Dr. Jamal Maalouf, Assistant Professor of Strategic Management and Entrepreneurship

Setting up office space at home and tapping into new skills.

Jamal Maalouf - LAU Now.jpgHaving four people in my household studying or working online was very challenging in the beginning, as we had to share the same resources including internet bandwidth, quiet rooms, and time. What was most difficult at first was to divide my time between work and tutoring my kids. Eventually, I managed to create an office space for myself, as well as a timetable that everyone learned to respect.

My background in computer engineering helped me tap into new skills, which made my transition to virtual classes smoother. That said, on one occasion I’d scheduled an online exam during my regular class time, only to have a power cut right as the exam was about to start. I quickly switched to my mobile data, rescheduled the exam, and notified all students who by then had been frantically emailing me. I learned my lesson the hard way: plan for online exams around scheduled power cuts in Lebanon!

I received several emails of gratitude from my students for having ensured that their studies continued during the lockdown, and for the innovative way in which the course material was delivered. Some called it “a fruitful experience” that had a great impact on both their personal and professional lives. The genuine feedback brought much needed satisfaction to my soul.