EL Mahdi EL Boukhari
W. P. Carey School of Business at Arizona State University
Describe yourself in 15 words or less: Marketing professional, curious, observant and adaptable with a passion for health care, good food, and travel.
Hometown: Marrakech, Morocco
Fun Fact About Yourself: In 2007, I received a full scholarship to embark on a tour around the world aboard a ship. That life-changing experience was part of the exclusive academic program “the Scholar Ship.” The program was launched and supervised by a consortium of universities including the University of California Berkeley, Macquarie University in Sydney, and Al Akhawayn University in Ifrane, Morocco. “The Scholar Ship” program only ran for one year, and it irreversibly ignited my passion for travel and discovery.
Undergraduate School and Major:
Bachelor of Business Administration in Marketing (2007), Al Akhawayn University in Ifrane, Morocco
Masters of Business in Marketing (2009), Al Akhawayn University in Ifrane, Morocco
Employers and Job Titles Since Graduation:
Moroccan real estate company – Real Estate Sales Executive
Roche – Product Specialist and Product Manager
Describe your biggest accomplishment in your career so far: The professional achievement I am most proud of is my successful transition from real estate sales to pharmaceutical product management. Despite exceeding my sales objectives after only two months of joining the real estate industry, I did not feel a sense of purpose in my career. However, a brief professional experience in real estate gave me tremendous insight as to what career path I wanted to consider. I felt that I needed to choose an industry where I can be seriously challenged and where I can also develop my skills while having a strong positive impact on the lives of others. I decided to join the pharmaceutical industry, and I anticipated being at the forefront of promoting life-saving drugs that would benefit thousands of patients in need. I started as a product specialist and was quickly promoted to product manager of one of the company’s key franchises. The active mentoring that I received from my manager coupled with a lot of efforts from my side helped me gain technical expertise and reinforced my passion for health care.
Looking back on your experience, what one piece of advice would you give to future business school applicants? I think that applicants should seek admission to schools that embody their values and long-term vision. Before applying to a program, it is essential that candidates do their due diligence and get the maximum information they can about different schools. The more they know, the easier it will be for them to find a fit in a program that caters to not only their needs but also their likes and aspirations. I believe that choosing an MBA program by limiting one’s self to business school rankings is not ideal. In doing so, candidates forego the opportunity to find a perfect match instead of just a good school.
What was the key factor that led you to choose this program for your full-time MBA and why was it so important to you? I wanted my MBA to be an experience of transformation and growth. I knew that one of the most effective ways to inspire and provoke growth would be to surround myself with a diverse group of high-caliber peers. In launching the Forward Focus MBA program, W. P. Carey has gone to great lengths to attract brilliant individuals from different cultures who have very diverse professional profiles. Many of these candidates, although accomplished in their respective fields and countries, wouldn’t have been able to consider an MBA if it weren’t for the amazing Forward Focus full scholarship offered by the W. P. Carey School. I realized early in my application process that the opportunity to be part of such a group would be an extremely rewarding and humbling experience.
What would success look like to you after your first year of business school? To me, success would be to jumpstart a fruitful transformation that would eventually lead me to the career I want. Success is also synonymous with self-discovery, building long-lasting relationships and also getting to learn that language I have always wanted to master.