Ali Al-Maadid, Class of 2021, is inspired by entrepreneurship
As we approach the Class of 2021’s graduation, we are talking with a few members of the class about how they have grown and what they have learned during their time at CMU-Q. Today we speak to Ali Al-Maadid, who is completing his degree in business administration.
CMU-Q News: Why did you decide to study business administration?
Ali Al-Maadid: I’ve been intrigued by entrepreneurship since a young age, because I was surrounded by entrepreneurs. I think I always knew in the back of my mind that I wanted to create a business on my own. I wanted to change the world in my own way.
CMU-Q News: During your degree, did you explore any other areas of study?
Ali Al-Maadid: I’ve tried to learn more about the computer science side, because I think automation will be the key for our future. I also have a minor in history, which I chose because there’s plenty of lessons to learn from the past.
CMU-Q News: You have been very involved in the CMU-Q community. Can you tell us about some of your extracurricular activities?
Ali Al-Maadid: I’ve been mainly involved in two clubs. The first is Language Bridges, where I taught English to service workers at CMU-Q. Language Bridges helped me think more of the perspective of the worker, and how with education and communication, trust and growth begin to flourish.
The other club was the Qatari Student Association. At the Qatar National Day events, we try to teach others about Qatari culture, traditions, and why we do things in a certain way. So in a sense, the community strengthens its bonds as everyone understands each other more.
CMU-Q News: I understand you are completing a college honors thesis in the area of entrepreneurship. Tell us about your project.
Ali Al-Maadid: My research is centered on business incubators, which are organizations that provide small startups with facilities and services that help them succeed. What I wanted to find out was if business incubators are effective, and if so, what are the factors that help increase the theoretical success rate of the startup. The local entrepreneurship environment has been very helpful.
CMU-Q News: So what were your findings?
Ali Al-Maadid: We found that there are a couple of facilities and services which specifically help entrepreneurs succeed: mentorship services and funding programs. There are also factors that we’re not sure exactly if they help or not, things such as research and development and prototyping. I think it’s dependent on the startup itself.
What we try and gain from this is to recommend to business incubators what’s helpful and what’s not, what to emphasize more and what to try to reduce to increase the hypothetical success rates.
CMU-Q News: That’s great. And what are your plans after graduation?
Ali Al-Maadid: I do hope to open a startup. I got a lot of inspiration from Professor White and his class, Introduction to Entrepreneurship. We generated our own business plan, and conducted feasibility studies, which helped me pinpoint what I want to work on specifically. Professor White has been a great mentor and influence to not only me, but I think he’s influencing the next generation of Qatar’s entrepreneurs. I’m so thankful.
CMU-Q News: Do you have any words of advice for young Qatari students who are deciding where to study?
Ali Al-Maadid: I think first of all, we have to dissect this question into two parts. First of all, would you choose a university outside of Qatar or inside of Qatar? Personally, I think that just being around family is quite a big benefit of choosing to study here. And secondly, why choose the CMU? I think CMU helps you develop as a person, not just in your specific area, but in things such as communication, confidence and public speaking. It helps you develop your character.
CMU-Q News: Thank you, Ali, and best of luck to you.
Ali Al-Maadid: Thank you.