Meet Stanford GSB’s MBA Class Of 2020

Kaoutar Yaiche

Stanford Graduate School of Business

I’m a big dreamer with a great passion for people and life.”

Hometown: Fez, Morocco

Fun Fact About Yourself: I have ailurophobia, which is this extreme and intense fear of cats

Undergraduate School and Major: Ecole Nationale Superieure des Mines/ Energy Engineering

Most Recent Employer and Job Title: GAITS Industries/Project Development Engineer

Describe your biggest accomplishment in your career so far: I think my biggest achievement in my career so far is leading the first solar photovoltaic project with the tracker technology in Morocco, from the bidding process to design and engineering to construction. I’m proud that this project constitutes a big milestone in the development of solar in the country and reinforces its position at the forefront of sustainability in Africa.

Describe your biggest accomplishment at Stanford GSB so far: I believe my biggest accomplishment at the GSB is being able to build close and meaningful relationships with classmates, which has been my source of support and made my experience so fulfilling and enjoyable.

What quality best describes the MBA classmates you’ve met so far and why? It goes without saying that making it to a top MBA Program demonstrates a high IQ and what I think makes the GSB people special is their high EQ as well. They are considerate, thoughtful, supportive and intentional about their role and impact in the community.

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? The culture of innovation and entrepreneurship was one of the main factors that led me to choose Stanford for my MBA. Having worked in the renewable energy sector before, I am still interested in exploring clean technologies. Stanford is a leader in sustainability and has a lot of resources available to learn about and explore new innovations in energy generation, storage, and transportation.

What club or activity have you enjoyed the most at Stanford GSB so far? I have enjoyed being in the Energy Club and meeting people who share my passion for energy and energy access. That provided me with great learning opportunities and new perspectives on how to approach the problem of limited access to electricity, especially in Africa.

What led you to pursue an MBA at this point in your career? I have worked in technical roles before coming to the GSB and wanted to pursue an MBA in order to switch careers and break into investing roles with a focus on energy

What other MBA programs did you apply to? I’ve only applied to Stanford

How did you determine your fit at various schools? I thought mainly about culture and fit with career goals. I researched the school extensively by reading articles, blogs, and watching videos. I also reached out to current students and alums who were super responsive and helped me understand the culture of the school better.

What was your defining moment and how did it shape who you are? I think that every transition in life both personally and professionally is a defining moment. That’s because, it forces you to think, re-evaluate, and gives you the power of choice. When it comes to choosing a school, a major, a job, a project, a team or community involvement, what I think about is two things.

First, I ask ‘What will I learn and how will I grow?’ Then, I ask ‘How can I contribute and make an impact with what I learned? Growing up, I have had exposure to many experiences of people around me with limited to no access to electricity and I witnessed how big of a difference that can make. As a result, my idea was to use my academic and professional training to contribute to solving this problem from a certain angle. Every choice I have made in my life after that has been consistent with this ambition.

Where do you see yourself in five years? My goal is to be involved in bringing more capital towards Africa by investing in energy and infrastructure projects. This will contribute to the continent’s social and economic development by bridging the gap in electricity access.

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