Teaching is a profession that can be as challenging as it is rewarding, but every now and then I am reminded why I chose this professional path.
In May I received a kind and heartfelt email from Omran Al Farsi, a human resources student at the American University in the Emirates. He had been a student in my Principles of Management class during the spring semester which had recently concluded.
The students in Omran’s class, which was one of my smallest at AUE, were uniquely mature and engaged; it felt more like a masters degree class than an undergraduate one. We spent many of our class periods in the food court discussing management articles from the Harvard Business Review. It was refreshing and revitalizing.
And so, in some ways, I wasn’t surprised to receive a message from a student in that class. However, I was nevertheless surprised, inspired, and energized by Omran’s email; it was exceptionally thoughtful and sincere. The text of his message follows.
It is my pleasure to share it with you below:
“If my educational journey taught me two things, it would be the importance of knowledge and the person who is giving you that knowledge. Thus, I am forever grateful to you and appreciative for your mentoring throughout the course. You have taught me so many things academic related and in leadership on a personal level. I never heard your name mentioned without students and instructors complimenting you as a person and instructor. I found out why when I first attended your class. You have one of the most pure and kind hearts I have ever encountered in my life.” — Omran Al Farsi, Human Resource Management Student at American University in the Emirates
Guest speakers offer a wonderful way to bring textbooks to life and show your students how they can connect theory with reality. I’ve had many exceptional individuals share their insights and experiences with my students.
Mr. Quartararo is the President and CEO of St. Petersburg, Florida based Spatial Networks, Inc. Spatial Networks is the developer behind Fulcrum, a mobile data collection platform that you can use to build, deploy, and collect data with customized iOS and Android apps.
He founded Spatial Networks in 2000 and has been involved in business activities in Central and South Asia, North Africa, Near East, Latin America and East Asia. In total, he has more than 20 years of experience in the geospatial industry. He holds a BA in Geography/GIS from Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania and spent 3 years working towards an MA in Geography/GIS from Portland State University.
His professional tenure includes positions managing multi-year international map production projects, analyzing business and competitive intelligence, managing human capital, collecting field data, procuring data, and both acquiring and visualizing human geography data.
During the 90 minutes he spent with my class Mr. Quartararo spoke about five main topics: 1.) Management Style and Issues, 2.) Integrity, 3.) Technology, 4.) Mediocrity, 5.) Human Resources/Career Paths. He also answered several questions from students.