By Tom Fish

A Brunel graduate's inspirational achievements have been recognised at the 2017 British Council Alumni Awards.

Dr. Talal Al-Maghrabi won in the Entrepreneurial Alumni category at the event celebrating the outstanding achievements of leaders in their respective field, who have used their experience of studying at a UK university to positively contribute to their communities, professions and countries.

And the Saudi Arabian citizen, who graduated in 2010 with a PhD in Marketing and e-Commerce, plans to use this platform to encourage the next generation of entrepreneurs.

“My objective is to promote business and science-based initiatives among young people, actively encouraging them to pursue academic advancement, to help realize their full potential,” Al-Maghrabi said. “I am hoping to create leaders who will start their own science and research-focused business.”

He has retained close links with Brunel since completing his thesis; his wife also completed her PhD at Brunel, and the couple’s children are either studying in or about to join the Business School.

And Al-Maghrabi has gone on to great things since graduating; cultivating the sort of CV that would make most businessmen blush. As well as being the chair of the Saudi-British Marketing and Management Association, he is founder of the UK Marketing and Communication Academy, the director of the UK’s International Training and Development Academy, and a consultant and lecturer in marketing, e-commerce and management information systems.

And he is in no doubt as to the benefits of studying here.

“Brunel gave their full support to help organise events, which attracted leading Saudi businesses to join in,” he said. “The university staff, PhD colleagues and my great supervisor all worked towards my success.

“As a PhD researcher in London, I was able to meet a diverse range of students, had easy access to conferences and was surrounded with business opportunities.”

He added that after studying in the U.S for 10 years, he insisted on moving to London, which he calls the world business hub. He said the city shaped him into an entrepreneurial thinker he is today.

Clive Gee, Brunel's Director of Development and Alumni Relations, was thrilled to hear that Dr Talal Al-Maghrabi was selected as the winner of the Entrepreneurial award in the UK Alumni Awards 2017 in Saudi Arabia.

“Talal is a fantastic supporter of Brunel and a real pioneer in building links between the UK and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia,” Gee said. “I am sure that I speak for the whole Brunel family in saying how proud we are and in wishing him every success in the future."

So what tips for today's overseas students can this synonym for success offer?

  • “The UK is a great multi-cultural country that values and respects people arriving from all over the world. Take advantage of every opportunity to learn, integrate, and engage with others. And be confident - share your values and promote your country.
  • “UK universities have great resources. Use them and you'll be equipped with the best knowledge and skills to give you that edge over your competitors when you return home.”
  • And finally: “Engage with student unions and clubs, and volunteering to help others will also reap great returns.”