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Q+A Monash University

Q&A with Reem Salman from Monash University


Tue Apr 13 2010

Where did you grow up?

I grew up in Amman, Jordan, studied and worked there till 2007 when I moved for a year to Bahrain then to Melbourne to do my MBA.

What do you miss most about Jordan? 

Everything... family and friends, the fresh air and the food, I also miss the team I worked with in Amman in the last company, we have achieved many milestones together, and it was a great team.

Did you undergo a culture shock when you moved from Jordan to Australia?

Not really, Amman is a contemporary city that’s open to the world; with all the differences that exist between the two cultures. I find there are many similarities as well, even when meeting people from Latin America, Asia or Europe you can always find similarities.

You have worked in Jordan and Bahrain at quite senior levels.Often the Middle East is perceived as being hostile to women in the corporate world. From your experience, do you believe this is true?

If I am going to speak from my experience, I wouldn’t agree with the statement as I did not face any difficulty being a woman in the workplace. However, this could not be generalized to the region, in my opinion generalizing for a certain region or even a country may not be fair as the situation differs from one country to another... In Jordan I worked for a successful company whose CEO was a woman. In Bahrain, although I joined a male dominated company, I was the only female senior manager. I did not feel at any time that me being a woman was a hurdle in any way.

Prior to enrolling on the MBA program you studied law. How challenging was the jump from law to business?

Very challenging! The first semester was especially hard. It’s a totally different way of analysing situations. However, my experience in project development was relevant which made things easier.

Why did you choose to do an MBA?

An MBA would be an asset as I progress to more senior positions. I aimed for a degree to provide me with a strong knowledge base of business. I have tried to maximize the benefit by specializing in banking and finance. Additionally, the Personal Development and Leadership Program at Monash, currently ranked 1st worldwide by the Economist Intelligence Unit, was a great attraction as it complements the knowledge with the skills required for such senior positions.

Are you planning to stay in Australia after you graduate?

I migrated to Australia in 2008 and hence the Australian market is my priority. However, I am a professional person who seeks to advance my career and will be willing to re-locate anywhere in the world for the right opportunity.

Which classes did you find the most useful on your MBA program and why?

I enjoyed the Corporate Finance and Mergers and Acquisitions Units as they were challenging, of high value and contribute substantially to my career plan.