As one of the four official IMD MBA bloggers for 2017, I wanted to give a brief introduction of myself and some thoughts as the first whirlwind week of classes comes to an end!
I’m originally Egyptian although growing up in an expat family, I had lived in Jeddah, Riyadh, Geneva, Indianapolis, Cairo, Zurich, and Dubai by the time I was 17 years old. After that wild ride, I moved to Toronto where I attended the University of Toronto studying Economics and Political Science. After graduating, I worked in the biotechnology industry in business analytics for just over a year before deciding to switch over to the financial services industry where I worked in digital banking strategy and operations for the past 4+ years.
Now as I sit in a study room in the IMD “dungeons” (as they’re affectionately called by IMD students) with 4 colleagues from Finland, Mexico, Norway, and the U.S, I can’t help but feel like things have come a bit full circle. After studying/working in North America for 9 years, I always wanted to pursue my MBA internationally as I sought to recapture some of the perspective creating magic I felt attending international schools growing up. It’s always been tough for me to call any place home but I ironically feel right at home at IMD with the 44 passports held by this 90-strong class. Looking around, I’d say we’re giving the United Nations a run for their money!
As the first week of classes come to a close, the pace is already paying tribute to all the warnings I got as I was researching and applying to IMD. This is definitely not the place to put your feet up and take it easy as you break from working life. It feels surreal that we’ve only had classes for 4 days as we continue to put in hours burning the midnight oil after class in the “dungeons” on a variety of individual assignments and group projects. At the same time, I wouldn’t have it any other way as I can already see that the rigour of the program is only a product of its substance, which I know will ultimately shape us into better future leaders. As my colleague Sath mentioned in the previous entry, this is not a program that just gives you the academic/technical competencies you need; but also the self-awareness, emotional intelligence, and leadership skills to succeed as a business leader.
Til next time!