Meet Stanford GSB’s MBA Class Of 2019

Ahmad Ibrahim

Stanford Graduate School of Business

Describe yourself in 15 words or less: My friends say I am young, but I believe that I was transported from the middle ages.

Hometown: Cairo, Egypt

Fun Fact About Yourself: I was born in the US, raised in Uganda, and grew up in Egypt. Have always struggled to answer the question: Where are you from?

Undergraduate School and Major: American University in Cairo, Economics

Employers and Job Titles Since Graduation:

  • African Development Bank, Research Analyst
  • Qalaa Holdings (formerly Citadel Capital), Business Analyst

Describe your biggest accomplishment in your career so far:In college, I co-founded one of the first student-run consultancies in Cairo. With my partners, we helped young entrepreneurs scale their ventures, by connecting them to some of the best talent in top universities. While I have had the chance to work on projects worth billions of dollars at my previous firm, I’ve never derived as much meaning from any project as I have from helping small and medium businesses re-imagine the potential they could one day realize.

Looking back on your experience, what one piece of advice would you give to future business school applicants? Start early and take your time. Many underestimate how time-consuming the process can be. If you have a demanding full-time job, I encourage you to plan ahead. The more intentional you are before you apply, the more fulfilling your journey will be. For example, if your dream is to build a company, have a few ideas of what exactly you’re interested in before you come. If your dream is to work at a consulting/investment firm, prepare before you come. Look up people who share a common interest. Reach out to them. Ask for their advice. Time here passes by so quickly. So, unless you are intentional about how you spend your time, there is a high chance you will be distracted by the abundance of opportunity here.

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? For years, I have dreamed about the prospect of building a company that can have an impact on millions, but I did not know where to start. When it was time to choose which business school to join, a managing director at my firm said “Stanford is the kitchen of the future.” He was right. For those who dream of building their own venture, Stanford’s MBA program is the perfect launchpad. In my view, the combination of two things. First, it is part of an institution that places so much value on entrepreneurship. Second, it is  close to Silicon Valley, where many of the world’s most influential companies are built, which is unmatched in other programs.  The energy and conviction that flows around this place is simply contagious!

What would success look like to you after your first year of business school? Socially, that picture would look like cultivating genuine friendships that will outlive my time at school, and professionally, success would be building the business plan of my future venture.