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International student follows her passion for helping others.

How can businesses succeed without good people management? VCU student Mashail Alfallaj, originally from Saudi Arabia, wanted to understand how people function and what role they play in a competitive capitalist society. She is graduating this summer with a master’s degree in Adult Learning, with a concentration in Human Resources Development, from the VCU School of Education.

A sketch of Amin by her students in the UAE

Mashail with a group of friends.

Alfallaj came to VCU after her online studies at Seattle University, where she was an international student sponsored by Saudi Arabian Cultural Mission (SACM). But she wanted more than just an online education, she wanted the in-classroom experience.

During her search, she found the VCU School of Education and chose Adult Learning Human Resource Development (HRD) because she believes the goal of almost every organization in a competitive capitalist society is maximizing profit, while keeping employees happy.

“I believe that people are capable of achieving their goals, live their lives to the fullest and be the best version of themselves if they find guidance, support and enlightenment, which is the essence of HRD,” said Alfallaj.

The island of Delma in the UAE

Mashail with a group of students.

The adult learning program has taught Alfallaj how to reflect on her journey. She has learned so much about herself and her colleagues during her time here at VCU and she is grateful for this global experience.

“While at the VCU School of Education, I realized that I have grown as a person, and I have developed my thoughts and skills. I have learned so much about the American society and the western perspective that is different from the Middle Eastern perspective,” she said.

Alfallaj is returning home to Saudi Arabia to participate in the building of the Saudi economy. She is bringing back new perspectives and what she calls, a 2030 vision.

“It is a new vision for the country that targets development holistically: socially, and economically,” she said.

In the near future, Alfallaj plans to write a book on her experience in the US and what American education has done for her. She also wants to help other young women who share her passion.

“I hope that one day I will be able to establish a nonprofit organization for women and children’s rights in Saudi Arabia with my sisters, who share the same vision, because we are interested in social justice, and we believe that it’s the least that we can do when we have the means for it,” concluded Alfallaj.

With a college degree under her belt and a mind set on making a difference, Mashail Afallaj will bring hope and change back to Saudi Arabia.