Mohammed Saad Fayyaz
Project Manager, Mercer
Achieving the MBA meant that Saad was able to move into consulting and work first in Dubai and now in Hong Kong. He still uses much of the learning today including the ability to view the same issue from multiple stakeholders’ perspectives.
Why did you choose to study at the University of Edinburgh Business School?
The University of Edinburgh was always one of my go-to business schools for my MBA. Having previously undertaken my undergraduate degree in London, I wanted to experience life in a different city.
Additionally the University of Edinburgh Business School MBA was one of the very few that offered a specialisation in strategy, entrepreneurship, and finance; and from my research, the only one that conducted business treks to Colombia (Bogota and Medellin) and Iceland (Reykjavik).
In Colombia, we had the opportunity to meet local business leaders and learn how the country rebuilt itself economically, financially, and socially after some of the most devastating events in history. In Iceland, we had the opportunity to learn how one of the most remote countries in Europe conducts business, overcomes challenges due to the extreme weather, and so much more.
Tell us about your career path (before and) after graduating?
Prior to starting my MBA, I worked at Deloitte as an Auditor. After spending five years there, I thought it was time to move into consulting to learn something new. After discussing this with some friends in consulting and my mentor, I decided to take some time away from work and start an MBA.
After graduation, though it did take some time to find the right organisation, and turning down at least two job offers, I was offered a consulting position as a Rewards Consultant at Mercer, Dubai (UAE). Since then I have taken a side step into their Global Benefits Management (GBM) business and moved to Hong Kong as a Project Manager.
How did your degree prepare you for your future career?
The MBA felt like a full-time job. In my first week after joining, I was asked how I felt, and my honest response was: "I feel like I am back at Deloitte, I did not think this was going to be so intense!"
The MBA gave me the opportunity to get back into education and gain completely new skills that I thought I could not learn. From working on projects with some highly ranked international organisations, to working and studying with some of the most highly-skilled individuals, I can say that the programme taught me a lot.
My proudest achievement was developing a social media, marketing, and market expansion strategy for a local Scottish organisation based in Edinburgh, which adopted my strategies and successfully implemented them.
What key thing that you learnt at the Business School do you still rely on today?
The MBA encouraged us to conduct our own research, to be objective, and to view the same issue from multiple stakeholders’ perspectives. I still use that methodology today.
During brainstorming sessions with managers, I always tend to look at issues from a client management, employee, customer, or investor perspective and this really helps in designing the approach that we may adopt or to tailor the current strategies.
What is your proudest work related achievement to date?
My proudest achievement was when I was given the opportunity to move to Hong Kong from Dubai — from one international business hub to another.
Alumni wisdom — if you could offer one piece of advice to current students, what would it be?
Do not get too comfortable, things are changing rapidly and you can either be the driver or wait for that change to happen.
The MBA encouraged us to view the same issue from multiple stakeholders’ perspectives. I still use that methodology today.