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
Three years ago today — September 8, 2014 — I first set foot in Dubai and took the first of many steps that have led me to my new life as an expat. Although emotionally anchored to my two amazing sons in Los Angeles, Jacob and Max, Dubai has revealed to me new friendships and opportunities I could have never realized in the United States.
I am thankful for Jumeira University, which first opened the door to this incredible experience, AUE for providing me with the next step, and for everyone who played a part in my process of self discovery and development. I am also filled with pride for my sons’ accomplishments and appreciation their increasing ability to understand why it was necessary for me to go overseas; despite being far from them physically, they are always close to my heart.