50 MBA Stories: Part 39: Amal Shanty

 Amal Shanty earned her MBA at the University of Glasgow, Adam Smith Business School. This provided a platform for her to work with organisations in the Gaza Strip, whereby she uses what she has learnt to try and make the world a better place.

Explain your current role. 
I am working as a Programme Consultant and Representative for HEKS EPER (Swiss Church Aid) and cfd (Feminist Peace Organization), in the Gaza Strip. These roles have given me the opportunities to work directly with local non-profit organizations (NGOs), and Community Based Organizations (CBOs). I am supporting them in enhancing resilience of local community, particularly Bedouin women, youth, and internally displaced people (IDPs).

I am also supporting NGOs in developing proposals and concept papers in alignment with the national development priorities, and Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Such initiatives are mainly focused on youth and women economic empowerment, access to land and housing, and preservation of the Palestinian identity and heritage advocacy towards the right of return.

As a member of the Palestinian Evaluation Association (PEA), Champion for the MENA Region in EvalYouth, and a member of the Global EvalSDGs, I have been able to get hands-on experience areas including monitoring, evaluation, and impact assessment. I have also been able to align the local frameworks with the global development agenda. I hope Palestine will really progress in trying to achieve the SDGs, and I hope the country will achieve peace. 

When and where did you earn your MBA? 
I have earned my MBA from the University of Glasgow, Adam Smith Business School in 2012- 2013.   

What is the most interesting thing you learnt from your MBA? 
The MBA has made a paradigm shift in my mind-set. I started applying the critical inquiry approach in my daily life and new work, an approach that focuses on how contextual factors influence health, safety, wellbeing, and physical activity participation of individuals, groups, and communities. My MBA also equipped me with the analytical research skills which I am applying in my national studies and research in Palestine and MENA region, and through my work with UNICEF, NORAD, and UNRWA.  

How has the MBA made a difference in your life? In particular, your career path and leadership journey? 
While studying for an MBA University of Glasgow, I was nominated for various awards, and won the Anna Ritichie Memorial Prize, a prize which is award to the student who submits the best project. Then I crafted my career path after getting my MBA. Later, I undertook a project in the Gaza Strip. By the end, three Centres of Excellence were established, providing vocational education in three sectors; construction, information technology, and agriculture, based on the latest technologies and learning situation approaches for curricula development. This project helped me get selected as an Inspirational Woman for Islamic Relief Worldwide on International Women's Day, due to my dedication and achievements.