Ehsan Razavizadeh is the founding regional director of Cass Business School Dubai, part of London's City University. Here, he talks about his typical day.
I get up and have some breakfast while checking emails. I may do some jogging. Then I have a shower and drive to our campus. Our main campus is based in the City of London, which is the financial district, so that's why we decided to set up in DIFC: to train the future business and finance leaders of the region.
Office hours are 9 to 5 Sunday to Thursday. I pick up my copies of The National, Gulf News and the FT. My personal interest is higher education, entrepreneurship and SMEs. One of the interesting areas we have as part of the MBA is Islamic finance, so I look for headlines on Islamic finance - and then the general headlines.
I go through my emails again. Then I have a quick debriefing with my team and we agree on action points. My role is mainly about relationships with various stakeholders: we are dealing with government agencies here, the private sector, with students, alumni, visiting faculty from London. I love mentorship. I spend quite a lot of time on a daily basis for mentorship.
I usually combine lunch with a meeting. DIFC has some amazing coffee shops and restaurants. I was seconded from Cass to DIFC to set up Cass here. In February 2007 we signed the MoU with DIFC and in September 2007 we started the first batch of students. Dubai is a very cosmopolitan city, there are so many nationalities here. The student body is very diverse, which is what an MBA should be about: learning from each other and challenging each other.
If I have other meetings I will carry on, otherwise I will come back to the office. Now that there is a three-hour time difference between Dubai and London, by the time lunch is over the London campus is starting to send us emails and sometimes there will be a conference call. These days we are very busy with two things. One is a study tour we organise where we bring our London MBA students to the UAE. Then every year we organise a graduation ceremony. The next one in Dubai is on May 14.
As part of the MBA we run a monthly workshop for four days: Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday. If I have a workshop, I stay until 5 or 5.30. I go down and meet the students and faculty.
Sometimes I attend work functions. Sometimes we organise our own events. If it's personal time, then if I haven't been able to make it to the gym in the morning, I go after work for an hour or two. Sometimes I play golf - maybe once a week. And obviously there's spending time with my family.
I go to bed.