Meet the MBA Class of 2024: Rainah Alamili, Imperial

Rainah Alamili

Imperial College Business School

“This fusion of technical proficiency and business strategy aligns perfectly with my goal of leveraging my engineering expertise in consulting, making Imperial College Business School an ideal platform to propel my career transition.”

Hometown: Baghdad, Iraq and Washington DC, USA  

Fun Fact About Yourself: I’ve visited 20 countries in the past year. 

Undergraduate School and Major: George Mason University, Systems Engineering  

Most Recent Employer and Job Title: Leidos, Senior Systems Engineer 

What makes London such a great place to earn an MBA degree? For an international female engineer looking to transition into consulting, pursuing an MBA in London offers a unique pathway. London’s business schools not only provide top-tier education but also offer an environment conducive to career transitions. The city’s diversity, global business connections, and access to prominent consulting firms create ample networking opportunities, allowing for a smoother transition into the consulting industry. Additionally, the comprehensive MBA curriculum equips engineers with valuable business acumen and leadership skills crucial for success in the consulting domain, making London an ideal destination to facilitate this career shift. Ultimately, an MBA in London could provide a unique platform for an international female engineer to not only advance her technical expertise but also develop the necessary business skills and networks essential for leadership roles in the engineering or related industries.

Imperial College Business School is one of the most culturally and professionally diverse MBA programmes in the world. How do you see these global perspectives enhancing the value of your business education over the next year? The institution’s culturally and professionally diverse environment holds immense value for my business education in the coming year. 

Firstly, diverse perspectives enrich the learning experience by offering multifaceted insights into global business challenges. Interacting with peers from varied cultural backgrounds exposes me to different approaches, problem-solving methodologies, and cultural nuances in business, broadening my understanding and adaptability in a globalized business landscape. Moreover, this diverse setting fosters collaborative learning, encouraging the exchange of ideas and practices from different industries and regions. This exposure allows me to develop a more holistic and well-rounded skill set, which is crucial for success in consulting, where versatility and adaptability are highly valued. 

Furthermore, in the consulting industry, the ability to navigate and comprehend diverse cultural contexts is paramount when engaging with clients worldwide. The exposure to a wide range of perspectives at Imperial College Business School equips me with the cultural intelligence necessary to effectively communicate, negotiate, and solve problems across borders. Overall, the culturally and professionally diverse environment at Imperial College Business School will play a pivotal role in enhancing my business education by providing me with the tools, experiences, and global perspectives needed to excel in the dynamic and interconnected world of consulting.

Your MBA is known for innovation, business, and technology. Has the program lived up to its reputation? What advice would you give to future students to help them thrive in the early months of the programme? For future students entering the program, my advice would be to learn how to manage time effectively from the outset. The program’s intensity and various engagements can make time management crucial for balancing coursework, networking, and extracurricular activities. Time flies during the MBA, and seizing opportunities becomes essential. 

Additionally, staying active and engaged is vital; it’s a year that holds tremendous educational and networking prospects. Don’t forget to enjoy this experience, as it might be the last educational journey. Embrace the learning, build relationships, and make the most of every aspect the program offers, as it can greatly shape your future career path.

Aside from your classmates and location, what was the key part of Imperial College Business School’s MBA programming that led you to choose this business school and why was it so important to you?  The pivotal factor drawing me to Imperial College Business School’s MBA program extended beyond the typical offerings of classmates and location. What distinctly attracted me was the school’s comprehensive curriculum integrating innovative technology management with business strategy—a critical synergy aligning with my engineering background and aspirations in consulting. The program’s emphasis on fostering an entrepreneurial mindset within a global business context appealed to me significantly. Imperial’s commitment to practical application through real-world case studies and exposure to diverse industries resonated deeply, offering a unique opportunity to augment my technical expertise with strategic business acumen. This fusion of technical proficiency and business strategy aligns perfectly with my goal of leveraging my engineering expertise in consulting, making Imperial College Business School an ideal platform to propel my career transition.

What has been your first impression of the Imperial College Business School MBA students and alumni you’ve met so far. Tell us your best Imperial story so far. The MBA students and alumni network at Imperial is celebrated for its diversity, with our cohort representing around 21 nationalities. This multicultural environment fosters a competitive yet collaborative and supportive atmosphere. Surrounded by ambitious and driven peers, each student is encouraged to perform at their best, creating an intellectually stimulating environment that inspires everyone to excel.

As for the best Imperial story, many students often highlight the induction period as it sets the tone for their entire MBA journey. However, one of my most treasured stories revolves around the Reading trip. During this trip, we engaged in numerous group activities that offered invaluable learning experiences. These activities were more than just enjoyable; they provided profound lessons in teamwork, collaboration, and leadership. From navigating challenging team-building exercises to solving intricate problems together, each activity deepened our understanding of communication’s importance, adaptability, and leveraging diverse perspectives within a team. These hands-on experiences allowed us to witness first-hand the impact of different team dynamics and approaches on outcomes. Furthermore, they encouraged us to step out of our comfort zones, promoting personal growth and resilience. Ultimately, the trip created an immersive learning environment that emphasized the significance of cohesive teamwork, effective communication, and adaptability in achieving collective goals. These lessons extend far beyond the classroom and resonate profoundly in real-world business settings, shaping our perspectives and approaches towards successful collaboration.

