“A determined and purpose-driven leader with a strong desire to create positive change.”
Hometown: Columbus, OH
Fun Fact About Yourself: I’ve lived in 11 cities across the globe. By far, the place I enjoyed the most was Cairo, Egypt.
Undergraduate School and Major: Ohio State University, BS in Finance
Most Recent Employer and Job Title: Provenir, Manager of Financial Planning & Analysis
What aspect of the school’s culture or values resonates most with you and why? Supportiveness. Business school is hard! I have yet to encounter a Tuckie who is not willing to pause and lend their support or assistance to a classmate.
Aside from your classmates and culture, what was the key part of the school’s MBA programming that led you to choose this business school and why was it so important to you? I chose Tuck because I value quality over quantity. I was attracted to the smaller, tight-knit class structure. Additionally, as someone interested in addressing issues of financial inequality and access to opportunity, Tuck’s experiential learning programs in entrepreneurship, impact investing, and venture capital were especially enticing to me.
What quality best describes your MBA classmates and why? Tuck students are quick to give credit, but slow to claim it. Humility is something that I value greatly. Despite their humility, my classmates will never “dull their shine.” They strike a balance between owning their strong accomplishments and understanding their vulnerabilities.
What club or activity excites you most at this school? Tuck Africa! As a first-generation American and son of Egyptian immigrants, I love the fact that I sit at the intersection of two worlds. As a Consortium fellow and Toigo fellow, I am also extremely passionate about enhancing diversity in the ranks of top business schools.
Describe your biggest accomplishment in your career so far: I spent the early parts of my career in large well-known companies in well-established consumer and healthcare industries. After some time, I moved to a financial technology startup where I assumed a leadership role that involved a high level of collaboration and visibility. The stakes were much higher. Despite some trepidation and advice against leaving the clear and comfortable path in a more established industry (and company), I made the leap. I moved into Fintech, a dynamic and innovative industry that literally changes by the day. I had to learn a new industry, new business model, and new company culture. Undertaking these challenges and exceling is my biggest accomplishments. I had to come into my own as a leader and left behind a series of systems and processes that will continue to make the organization strong after my departure.
What led you to pursue an MBA at this point in your career? I hope to one day be an impactful leader in both business and society. The first six years of my career helped me build a strong baseline skillset to do so. However, I realized a more formal business education and a new set of experiences would be necessary for me to achieve a higher level of impact. Coming to business school has thus been about branching out and exploring new ways of thinking.
What other MBA programs did you apply to? NYU, UVA Darden, Yale SOM, UCLA, and UC Berkeley.
What was the most challenging question you were asked during the admissions process? Being asked how I’ve helped other people was the most challenging question. This was difficult to answer because I come from a background where speaking about your accomplishments and moments where you have assisted others is less than welcome. Through Tuck, I’ve come to learn, however, that there is a fine line between a boast and a demonstration—and that talking about who you are and the things you’ve done can be used to help spread awareness and maybe even inspire someone.
How did you determine your fit at various schools? First and foremost, I sought programs that had strong learning opportunities outside the classroom. I like to learn-by-doing so it was important to me to be in a program where I can practice my learnings in a real-life setting immediately. Secondly, I looked for an immersive programs and one in which I can be “all in.” In business school, everyone comes in with a significant amount of work experience, cultural perspective, personal reflection, and career-related accomplishments. It was important to me to be in an environment where everyone is invested in their own success and the success of their peers.
What was your defining moment and how did it prepare you for business school? After successfully completing undergrad and entering the professional world, I challenged myself to assume a leadership role in my community. My defining moment was launching a mentorship and educational guidance program for high school and college-aged students in the underserved community I lived in at the time. At the time of launch, I did not have much experience with community service, but I trusted my voice. This experience lends itself to business school, as I’ve found that trusting my voice and speaking up has made me a better student and classmate.
What is your favorite company and what could business students learn from them? Ben and Jerry’s. Ben and Jerry’s has been leading corporate social responsibility efforts before the idea became mainstream. Specifically, B&J has not only been vocal on discontent with mass incarceration, but they have been actively hiring ex-convicts in many of their facilities as a matter of practice. As someone who believes in the importance of economic opportunity as a means of empowering people and improving society, this resonates with me a great deal.
DON’T MISS: MEET DARTMOUTH TUCK’S MBA CLASS OF 2022