Majd AbedRabbo completed his studies in Entrepreneurship and Innovation Management at Loughborough University London in 2016 as part of our first cohort of students.
Also an alumnus of Loughborough University having studied Engineering Management, Majd is passionate about Loughborough and is now continuing his studies to attain a PhD. Here we find out about his role as the COO of a company and his range of Loughborough experiences.
What were you doing before you joined Loughborough?
Before starting my Master's degree at Loughborough University London, I was a full-time student at Loughborough University studying for an undergraduate degree in engineering.
Why did you choose to study at Loughborough University London?
I have a very strong connection to Loughborough University since I joined back at the age of 17. Being away from home, Loughborough did everything possible to make me feel that I am part of the university culture.
Besides, it offered me all the support I needed during my undergraduate studies. When I made the decision to do a Master's, I realised that I want to do it in the same university because I am familiar with the system.
I chose the London campus to get the London experience whilst still being a part of Loughborough University. Loughborough is a top ranked university in the UK, plus, the London facilities were superior to other London-based Universities. All of these factors made me consider Loughborough University London as my top choice.
How has Loughborough University London inspired you and helped you to progress in your career?
Studying at Loughborough University London gave me the opportunity to improve my skills in many different ways. It offered me the chance to interact with top researchers around the world and learn from their experience. The atmosphere in the University was competitive, which allowed me to interact with students in my age group who had industrial experience.
Would there be one piece of advice that you would give to prospective students looking to study the same course that you did?
Attend every lecture and tutorial possible. The academics in Loughborough University London always have something new to offer in every session. From guest speakers to industrial assessors, you wouldn’t want to miss your chance to learn from the industry’s experts.
I would also encourage you to join the extra-curricular activities such as the enterprise competitions. Such events enable you to improve both your soft and hard skills whilst competing with other people.
Are there any hidden gems on the campus or in London that you would recommend to future students?
I believe everything about London is a gem. It is definitely one of the most beautiful places around the world. Besides the famous attractions, it is worth exploring other areas in London such as Kew Gardens, Wembley, and little Venice. Also, students should enjoy the Olympic park as much as possible.
From the different sports you can do to the late night walks, the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park made my experience in London outstanding. I am sure that one of the best gems in Stratford is Westfield. It offers a great shopping experience, which eliminates the need to go down to central London for shopping. It also has all entertaining facilities like a cinema and a bowling alley, which can be a great fun after a busy week of lectures.
How did you fund your studies?
I received a scholarship from Loughborough University London for my academic excellence and alumni status. The scholarship was really useful as it allowed me to cope with the other expenses I had to cover during my studies, like accommodation.
Describe what it is like to be a postgraduate, and how this differs from undergraduate studies.
As a postgraduate student, you are being treated as a mature student who has an experience that can benefit every person within the University. Also, you evolve as a person because every person in your cohort is looking to enhance their career with their postgraduate studies.
Tell us more about the company you are working for currently.
I am a shareholder and the Chief Operations Officer at Diamonds Private Free Zone. It is a family business that operates in the logistics and supply chain industry. Diamonds Private Free Zone is the only private Free Zone in the Middle East with multi-activities licence including industrial, commercial, and agricultural.
Besides my role as COO, I am a Doctoral Researcher at Loughborough University. I have received a full studentship to complete my PhD studies by researching the implications of customer experience on town centre performance.
Tell us about your career journey so far.
Since I was 17 years old, I joined Diamonds Free Zone as a part-time employee mainly working from abroad and during the summer. Despite my young age, I knew that working in parallel to my education would allow me to apply theory in practice. As the years progressed, I joined Diamonds as a full time Junior Engineer in operations department. This role encouraged me to pursue a Master's degree in Entrepreneurship and Innovation Management because the company had a plan of expansion and I wanted to be part of it.
When my Master's degree finished, I became an Incorporated Engineer and I was elected as a COO of the company because of the expansion proposal I put in. I was blessed to receive the support of the shareholders and the support to implement the plan. In January 2017, I received a full studentship to continue my PhD studies at Loughborough University, at the East Midlands campus. The PhD is the right path for me as it will allow me to become specialised in a particular area, which can be useful for my industrial career.
What do you love the most about your job?
As an Engineer, I am passionate about solving complicated problems. My role as COO enables me to handle daily operations and future operational plans. Operations are a similar to engineering, as you have to face unexpected problems that stop the flow of processes. My passion towards solving problems encouraged me to take the role of the COO and accept the PhD offer from Loughborough University.
What does the future hold for you?
At the moment, my main aim is to complete my PhD studies within three years. Upon completion, I am looking forward to continuing my role as COO of Diamonds Free zone whilst pursuing a separate career in consultancy. For the future, I am interested in taking a role in a governmental position in my country.
What has been the proudest moment of your career so far?
I have been blessed over the past few years to accomplish many of my set targets. I have graduated with Distinction in my Master's, received the status of an Incorporated Engineer and was nominated for the COO position despite my young age.
However, my proudest moment until now is when I received the acceptance into my PhD studies. What makes this moment very special is that I receive the prestigious studentship award from a world class university like Loughborough.