“Globe-trotting professional with unwavering determination, innate curiosity and an appetite for good food and wine.”
Hometown: Hawalli, Kuwait
Fun Fact About Yourself: During my lifetime, I’ve been lucky enough to have lived in five unique global cities: Kuwait City, Boston, Hong Kong, New York and now DC!
Undergraduate School and Major: Northeastern University, Bachelor of Arts in Economics and International Affairs
Most Recent Employer and Job Title: Senior Associate, Weber Shandwick
Describe your biggest accomplishment in your career so far: As a Senior Associate on the PR team at Weber Shandwick, I had the opportunity to work with several luxury and CPG brands and help them achieve their media goals. My personal favorite was working with Unilever’s Simple Skincare brand.
In Q1 of 2017 the Simple PR team was going through a few transitions. As one of the last ones standing, I was fortunate enough to be trusted with planning and executing PR strategies to continue to generate coverage for their products in online outlets. I had to work independently to put together the necessary materials, including strategy proposals incorporating my ideas and suggested tactics to share with the client team for approval. I had to leverage my expertise and manage not only my own time, but also the clients’ expectations to ensure that the project would be a success. Once my plan was given the green light, I went on to execute it with minimal supervision. These tactics were ultimately successful and it was so rewarding to know that my work made a direct impact on achieving our clients’ goals.
This was a major accomplishment for me for a couple of reasons. For one, being trusted to handle big assignments independently and prove myself to be a reliable a dedicated member of my team gave me the confidence that I needed to lead. And secondly, by showcasing the extent of my capabilities, I managed to pave the path towards a promotion, and take on other equally exciting projects in the future.
What quality best describes the MBA classmates you’ve met so far and why? Open-minded. All my fellow classmates that I’ve met so far have been friendly and receptive to new experiences, despite coming from different backgrounds. As a minority in the program, I was concerned that I would feel a left out or out of place, but that’s proving to be far from true!
Aside from your classmates, 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 chose Georgetown’s MBA program for its global curriculum. As someone who has lived and worked in several different cities, I’ve learned that the business world is so much smaller than it sometimes seems, and being able to work with and communicate effectively across borders is a valuable asset. The program’s mandatory Global Business Experience stood out to me as an ideal means for developing these skills while also making a real contribution to an international business.
What club or activity are you looking most forward to in business school? On a professional level, I’m excited to join the Graduate Marketing Association to build my network and get to know others in my program who have likeminded goals. And on a personal level, I would love to join the Georgetown Wine Society to bond with my fellow classmates over our shared interests.
What led you to pursue an MBA at this point in your career? I worked in the PR industry for nearly four years following earning my undergraduate degree. After gaining a reasonable amount of experience in the field, I started to realize that it was time for a change. Through working on different brand teams and interacting with my clients, I became interested exploring opportunities in brand management, and getting an MBA seemed like the logical step forward in that direction.
How did you decide if an MBA was worth the investment? To me, getting an MBA is about more than just achieving my career goals – it’s also an opportunity for me to develop new hard and soft skills, as well as a strong network. I was also drawn to the practicality of an MBA, and the focus on education through hands-on experiences outside of the classroom.
What other MBA programs did you apply to? INSEAD, UCLA, USC, UT Austin
How did you determine your fit at various schools? Location and culture were two of my top priorities. I evaluated these by attending MBA fairs (such as QS), connecting with current students, and visiting the campuses themselves. I knew that I wanted to attend a school that was diverse, had a strong emphasis on global education, and had a collaborative culture. I remember going to a coffee chat with a second-year Georgetown student that really helped me feel confident about my decision to enroll and make the move to DC. The kindness, support and advice I received managed to sway me away even from the good weather out on the West Coast!
What was your defining moment and how did it shape who you are? Moving to the United States in 2010 was a major turning point in my life. I had a very sheltered upbringing in Kuwait, where my interactions were limited to a small community and I had little opportunity to express myself. Attending a large undergraduate institution allowed me to meet new people from all walks of life and learn to be independent, which is a quality I pride myself on now.
What do you plan to do after you graduate? Pursue a career in brand management or marketing strategy. I’m interested in different industries but technology, luxury and consumer products are my top priorities.
Where do you see yourself in five years? Moving up the ranks in a job that I enjoy, while still having time to travel and see the world. I strongly believe in balance, and I hope that my successful post-MBA career is also accompanied by new personal experiences.