Mazen Fares

Country of origin: United States

Management consultant, Euromena Consultants, Lebanon

Anyone educated in the North American system might find it odd to pursue his/her master’s degree in the United Kingdom which offers a somehow different academic scheme. I had the same feeling before I arrived in Lancaster – a small yet fabulous historic town in North West England where I applied and got accepted for a one-year MSc in Advanced Marketing Management programme. Along with my enthusiasm and high hopes came my worries about spending a whole year alone in a country I hadn’t been to.

My programme was divided into two parts: a set of academic courses to be completed in nine months and a dissertation to be completed in three. The amount of knowledge I was exposed to on my academic courses was incredible. I learned how to work under pressure when I sometimes had several tasks due for the next day. Moreover, I was motivated to look into cases in a broader, managerial sense while taking into consideration various constraints and implications.

Group working was a necessity in my programme as well; efficient group working and interaction were skills that I have developed over the past months. The dissertation in UK is highly valued as an overall reflection of the academic knowledge gained and how it can be utilised in a single focus area. I had the opportunity to do a project-based dissertation with a multinational company, dealing with market intelligence across two continents.

Another value is the diversity of cultures I was exposed to. In my class alone there are 15 nationalities across a cohort of 30 students. My best three friends are an Indian, a German and a Greek!

I am now working as a Strategy Consultant at Roland Berger Strategy Consultants – Middle East, a top-10 consultancy firm in the world. The geographical scope of my work extends throughout the entire Middle East and North Africa where I work on projects in various industries. My work allows me to utilise my market knowledge along with other crucial skills, such as the analysis, team-working, research, and organisational skills that I acquired at Lancaster. I am confident that the MSc has helped me tremendously in seeking good job opportunities, especially in this region of the world.

I believe that choosing to come to the UK for my Masters was a wise investment. It is an experience that I will cherish throughout my life.

Mazen has since moved to work in management consulting for Euromena Consultants in Lebanon.