Jeelan Moghraby has a passion for science and self-development. She saw an online MBA from the UK’s Aston Business School as the perfect way to transition from academia into a startup career.
After completing the Aston MBA, she partnered with a fellow Aston grad and established her own educational technology—edtech—platform, MondoScience.
The aim is to make science more accessible and easier to understand, through online lectures, worksheets, and quizzes to test students’ knowledge. For those wanting more focused one-to-one help, there’s a personal online tutoring service too.
Jeelan worked full-time as an assistant professor at King Saud bin Abdulaziz University for Health Sciences in Saudi Arabia whilst completing her MBA. Now, she’s helping more people learn online.
How did the idea for MondoScience come about?
We are in an age of technology where we use the internet as our primary source of information. In fact, I would be lucky if any of my students opened their books. Many students spend hours searching the internet for resources to help them understand different scientific topics. But some of these resources require a certain amount of background knowledge.
I believe that everyone can understand science, but that you need a good solid foundation of the key topics first. Once you have that, you can progress with more confidence. So, I provide courses focusing on each core element in biology and biochemistry.
How has your MBA helped you become an entrepreneur?
It’s helped me in many aspects, from the new skills and knowledge I gained throughout the degree, to the confidence it has provided me in pursuing my own business.
I was fortunate to have leading lecturers with vast amounts of business and research experience. They were instrumental in making our residential weeks at Aston a success and many of the courses during my MBA have direct relevance to my entrepreneurial pursuits.
Additionally, through the hectic schedule where I had to attend to both the MBA and my work, I got better at using my time wisely, and prioritizing my activities.
The MBA at Aston Business School also helped me build connections and friendships. I am still in contact with all of my MBA cohort. Particularly, Florin Tampau—we share an entrepreneurial mindset, though we come from very different backgrounds, and he’s joined me at MondoScience, helping to develop and execute ideas.
How were you able to manage your MBA and a full-time academic career in Saudi Arabia?
Studying for my MBA while in a full-time position required a lot of discipline and time management. There were a lot of deadlines that had to be met in both roles. After completing the MBA, it was not hard to continue this discipline as I started to build up my business while working. The MBA helps me in keep a business mindset, instead of focusing solely on developing the scientific content of MondoScience.
Why did you decide to pursue an MBA from Aston Business School?
An MBA degree seemed the logical choice—learning new skills in areas such as strategy, economics, and finance. This would enable me to have more opportunities when transitioning from academia to a corporate or startup career.
I researched MBA degrees that offered both online learning as well as some form of residential studies. I also wanted a full degree that had triple accreditation. Though I may not physically be there every term, I’d be doing all the courses required for a full MBA degree.
I knew of Aston’s reputation, so I was determined to go there. I knew too that there was a small cohort which would give me more time with the lecturers to better understand the different subjects.
What advice do you have for anyone considering an MBA?
Do it! If you’re serious about learning and developing in the business world, then an MBA is for you.
It doesn’t matter what your background is—I was the only one in my cohort with an academic background. In the current competitive market, it provides you with the background knowledge you need, that you can then apply to your current or future job.