ESSEC’s Global Master of Business Administration (GMBA) helped Mo Dirani, class of 2018, sharpen his understanding of the buzzwords and translate concepts into action.
Many take on an MBA with the goal of pivoting their career paths and moving to a new industry. Not Mo Dirani. After six years of banking experience in liquidity and risk management, his interest in finance had only deepened. What he wanted to do was to take his knowledge to the next level.
But as digitalization began disrupting traditional models of business, Mo quickly realized that understanding the finance world alone wasn’t sufficient for his career growth.
What he needed was a broader perspective of the business world — and as banking moved to a fully digital space, more specifically, how digitalization would impact the various facets of the finance sector.
ESSEC’s GMBA, with its focus on strategy and digital leadership, was perfect for his career goals.
CONNECTING THE DOTS IN A DIGITAL WORLD
“The program allowed me to get a head start in understanding the true meaning of digital growth in banking,” Mo shares, adding that this harmonious marriage of finance and digital has been pivotal in shaping his work at Standard Chartered Bank.
For example, he says, “you might come in with a certain understanding of what digitalization is, but you leave with a whole different view that helps you connect the dots between different industries.”
When he graduated from his MBA and joined Standard Chartered Singapore as Associate Director of Treasury Liquidity, these new digital skills complemented his past experience and helped him to excel.
EXTRACTING SOUND BUSINESS DECISIONS FROM BUZZWORDS
His shift to his current role as Associate Director of Transaction Banking brought a similar demand for digital expertise — but this time with an added requirement of understanding product management.
Pre-MBA, Mo’s understanding of product management was fuzzy. “Product management is a buzzword,” he observes, adding that “it gets thrown around quite loosely and sometimes the true meaning of this new, evolving profession gets lost in translation.”
What ESSEC did was to “bring back the true meaning of embracing a product, helping me shape my mind on how to strategize and prioritize in order to achieve a significant market impact.”
UNEXPECTED AVENUES TO LEARN
This was in part thanks to the perspectives shared by his classmates. As much of Mo’s cohort came from the supply chain sector — an area that seemed a world away from finance — he was pleasantly surprised that the insights they shared during classroom discussions have become relevant in his work today.
“This was when I truly understood the value of ESSEC’s international cohort,” he says.
Looking back, the returns on his MBA investment were in some ways exactly as expected: it equipped him with the necessary digital skills and paved the way to career growth.
But beyond these tangible markers, it also renewed his perspective, transforming the way he sees and approaches the world — the value of which will only become more apparent with time.
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