The University of Wales Trinity Saint David’s (UWTSD) graduates from across the globe are leading the transformation of their organisations to a sustainable future. The MBA (Online) (Sustainability Leadership) taught them how. The programme was designed to provide working professionals with a platform to shape the future of their organisations by teaching the practices and leadership structures needed to gear a company towards sustainability.
Ghanim Kashwani is one of the first students on the programme – a choice he made to transform the construction industry in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). After finishing his studies in civil engineering in the UK, he found himself leading a drilling function at the Abu Dhabi National Oil company.
Faced with the realisation that his industry needed to do its part in spearheading a more sustainable future, Kashwani opted to “widen” his “engineering mindset with a new perspective.” He chose the MBA Sustainability Leadership at UWTSD because of its “industry orientated” nature. Furthermore, the connected learning community it provided online meant he could maintain his job and remain close to family.
Kashwani’s passion was fueled when he began to worry that his daughter wouldn’t have enough resources to have a decent and comfortable life. Kashwani immediately began researching carbon use in the construction industry and had produced a green cement that could capture carbon dioxide with better mechanical properties.
Kashwani’s work on carbon-absorbing cement won him a national award for “Best Research in Sustainable Materials”. He was asked to help implement sustainability in the UAE construction industry before being appointed the UAE Green Ambassador for the UK Institute of Civil Engineers.
Despite having strong technical competencies, his work mentors helped him realise that he needed to understand sustainability more fundamentally and to also have a management qualification that could raise his employment profile. Kashwani is now in his final year of the MBA and is examining the implementation of The Circular Economy in the UAE construction industry for his thesis project.
“This MBA is not like other MBAs; it is unique in that it challenges your thinking. in the end, it has helped not only change practices in my organisation but has contributed to me having an influence on business policy nationally,” he says.
“I have recently advanced in my career and now have a senior manager position in Applied Research & Innovation at the Higher Colleges of Technology in Dubai.” Kashwani has also committed himself to volunteering work, undertaking beach cleaning and supporting forest habitat conservation in the UAE with his wife and daughter.
UWTSD primes its students for success through several of its carefully curated programmes. Its MBA (Online) (Sustainability Leadership) is only one of them. Aimed at undergraduate degree holders or working professionals seeking to shape the future of their organisations, the programme is studied entirely online and asynchronously. This approach allows professionals to pursue their degrees at their own time and pace, but in a connected learning community.
Hence, the programme remains accessible to students worldwide, drawing in a cohort of learners who bring forth different contexts and experiences to the (online) classroom. Previous cohorts include students from Asia, North and South America, Central America, Europe, The Middle East and Africa — all of whom come together in a mutual exchange of ideas and problem solving collaboratively.