Mohammed Hamad Al-Badri, UPP 2015 Batch

Interview by Dr. Joseph Richard Preville, UPP Director, Prince Sultan College of Business
Dated: October 25, 2015

Tell me about your background.  Where did you grow up in Saudi Arabia and when did you begin your studies in English?
I grew up near Taif and graduated from Al-Alawah School.  After I finished the program there, I began to study English on my own by reading and watching a lot of movies.  Then I joined the Saudi International Academy in Jeddah.  I finished the program in one year and six months and graduated with a high GPA.  I started to practice English and I took a course from Berlitz and finished level 6.  I tried to use English on a daily basis to increase my vocabulary.  I joined Prince Sultan College of Business to upgrade my English and to improve my skills with the goal of becoming a financial analyst. Actually, I have been working part-time as an administrative assistant at Dallah Holding Company, a Jeddah investment management firm, for three years.  That experience has improved my English skills because everyone speaks the language at work.

Why do you like English?  And, why is it a popular language?
I love it very much.  When I heard it for the first time, I liked it and wanted to learn it.  Everybody around the world loves English because they see it as a necessity, not just for a job, but for their lives. English is a key that unlocks many doors.

How is the UPP English program helping to improve your skills?
It has practical benefits for me and all the students, especially in pronunciation and writing.  Reading also helps me to expand my vocabulary.  The classes are small at PS-CoB and we all receive individual attention.  From the first day I entered the door of the college, I felt comfortable.  I have supportive teachers, who inspire me to do my best.  I am in the first group of the UPP, and I am very satisfied with my progress.  Also, my family is very happy for me and proud of me.

What are your future plans and what is the vision you have for your life?
After I finish college, I would like to become a financial analyst.  I am going to use every opportunity that comes my way to reach my goals.  I want to get to the highest level in my field.

Do you think English is the global language?
Yes, certainly.  I notice it because I travel a lot.  I have visited Turkey, Indonesia, Canada, Egypt and Malaysia, and they all speak English.  English is a great help to me at the airports, stores and restaurants. I use English without any difficulty.

What was the biggest obstacle you faced in learning English?
In the beginning, I was afraid of making mistakes.  But, I realized if I didn’t practice, I wouldn’t improve my skills.  My teachers at PS-CoB encourage me to practice and to be comfortable with the language.  

How is English a part of your daily life?
I use English all the time at the college and at work.  I speak English with my friends on the phone.  I use the language in restaurants and the malls.  English is important in my life for three reasons: 1) it connects me to the world, 2) I love the sound of it, and 3) it allows me to travel anywhere and communicate with everyone.

What advice would you give to new students of English?
They have to practice, practice, and practice.  When they acquire new words, they have to use them, otherwise they will not improve.  New students have to speak English without any fear.

Did you enjoy being interviewed today?
Yes, very much.  I am now ready for CNN.