Ateah Al Zahrani

Country of origin: Saudi Arabia

e-Services Business Analyst, STC

Before coming to Lancaster, I worked with the Saudi Food and Drug Authority in Saudi Arabia for three years as a programmer, having first gained a computing degree from King Saud University in Riyadh.

What made me choose Lancaster? Well, LUMS is one of the best business schools in the UK and the Computing Department, with its Infolab21, is one of the most famous centres for computing. So, as the MSc in E-Business and Innovation (EBIN) is offered jointly by these two schools, it was easy to see that the programme was going to be interesting and informative. The EBIN programme also contains many interesting subjects that I had always been looking to study. And finally, when you see that the programme is sponsored by companies such as SAP, IBM and Agitavi, the link between academic world and business world is readily apparent.

The most important thing about the programme is that you can tailor it to your own needs. Students were asked to choose what they wanted to research and talk about – of course with close supervision from the tutors.

In the final part of the programme I did a company-based project with Microsoft and Agitavi research. I can't describe just how interesting it was working with experts from these two companies. We gained information on the dynamics of the IT market in the UK. This experience will be very helpful when trying to generalise what we learned and apply it to our local markets.

I am now working for STC, the first and biggest telecoms company in Saudi Arabia and in the Middle East. My role is that of a business analyst who looks at what the business needs are and matches them with what the technology can offer. I handle requests regarding online services that the company would like to offer to their business customers. Then I translate these requirements into technical documents which are understandable by the developers and implementers and which also suggest what web technologies can be used.

Ateah has since changed jobs within STC and now works as an e-Services Business Analyst.