No Tourist Here: A Woodbury MBA, By Way of Egypt, England and Wales by Ihab Mankaryous

In my native Egypt, I was a high school ESL teacher. When I came to the States, I took some community college teaching jobs here and there and felt that I was on a satisfying career path.  In time, however, I found that those teaching gigs, in tourism management and related fields, were somewhat limited, owing to the demand, or lack thereof, for these disciplines. I resolved to broaden my horizons as an educator. I thought about going for an MBA to realize this dream, and a referral from a former Woodbury student solidified my decision.

My educational career to that point was both varied and geographically diverse. I came to the MBA program with a bachelor’s degree in Education and Arts from Cairo University. I then went to the U.K. to pursue courses at the University of East Anglia. Ultimately, I earned a master’s degree in Tourism Management from the University of Wales in Cardiff.

Throughout my teaching career, I dealt with students in environments ranging from traditional classrooms to internships and training courses. Most recently, I participated in the Project Match internship, sponsored by the Los Angeles Community College District. Meanwhile, for the last eight years, I have been working as a marketing and sales manager at a company in West Los Angeles.

When I came to Woodbury, I immediately dealt with great people among the faculty, especially Ovsanna Daglian, Marina Saakyan, and Dr. Satinder Dhiman, who was my academic advisor.  I was even more honored to have him for ethical leadership, my first course.  Likewise, I was blessed to be taught by Dr. Paul Sabolic and Dr. Svetlana Holt, who were both so inspiring, always motivating me to do better.

At Woodbury, I have gained both educational training and life experience. Thanks to Woodbury, I started to take steps toward my dream of starting a non-profit dedicated to recruiting from the homeless population. With all the kind support I received from these professors, I’ve taken steady strides toward achieving this dream.

There are so many takeaways from the MBA program. The first: the MBA is a golden opportunity to enhance your hidden potential, to become a positive change factor in the community. The second: the money spent on the program is a real investment in your future.  That’s why I highly recommend having a plan and specific goals before starting the MBA.  Working your way through the program, thanks to all the guidance from the faculty, it’s easy to envision accomplishing the plan and those goals.

Once I’ve finished the program, I intend to finalize my plan for the non-profit organization, an idea that came together during my MBA studies. In the meantime, I’ll be looking for teaching jobs throughout various community colleges and universities in the L.A. area.

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