It has been my interest, ever since I graduated from high school, to pursue studies in Human Resource Management (HRM), believing that it would provide me with better insight into the psychology of individuals. Personally, this major is more than just a field of study; it is about adopting a different mindset. It has become a part of me, and my career plan. I cannot work or study in an environment that lacks human interactions and entrepreneurial relationships. My undergraduate degree introduced me to the basics of HR theories and practices. Thus, I decided to join the MHRM program at the Suliman S. Olayan School of Business (OSB), American University of Beirut, to gain a world-class understanding of HR.
Even though I have not yet met my faculty members, professors, and classmates in person, due to the pandemic, we still managed to create a safe and fun-learning environment. The MHRM professors work hard to ensure we have the best learning experience through interactive online sessions, case studies, group projects, and especially highlighting the issues that are of importance to the community; to us as future HR practitioners, and to me personally. The courses are designed to teach us different aspects of HR in the workplace, and to enhance our research skills, an added value for students interested in working on their thesis research. Our professors have extensive academic and professional experience in the field; we truly are fortunate to have the chance to learn from them, and the changes they constantly encourage us to be a part of. Non-academically, our professors create positivity and a safe space for us to share our thoughts and opinions. For instance, the online coffee break with Dr. Afiouni allowed us to see the fun side in our professors.
This is my third semester of the program. I learned from the Leadership and Organizational Behavior course to think outside the box, to apply things differently. Dr. Elias provided us with the chance to explore ourselves in ways that I had never thought of. This benefitted me in realizing my own strengths and weaknesses, and become aware of how people perceive me, and my behavior. I have taken two courses with Dr. Makarem, who is also my thesis advisor, and in every encounter with her I learn something new; she is always there for us and ready to assist in anything we need. The courses I had taken with her greatly broadened my understanding of recruitment and human resource development, and how bias, gender relations, and patriarchy in Lebanon play a major role in all aspects of HRM.
There are two courses of utmost importance: MHRM 308 and 309. MHRM 308, Human Resource Development (HRD), was my first online course that I had ever taken, and even though the course material was intense, Dr. Makarem ensured proper integration by engaging us in various interactive and highly beneficial deliverables. She also introduced us to podcasts, an interesting type of case study that allows students to enhance their skills by listening, interpreting the case at hand, and analyzing it, based on HRD topics. Additionally, we engaged in game simulation, showing us how power and influence play a role in implementing change in organizations. MHRM 309, HRM Evidence Based Research Design and Methods, is important because it introduces students to all aspects of research, which can be adopted in their own thesis project. The course allowed me to narrow down my focus for my thesis, and Dr. Abdallah Yassine has been extremely helpful in providing feedback to improve my research skills.