What course, club or activity excites you the most at Imperial College Business School? Among the diverse array of courses at Imperial College Business School’s MBA program, the Strategy Course stands out as one that excites me the most. This course offers a comprehensive understanding of formulating and implementing effective business strategies—a fundamental skill crucial in the consulting domain. What truly intrigues me about this course is the emphasis on case studies and in-depth discussions that provide practical insights into real-world business scenarios. Engaging in these discussions allows me to analyse various business challenges, devise strategic solutions, and gain a holistic perspective on different industries and markets. These case studies sharpen my analytical thinking, honing my ability to identify opportunities, mitigate risks, and develop innovative solutions—skills directly transferable to a consulting career. Overall, the emphasis on case-based learning across various courses at Imperial has been immensely beneficial, enhancing my critical thinking, problem-solving abilities, and strategic decision-making skills, thereby significantly contributing to my career transition into the dynamic field of consulting.

Describe your biggest accomplishment in your career so far: My most significant accomplishment so far in my career is my role as a Senior Systems Engineer at Leidos, where I led the development of a comprehensive SysML model for the Antarctic Research Ice-Breaking Vessel. This initiative involved capturing and analysing over 50,000 requirements, showcasing my exceptional project management, technical proficiency, and leadership skills. My efforts not only attracted client interest but also contributed substantially to an additional revenue of $500,000. Moreover, my contribution through the creation and distribution of user-friendly Model-Based Systems Engineering (MBSE) training videos significantly accelerated project completion, leading the Navy Marine Corps defence program team to accomplish their goals three months ahead of schedule. My strategic vision in identifying modelling opportunities for R&D within the organization highlights my ability to streamline project management, enhance collaboration, and drive cost savings, reflecting my exceptional capabilities in leveraging technology for effective solutions and business growth.

What do you hope to do after graduation (at this point)? After graduation, my primary goal is to transition into a consulting role, leveraging the diverse skill set I’ve acquired through my engineering background and MBA studies at Imperial College London. I aspire to work in top-tier consulting firms, aiming to contribute my expertise in systems engineering, project management, and technology implementation to advise C-suite executives. My aim is to assist these firms in navigating complex challenges, driving innovation, and implementing effective strategies that optimize processes and enhance business performance. This transition aligns with my long-term career aspirations of making a substantial impact at a strategic level within organizations, utilizing my technical acumen and business knowledge to drive transformative change and facilitate sustainable growth.

What advice would you give to help potential applicants gain admission into Imperial College Business School’s MBA program?  To assist potential applicants in securing admission to Imperial College Business School’s MBA program, my advice centres on showcasing a diverse skill set that merges technical expertise with strategic acumen. Emphasize leadership roles and teamwork experiences, highlighting impactful achievements that demonstrate problem-solving abilities and quantifiable results. Tailor your application to align with Imperial’s values and culture, emphasizing innovation, global perspectives, and your potential contributions. Engage extensively with the school’s community, including program management, to understand the unique offerings and ethos of the MBA program. Through discussions with faculty, admissions teams, and alumni, gain insights into the program’s nuances, opportunities, and challenges. This engagement not only showcases your genuine interest but also helps in crafting a more targeted application that resonates with the program’s objectives. Clearly articulate post-MBA goals, emphasizing how Imperial’s program will facilitate your career aspirations, particularly in consulting or C-suite roles. Prepare rigorously for interviews, showcasing enthusiasm and a clear vision for how the MBA at Imperial will propel your career trajectory.

Describe your biggest accomplishment as an MBA student so far? Among my most fulfilling achievements as an MBA student has been successfully navigating the demanding, intensive one-year MBA program while balancing a part-time job and actively networking for future opportunities in consulting. It’s been quite a balancing act, managing the challenging coursework alongside work commitments, which has truly showcased my multitasking skills, ability to meet deadlines, and thrive in various domains simultaneously.

What has been your best memory as an MBA so far? One of my most cherished memories during my MBA journey has been the unforgettable experience on the first day when our MBA cohort gathered at Albert Hall for a group picture. It was a moment filled with excitement and anticipation, marking the beginning of an incredible academic journey. Standing there, amidst my peers, I envisioned returning to the same spot a year later, but this time, donning graduation attire, celebrating the successful completion of our MBA program. That moment served as a poignant reflection of future achievements and a testament to the goals we all aspired to accomplish. It symbolized the collective determination, hard work, and the shared commitment of our cohort toward our academic and professional growth. This memory encapsulates not just a singular moment but a vision of future success and the camaraderie among our cohort, inspiring me throughout my MBA journey.

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