Do good, be kind, make it happen.
Q&A WITH HASSAN
Define your experience in the IMBA in one word.
What were some of the main challenges that you encountered on your way? How did your master program and IE help you through these challenges?
You reach a point in your career, where you feel that you’ve reached the ceiling, you know how to manage things. Technically you know how to manage your projects well, but then you feel that you’re stuck. Most of the time your progression, at least for the corporate world, is defined by how people perceive you. I think with IE, what I learned is: How can I take my own destiny, how can I have my own vision, how not to wait for someone to give the approval, but rather me taking the initiative of going forward, and then you create your own vision where people follow this vision. So, I would say the biggest challenge is feeling that you’ve reached your ceiling and now I feel that by building my own vision by taking my own destiny I’m able to really overcome this challenge.
How did your experience at IE prepare you for your professional career? In what ways do you think program has changed your life professionally and personally?
Again, this is exactly what I’ve mentioned earlier. This ability to network, to know how to build the vision and make it happen. You know many people have a lot of ideas, we could have the most brilliant ideas in the world, but executing them, putting them in action, making them happen is really what I learned at IE. Because it’s not about the vision itself, it is about how can you have followership around you to make this happen, and IE prepares you on this personality side, how can you build a leader, and this is the part I really appreciate from my time at IE. Because again the textbook I could buy, but that part is what I really value a lot in my experience at IE, how to be a leader and how to be an impactful leader.
What was networking like in the program?
The best, I think. This is one of the best things we had. I remember very well. We had a program, which was actually a club called “bar of the week,” where every Wednesday we had a new bar to go to and gather with people and partied. So, what I love is that we worked hard, but we also partied hard, celebrated hard, so that mix between social life and working together as teams and in groups, I think, was the best and richest networking experience I’ve had in my life.
What was your favorite memory from your time at IE?
The day I received the Betta Gamma Sigma award. I had my daughter with me at the time in the celebration. I was so proud, and I was so proud that I had my daughter watching me, because families were allowed at the time. I had also my wife, so this was a memory that I’m very proud of, may be cheesy but it’s true. I was very proud to be awarded the Beta Gamma Sigma award.
If someone was considering going to IE, what would you tell them?
Don’t think twice, it’s a great experience. Not only will you learn technical things, but you will also develop as a leader, they will make you a leader, so don’t think twice, make it happen. Madrid is a great place to be, you will learn new things, you will be exposed to new cultures, so don’t think twice.
Why did you choose to study this program at IE?
Entrepreneurship. At the time I had different programs, at the beginning I was looking for a very well ranked MBA program, and at the time IE was one of the top ranked universities in Europe, still is, and this was one of the main attraction points. Honestly, now, if I go back, what is attracting me more is this whole building the leadership personality, networking, social life, that I really appreciate. At the time, I was really driven by the fact that it was in Europe and a very well ranked in the MBA rankings.
What is one thing you wished you knew, when you were a student? What advice would you give to students who are about to begin the program?
That the world around you is changing a lot so don’t enter thinking that what you entered to do is what you will do when you finish the MBA. Keep a very open mind on what you will do after, don’t have any pre-judgements on your career or what you want to do because the MBA and the whole experience and the immersion that you will get will probably change what you had in mind a lot before entering the MBA.
Tell us about the IE alumni community and the impact they have had in your life and/or career. Why do you think it’s important to engage with the IE alumni community?
Honestly, the alumni office has been in contact with me always, which is why I’m still here, I’m still connected to IE, almost now ten years after graduation. I really appreciate a lot the alumni office’s work, and you know I’m always connected to the alumni office. However, I think as an alumni network we need to do more, and here I would say I would expect more from the alumni network to create events, to create job opportunities, references that we could give to one another, this we do less of at least today.
As one of the first contributors towards the Illuminated Bricks campaign, how does it feel?
It feels great to be here now. I mean I remember the first day I entered the MBA, and I was looking at the future not knowing what the future holds. Being today who I am, I feel very honoured that IE selected me to be part of this group, so I feel honoured, humbled, and grateful for IE, for where I have reached.
What made you decide to give your first gift?
When you look at the American universities, I’ve been always very fascinated by the amount of donations, of philanthropies done by alumni, it’s a very strong alumni attachment, and people have an extremely strong affiliation to those universities, and the giving back is really impressive. In Europe it’s not the case, and I think we should change this because our time in education has done a lot to us and I think it’s time to give back to other people. But what really drove me, was when I did my MBA I didn’t have the means to do it. I had to take loans and had to apply for funding from the financial support team and they gave it to me. I hope you know this donation will help IE improve those supports that are given to students because it’s sometimes it’s very small things that will push you to do your MBA. For me it was, at least from a financial perspective, a difficult experience and I hope we can help others not go through that same difficulty.
In your opinion, why is it important to give back? Why does this cause matter to you?
Because you should give back when you’re given an opportunity and it unlocks your potential. It’s only normal and logical to give back because it’s the least we can do to say thank you.
What can we do within our IE Community to create an impact and support education?
Stay connected to alumni. I think this is very important. But nothing to add to what already IE is doing, I think. IE is trying to do its best overall. I would say let’s put more effort on research, because that’s something that people look at in a neutral manner. I think if IE can develop more research where people look at specific subjects that becomes our unique, I would say, gift to the world using the brains and the talents and the capabilities we have. I think this would be great addition to the world and to the impact that we could have on society.
What would you tell someone who was thinking about contributing?
If you had a billboard you could display to the entire world, what you would put on it?
Do good, be kind, make it happen.
And I would choose these three phrases because be kind is something that you need. I mean we all meet a lot of people who are not great in our life and I think if you’re just kind it’s important in your life, because there’s no reason to succeed when you’re just not nice. There’s sometimes this connotation that if you’re nice it means that you’re not good enough or you’re not able to make things happen, but you know I don’t think so. I think you can be nice and still be impactful. Do good; always make the choices of creating impact, do good to your people, do good to your community, do good to the world, do good to the planet. And lastly, make it happen; because this is what usually people miss, we all have good intentions, good ideas, but execution is so important, so persevere and make it happen. If I would summarize them into: do good, be kind, make it happen.CONNECT WITH HASSAN