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Meet the Warwick MBA Class of 2018

Azad Aafo 

Warwick Business School 

Describe yourself in 15 words or less: Optimistic, calm and a restless adventurer. A curious and inquisitive, people person with a sense of humour.

Hometown: Manchester UK & Al-Malikiyah (Derik) Syria

Fun Fact About Yourself: When I was a child, my mom dreamt that I was speaking English with some foreigners. Despite the fact that from birth I was denied all basic rights like traveling abroad, employment and even speaking my native language, I ended up speaking more than three languages, travelled to 14 countries and studying in one of the best business schools in the world.

I like reading too much so you can describe me as a “reading machine.” I remember the travel time to my work place in Iraqi-Kurdistan was almost one hour each way, so I took the opportunity to read 14 books within 3-4 months.

Undergraduate School and Major: 

Millennium Academy, Manchester, UK: Business Administration Diploma

University of Damascus, Syria: B.A English Literature

Employers and Job Titles Since Graduation:

Sagrma Co Ltd; Administrative Manager

Caritas Diocese of Salford; IT Supporter

Marks & Spencer; Administrator

Snappin’ Turtle Productions Limited; Translator

Describe your biggest accomplishment in your career so far: I’ve had some interesting things happen actually, such as being offered the role of head translator just after 20 days of working for a London-based media production company. However, I have helped dozens of vulnerable and homeless people gain employment and improve their life quality, and for me this is the biggest accomplishment.

Describe your biggest accomplishment in the program so far: Coming from a rather diverse background myself into one with over 30 nationalities, I was unsure how I would fit in. Looking back now, I feel one of my biggest accomplishments has been fitting seamlessly into this group. I feel this holds real value for me; not just this year, but for the rest of my career as I now have group of lifelong friends that I can lean on for advice, guidance and opportunities.

The MBA helped me get out of my comfort zone, deal with the latest issues in international business, apply the newest management techniques, and constantly challenge and manage myself effectively. Plus, I learned how to lead, manage and influence other people.

Looking back on your experience, what one piece of advice would you give to future business school applicants? There are many factors behind a successful application, like having a high GMAT score, well-written essays, the availability of recommendations, or excelling in the admissions interview. The sole advice I would like to highlight is determination. When an applicant makes an early application, it is a sign of determination for the admission committee. Applicants prove that they know what they want. So, apply as early as possible.

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?  Some of my friends who studied at Warwick recommended it to me repeatedly. It is very important to listen to people who have had a good experience, as it implies something more authentic and personal.

What would success look like to you after you graduate from business school? Success for me is when I see my destroyed country benefiting from what I have learnt at WBS, then I can say that I have been successful.