After completing his Executive MBA at the Business School (formerly Cass) in 2013, Ghassan Abughazaleh (Aboughazale) decided to utilise his 30+ years of business acumen as a certified Professional Coach, focused on executive leadership and personal development, alongside his position as the CEO of Storall LLC. In March this year, Ghassan returned to the Business School to speak at the popular MENA Alumni Chapter event: ‘Self-empowerment – Achieving Resilience and Success: In Conversation with Ghassan Abughazaleh’. We caught up with Ghassan to find out more about how his career developed since leaving the Business School.
“It was electrifying, I was energised by meeting like-minded people”
Speaking about his time at the Business School Ghassan tells us that despite the fact it has been almost ten years since he graduated “a lot of it remains vividly in my memory… for me it was electrifying, I was energised by meeting like-minded people”. The networking aspect of the course was central for Ghassan, particularly the chance to build long-lasting relationships with fellow students and academics: “we’re still good friends – we still share stories and reach out to each other when we want advice”. He explains that, being EMBA students, he and most of his cohort had largely spent a long time out of education, which made returning to the classroom particularly significant. “For me, the learning was more like restructuring my brain. Some compartments were dusty, with some cobwebs on them because you get so used to doing things in professional life… when you go back it reframes and reorganises the way you think”.
“We still share stories and reach out to each other when we want advice”
In fact, it was his EMBA that reignited his passion for education and sharing life experiences to help others. Ghassan says, “from there I started doing workshops, giving different business essential workshops about strategy about change management, leadership, and I eventually became a facilitator at PwC Academy, Middle East”. Taking this step led him down the road of professional coaching, having had 30 plus years of business experience has given Ghassan a sense of clear intuition which he relies on to provide advice to his clients. Ghassan tells us that life is filled with challenges and “as a coach we help people navigate through certain challenges whether that is in their personal or professional life, to achieve that next level of success and fulfilment”.
“We help people navigate through certain challenges… to achieve that next level of success and fulfilment”
In March, Ghassan renewed his connection to City, University of London and the Business School by speaking at a brilliant event exploring how to cope and achieve resilience and success in the ‘new normal’. Ghassan was joined by over 150 City and Business School alumni from 26 countries across the world to share his insights around the role of a professional coach alongside providing some key tips on personal development and resilience. In the event, Ghassan outlined the four corner stones of professional coaching: “1) People aren’t broken. Whatever problem we have – we are not the problem, it just something we need to overcome… People are naturally creative, resourceful and whole 2) We focus on the now and dance in this moment: the past is the past, and if we dwell on that we would miss out on the present 3) We coach the whole person: mind, heart, body and soul 4) [Coaching] is all done to evoke transformation”. Ghassan believes that professional coaching can benefit everyone, and even has a coach himself, he explains that the key to coaching is to “bring out the true potential of the client”.
Ghassan shared with us how it felt for him to return to the Business School as a speaker at our recent alumni event: “I felt privileged to be invited as the guest speaker to such an event, which allowed me to reconnect with City and its alumni. More importantly, it reminded me of the important role my MBA experience played in reigniting my passion for connecting with people, which eventually led me to becoming a certified coach. I was humbled by the positive feedback I received from several of the event attendees who found the discussion useful and resonating with them.”
Thank you, Ghassan for taking the time to speak with us. Be sure to look out for more alumni events featuring Ghassan in the future!