July 6, 2014, Cairo – The American University in Cairo (AUC) celebrated the first graduates of the Executive Master of Business Administration (EMBA) program and Master of Science in Finance this spring. “The graduation of the first class of the Executive MBA marks a milestone for the MBA programs, the School of Business and AUC at large,” said Ahmed Abdel-Meguid, director of the MBA programs, associate professor and chair of the accounting department. “We are reaping the results of a rigorous and well-designed program offered by a tripled-crowned School of Business within a prominent University. As both an administrator and a teaching faculty of the program, I have witnessed the transformation of 25 high-caliber business professionals into 25 high-impact business leaders who are willing and able to make a difference in their organizations and respective communities. I am very proud of them.” Both programs were launched by the School of Business in 2012, primarily targeting working professionals who are seeking to expand their knowledge and gain exposure to global business practices and financial trends.
The EMBA program is composed of modules that are hosted both at AUC and universities abroad by leading international faculty members from top universities such as AUC, INSEAD, Rotterdam School of Management, Oxford University and the École Supérieure des Sciences Économiques et Commerciales (ESSEC Business School). This year’s EMBA graduates spent two weeks in the United States at Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management and another two weeks in China at The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology.
Ahmed Nawara, EMBA graduate and the managing director of Al Manar Group, emphasized how the program had changed his business practices. “The EMBA broadened my horizons and enhanced the way I manage my business,” he said. “We were exposed to different cultures, challenges and success stories through real-life case studies of international companies working in several industries. This drastically affected how I look at my business today and how I see it being 10 years from now.”
Maha Farouk, EMBA graduate and assistant director of development at AUC’s School of Business, said, “I am now considering starting my own business, which I have been dreaming of doing for many years,” said Farouk.” I am no longer afraid of starting new things. Entrepreneurship has become a status; it is no longer a one-time decision.”
She added, “The innovative and practical approach of the EMBA modules makes it very enticing to learn and explore. The program has such valuable perspectives, allowing me to look strategically at issues and identify more effective solutions. Having classmates with 350+ years of combined experience in 17 different sectors provided diversity and openness of thinking that made my experience remarkably rich and rewarding.”
Targeting professionals working in the banking and financial services sectors, the Master of Science in finance is composed of intensive courses that work to enhance participants' professional skills, as well as promote the principles of ethical financial practices.
"The Master of Science in finance program gives the opportunity for our students to gain in-depth theoretical knowledge and practical financial skills that will help them pursue careers both professionally or in academia and research," said Aliaa Bassiouny, assistant professor and director of the Master of Science in finance program. "It is also the only master's program in Egypt that has the CFA Institute (Chartered Financial Analyst) University recognition, which helps our graduates to sit for this professional certification. The graduation of our first students from the program in Spring 2014 is an important milestone, since it marks AUC as the leading educational institute that caters to the growing financial and banking sector in Egypt."
For the graduates, the Master of Science in finance program helped them hone their skills and strengthened their professional potential. “After graduating with a bachelor’s in finance, I was interested to be more knowledgeable and skillful within that field,” said Noha Allam, one of the graduates of the program. “I was working as a teaching assistant at the Canadian International College and was planning to continue in the academic career, so I was delighted when I heard that AUC was finally offering the Master of Science in finance. The strong program structure, along with AUC’s reputation, made it an easy decision for me to apply.”
Since finishing the program, Allam has been considering shifting to a professional career. Determined to earn a PhD, Allam hopes to become a “respected expert in financial consultation,” she said. “I wish that one day I can pass the knowledge and experience I shall acquire to the new generations and future scientists. The Master of Science in finance program taught me to believe in my abilities, to work hard for what I want and to persevere, and now I will go on to employ that in everything I do.”