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Catching up with...Sakher AlShriedeh

Kingston alumnus Sakher AlShriedeh

Sakher AlShriedeh studied MSc International Relations and graduated in 2018. Sakher is a relationship manager at the Capital Bank of Jordan and a volunteer disaster management officer at the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies.

Tell us about your career path

I completed my undergraduate degree at the University of Jordan and I was extremely excited to start my career in the banking industry. This was at the same time as when the Arab Spring revolutions unfolded. After working in the banking industry for five years, and as a volunteer for the Jordan Red Crescent, I became acutely aware of how much politics impacted the economic environment. I chose to study at Kingston to develop my understanding of how local and international politics function.

The knowledge I gained while studying at Kingston helped me secure a position as a relationship manager at Capital Bank of Jordan and also to start publishing a few political and economic articles in The Jordan Times.

What are you passionate about?

Politics! I always find it unusual when people declare that they have no interest in politics, as it plays an effective role in shaping our lives and our future. When mentioning "politics" some people unconsciously assume that one is only referring to what occurs within the walls of their city or the borders of their country, failing to appreciate that politics has a role to play in people's homes, workplaces and leisure clubs – right up to the level where it forms and destructs nation states.

What was one of your course highlights?

I was elected as course representative for MSc International Relations, which involved collecting feedback from my cohort and raising and resolving issues at academic meetings, cross-departmental university meetings and course representative congress. It helped me gain experience of formal meeting structures with a chair, secretary, agenda and minutes, and become familiar with how business is processed. I also developed and improved transferable skills such as objective-setting, negotiation, conflict management and time-management, which will be invaluable in the future. In particular, I really developed my public speaking skills and became more confident.

I also completed a dissertation on "Jordan's role in future Palestinian-Israeli Peace Plans". The research was helpful as I gained an understanding of how Jordan can contribute to promoting peace between Israel and Palestine.

What are your aspirations for the future?

I aspire to represent Jordan in an international organisation and take part in shaping its local and foreign policy. At the risk of sounding presumptuous, I hope to be able to make a difference in the world.

Studying in the UK and at Kingston definitely put me on the right track towards achieving my dreams. The modules I studied on my course – such as The Theory and Practice of International Relations, Conflict Theory and Resolution, and Crime, Harm and Justice – are crucial for my future political ambitions in my region. I believe that understanding the root cause of conflict is the best way to bring peace to my region. I have also completed a Certificate in Global Diplomacy at SOAS, University of London, and have been a Member of The General Assembly at Jordan National Red Crescent since 2008. I believe it is important for me to apply the knowledge I have gained in my studies into practice.

How has your Kingston degree helped you in your career?

I found the MSc International Relations course very useful for my career. I gained knowledge in different areas that are crucial to understanding the functioning of local politics, and how to relate local and international politics.

Plus, studying at Kingston, my fellow classmates came from a wide variety of industries and backgrounds. As a graduate student, I am connected to numerous professionals across the globe.

Describe your Kingston experience

Kingston University is a welcoming, diverse and inclusive community, it felt like home. I studied with professors who are industry leaders with valuable networks, providing real-world knowledge. Plus, there's so much else to get involved with! I was a member of both Kingston University's Politics Society and Arab Society, and proud to have received a Silver Kingston Award during my studies. My Kingston experience is one I will carry for the rest of my life.

I also loved living in Kingston upon Thames and exploring the beautiful parks and riverside walks, shopping in the historic marketplace and seeing shows at the Rose Theatre. Plus, the heart of the capital was just 15 minutes away by train!

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