Enjoy the richness of the community and embrace your unique path

4 minute read

Tell us a little about your career background?

I began my career in academia in Egypt, serving as a teaching and research assistant in the fields of electronics and nanotechnology. After completing my first Master’s degree in engineering, I transitioned to the corporate sector, taking on a role as a project lead at Si-Vision, an Egyptian semiconductor company and partner of Synopsys, US. 

During my five-year tenure at Si-Vision, I was among three engineers who spearheaded the establishment of a new business line and collaborated with Synopsys design teams across North America and India. This experience underscored the significant impact that leadership and strategic initiatives can have on an organization's future, as well as their broader influence within the sector in a developing country like Egypt.

Why was an Oxford MBA important to help you understand a global view of business where markets, trade and work are transforming at a rapid rate?

My journey through the Oxford MBA was one of self-discovery, professional development, and community engagement. These dimensions collectively shaped my new understanding of the business world and the complexity of being a global citizen, capable of contributing to and adding value to the global community.

Self-discovery began on day one with the joining of a diverse cohort comprising individuals from 65 different nationalities, each bringing unique cultural and professional backgrounds. It didn’t take long for us to shed our outer facades and connect on a human level, a process that unveiled new perspectives on personal growth, leadership, and diverse geographies.

Moreover, attending classes at Oxford meant being part of rich and insightful discussions, enriched by the hands-on experiences each individual contributed. From careers focused on making an impact to ventures in private equity, and from the arts to healthcare, our daily interactions were incredibly valuable.

Finally, the Oxford community extends beyond our exceptional cohort and distinguished faculty members to encompass the broader university and the dynamic business sector in London. Engaging with innovative Oxford startups and addressing real-world corporate challenges as part of our core studies became a regular part of our activities. Through these experiences, I have developed a global perspective on today’s rapidly transforming market. 

Turning to your personal career journey, did you know where you wanted to head in your career before your MBA?

When I applied to the Oxford MBA, my career aspirations were somewhat undefined. However, from the moment I stepped foot in Oxford, I recognized that adopting an explorer's mindset and remaining open to new possibilities would be crucial in defining my career path. My exploratory approach was twofold.

First, a phrase from the careers team resonated deeply with me: 'someone is living your future now.' This meant that the career goals and job roles I aspired to had mostly been realized by individuals around the world or, sometimes, within the Oxford's community. Conversing with these individuals felt like dialoguing with my future self, simplifying the process of narrowing down my exploratory landscape or, at the very least, illuminating the next step on my path.

The second aspect involved venturing into uncharted territories—engaging in activities I never imagined possible for myself. As a tech engineer, fields like consulting and social impact felt foreign. Yet, I chose to intern as an impact consultant, at AAW, and immersed myself in startup foundation stages, flexing my innovation muscle. Although these exploratory ventures did not directly define my subsequent steps post-MBA, they profoundly enriched my understanding of my career aspirations. My love for technology and innovative products remained unshaken, and hence my current job in partnership management for Canonical, but I realized there are plenty of paths to deriving joy from my work. 

How did the resources and opportunities of an Oxford Saïd education and career development assist you?

At Oxford Saïd, the most invaluable asset is its people. This includes not just our cohort, faculty, and the careers team, but also the array of experts, coaches, and professionals introduced to us by our career development team. I want to highlight three pivotal experiences during my time at Oxford Saïd.

The first was participating in the leadership coaching program, where I was paired with an executive coach, Jane Miller. This journey, beginning with a comprehensive personality analysis, helped define suitable roles for me and identify the obstacles I needed to overcome to achieve my objectives.

Next, the careers team offered an extraordinary chance to enrol in a mindfulness in business course. This course facilitated a deeper connection with ourselves and others, steering us toward being motivated by meaning and value in a rapidly evolving world that demands adaptive leadership.

Lastly, the accessibility and invaluable insights of our career coaches at Oxford Saïd provided substantial support throughout my job search. Their structured approach was instrumental in navigating the complexities of entering the job market. 

Additionally, Oxford Saïd offered unparalleled networking opportunities through direct engagements with notable organizations and through exclusive alumni and company networking events. These platforms have broadened my professional landscape and enriched my practical learning.

Now you have taken your next career step, what recommendation would you give to incoming students embarking on their MBA programme?

Each person at Oxford MBA had their own journey throughout the year, personally and professionally. Enjoy the richness of the community and embrace your unique path.

Oxford MBA