A student’s journey from aircraft maintenance to business administration
Born and raised in Jordan, Mustafa Sultan is a descendant of Chechen immigrants who travelled to the Middle East in 1903. He’s been working for the International Organisation for Migration and Humanitarian Field since 2011 and recently enrolled in the BSc Business Administration programme at the University of London.
Mustafa Sultan is a trained aircraft technician who realised that his passion lies elsewhere and has dedicated the last decade to working in the humanitarian aid field. At 35, he decided to advance his career and pursue a degree.
Just because I reached a good level position, it doesn't mean that I should stop learning.
At first Mustafa considered completing his studies in aircraft maintenance, but after years of charity work and for the International Organisation for Migration he decided to further develop the skills and knowledge that would complement his current job as a Programme Assistant and allow him to grow and succeed in his chosen field.
What satisfies part of my inner drive is doing good for humankind, regardless of their ethnicity, gender, religion or nationality. This is the norm, or at least how I see it and what I believe in; this is what makes us, us.
It was Mustafa’s manager that suggested looking into BSc Business Administration at the University of London. As a Programme Assistant in Emergency and Resilience Unit Operations, he already handled and dealt with HR, finance and logistics-related issues, so the choice of programme seemed obvious.
Based in Zarqa, he looked at the universities in Jordan and couldn’t find any programmes that he could fit around his work or that offered online classes.
“Courses and study programmes in the Middle East in general are very different from what is taught in Europe or the States,” he explains. “I can find the materials on Coursera, but you as a student are the one who is supposed to study hard and seek the information you want. It is a real learning process; the information will stay in your head for future reference.”
Although only a couple of months into the programme, Mustafa can already feel the difference in the way he deals with day-to-day tasks and applies his new knowledge at work. He goes over the things he’s learnt with his colleagues, and as a result his colleagues felt encouraged to look into studying via Coursera as well.
In the Business Administration programme, I learned best practices in accounting to understand the financial aspects. I learned about leadership principles and how to deal with conflicts in management. This knowledge can be both factual and practical.