this programme is that it opens and stretches your mind in so many directions”

Learning the language

I was encouraged to study on the EMBA as I wanted to develop my knowledge around best business practices and gain a better understanding of leadership, organisational structure and management, in order to strengthen my business toolkit. I'm an entrepreneur, but on my programme there are many individuals in corporate roles employed by big organisations, which have lots of policies and practices already in place. Whilst I had worked in large conglomerates previously I wanted to gain more exposure into best practices globally.

Changing the lens

A lot of people go into their degree expecting to achieve one specific goal. The beautiful aspect of this programme is that it opens and stretches your mind in so many directions. Your lens changes - either you become very focused due to some newly acquired knowledge, methodology or skill that you were exposed to, that you never realised you may have liked or enjoyed. Or it could lead you down entirely different avenues, whether that be changing jobs, changing industries or changing professions. My number one goal was gaining a deeper knowledge and understanding of credibility, and building my expertise in the understanding of business. I went into the programme looking to build a strong set of entrepreneurial skills, in areas such as finance, strategy and funding an entrepreneurial business. Despite having this focus, I also found myself interested in learning about collaboration with different consulting agencies and advisory boards, alongside developing strategic partnerships, meaning the programme has already helped me to widen my gaze in what I’m interested in and capable of.

Engaging energy

I thoroughly enjoyed our lectures on ethics and corporate social responsibility with Dr. Ben Hardy, as we got to discuss really philosophical topics. I enjoy the deep questions that address our core values, such as whether businesses can always do good. As I’m a social entrepreneur, the answer for me is always yes; however, I was one of the few who felt this way, so it was interesting to hear different perspectives. I think these are very serious and important topics, especially for people in the EMBA programme, because they will be expected to set a standard for business, business practices and business excellence worldwide. Another of my favourite core courses was Professor Randall Peterson’s course on executive leadership. He's light-hearted and great fun, regularly making serious business-minded people on the course laugh, which is very important to create an engaging and open environment. He brings a flair to an important leadership topic, with fantastic delivery and communication. It was an extraordinary way to start the EMBA programme.

Diverse decision-making

Any given study group on the programme is full of different nationalities, which really reflects working in an international business environment. The strong skill set and openness the LBS experience instils in you is so important. It allows you to exercise the basic principles we’re usually taught as children, and showcase the importance of carrying them over into business life – such as respecting others, listening to your colleagues, and trying to see things from another person's perspective. In this diverse group dynamic, you experience a lot of potentially contentious issues, and you’re able to challenge ideas in order to get the best result, which is an artful skill. It is a fantastic exercise to allow you to work through issues that you may have in the modern day workplace, giving you the experience to resolve problems efficiently, respectfully, and while reaching common objectives.

Supportive surroundings

The programme is very demanding; I think that it’s important you're surrounded by supportive people that are fully on board with what you're doing. As a woman, a mother, and a business owner, my time is already very limited, so it’s essential for your family to understand your goals and see how instrumental it is for you to become the best version of yourself. The end result is that you come out with a world class degree from a world class institution, and a deeper knowledge that will enhance the way you perform.