Developed knowledge and structured thinking focuses Manal’s determination to always move forward

In this blog post, former UCEM student and alumni member Manal Abdo, who is now the Founder and President of MA Cluster LLC, shares her experiences of studying with UCEM, her achievements since graduation and how the knowledge she gained from her studies helped her overcome some of the challenges she has faced over the past few years.

Manal’s story

I started working in real estate in 2007 and quickly learned to love the industry. In 2009, I was already on my way to becoming a real estate professional when I enrolled on a Postgraduate Diploma in Surveying (Real Estate) programme with UCEM. My manager was a UCEM graduate himself and he advised that studying with UCEM would be the best route to obtain the RICS accreditation I needed to progress in the Beirut real estate industry.

Having a husband and a young family, time was precious, so I needed a course of study that allowed me to be with my family, work and utilise the spare free time to research and study. It was this flexible approach to learning along with the online platform which allowed me to interact with my peers and Tutors which, upon reflection, proved invaluable to my successful study journey with UCEM. Unlike the face-to-face teaching model, the online platform allowed for a more customised interaction based on what and when I really needed the support. I was able to check answers and still had the time to reflect on the many subjects in my own timeline.

Each module I completed with UCEM opened doors to my career, allowing me to progress into more senior managerial roles and, within three years, I founded my own corporate real estate agency, MA Cluster LLC, in 2015. The past few years have been challenging amid an unstable political and economic climate, however, the strategic skills obtained on the programme massively restructured my thinking methods and changed my approach to life and I knew nothing was impossible if I had the will and determination to not only succeed, but act with transparency and integrity. Today, I am pleased to have expanded and now represent global clients within the Built Environment.

Following my graduation from UCEM, I was automatically enrolled onto the UCEM Alumni Association – a forum of collaboration and communication with fellow students. Through the power of social media, the Association has opened great networking opportunities where I am able to discuss new methods of work and practice. This network is a great way of building a professional connection with people that lasts long after studying with UCEM. Additional benefits include access to discounted online CPD training helping to keep us up-to-date with the ever-changing requirements of the real estate industry.

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