2018 Best EMBAs: Mubarik Hussain, University of Cambridge (Judge)

Mubarik Hussain

Judge Business School, University of Cambridge

A person who values integrity enjoys humour and believes in shaping the future through technology.”

Age: 42

Hometown: Doha, Qatar

Family Members: Wife (Stephanie) and son (Junayd 12 years old)

Fun fact about yourself: Used to be a multiple British martial arts champion and UK President of a Martial Arts Federation

Undergraduate School and Degree: Anglia Ruskin University UK, BSc (Hons) Computer Science

Where are you currently working? Petroserv, Qatar as Head of IT

Extracurricular Activities, Community Work and Leadership Roles: Keynote speaker, panelist and advisory board member for leading Middle East CIO conferences. Multiple Middle East CIO award winner for awards recognising the best CIO’s in the Middle East. In 2018 I have won the Middle East CIO 100 Award and the Catalysts Award for IT Man of the Year – Qatar.

Which academic or extracurricular achievement are you most proud of during business school? I am proud of sharing knowledge gained in the business school with the broader Middle East CIO community. I was the keynote speaker at Middle East CIO 100 2018 Awards, and I did a presentation on my Executive MBA Individual project which was on Middle East Entrepreneurial Ecosystems. Working with CIO’s, developing entrepreneurial ecosystems, technology startups can provide real benefits for the future of the Middle East region and its people such as more jobs and increased wealth.

What achievement are you most proud of in your professional career? Having won multiple CIO awards for my contributions to the IT industry in the Middle East, I am proud of the recognition of those achievements from my peers in the IT industry and how the sharing of knowledge of IT and practices will help to improve businesses, countries and peoples’ lives.

Who was your favorite MBA professor? Dr Khal Soufani. He is intelligent, passionate, has a sense of humour and provided support and guidance as my supervisor for my Executive MBA individual project.

What was your favorite MBA course and what was the biggest insight you gained about business from it? My favourite course was the International Business Trip. In our business trip to Silicon Valley, we saw how a thriving entrepreneurial ecosystem in a city could create new businesses, increase wealth and jobs, and improve the livelihoods of people in the community.

Why did you choose this executive MBA program? As a full-time employee, I had to find a course that I could fit into my schedule and I wanted to choose one of the best executive MBA programs at a leading business school. The Executive MBA course that met my needs was the University of Cambridge Judge Business School Executive MBA.

What did you enjoy most about business school in general? I enjoyed the interaction with my cohort, programme and faculty staff, filled with highly successful, intelligent people. I enjoyed sharing this experience with them and had had a lot of fun and laughter during this course.

What is the biggest lesson you gained during your MBA and how did you apply it at work? There is always room for learning and improvement. Courses covered Financial Accounting, Corporate Finance, Organisational Behaviour, Strategic Management, Managing Innovation, and Corporate Governance. They all helped to increase my all-round knowledge of business and improve my decision-making at work when working with business leaders in the process.

Give us a story during your time as an executive MBA on how you were able to juggle work, family and education? It was challenging as most months I would finish work on Thursday evening, catch an overnight flight from Qatar to the UK, land on Friday morning, and have lectures on Friday and Saturday at the business school. Straight from the end of the last class, I would go the airport and catch an overnight flight back Qatar which would arrive in the morning on Sunday, and I would go to work on Sunday morning. There was no easy solution to manage this. I required the support and help of my family who assisted me during this busy schedule. There should be recognition and praise for families in these circumstances, who make it possible to manage a hectic schedule during the course.

What advice would you give to a student looking to enter an executive MBA program? Prepare yourself for an enjoyable and intense experience, which will push you to limits you never thought you had. If selected, it is because the business school faculty believed you were capable of overcoming the challenges and achieving success on the course.

What is the biggest myth about going back to school? Going back to a school after 20 years, it would be challenging to get back into being a student. It was surprising how quickly I adjusted to the course and was able to get into the routine of studying, assignments, projects and exams.

What was your biggest regret in business school? I was advised to immerse myself in the Cambridge experience and get involved with activities outside of the course that was arranged by the business school or cohort members. My regret is due to the limitations of my time due to work, travelling, and family commitments, I could not attend as many events with the cohort and business school as I would have liked.

Which MBA classmate do you most admire? A friend on the course is Umirzak Shukeyev, who is the Deputy Prime Minister of the Republic of Kazakhstan. A successful person who was doing the Executive MBA to provide a positive example to future leaders in his country.

“I knew I wanted to go to business school when…I needed to develop my knowledge and skills to advance in my career and life.”

If I hadn’t gone to business school, I would be…Underprepared for the challenges I face at work and lacking the requisite knowledge to make decisions when working across business units with business leaders.”

What is your ultimate long-term professional goal? To continue to advance in my career and use technology to improve the lives of people, businesses and society, creating wealth and jobs for people.

In one sentence, how would you like your peers to remember you? A friend, who was a decent guy with a sense of humour.

Favorite book: I do not have one favourite; I enjoy reading a variety of educational books.

Favorite movie or television show: Game of Thrones

What are the top two items on your bucket list? I do not have a bucket list, but I would like to continue learning and growing as a person.

What made Mubarik such an invaluable addition to the class of 2018?

I have known Mr. Mubarik Hussain in my capacity as the Director of the EMBA and also as his Professor in Corporate Finance in addition to his supervisor of his individual project. In my opinion Mubarik showed excellent dedication to the requirements of the course, his research project relating to the Entrepreneurial Ecosystem in the Middle East reflected a comprehensive understanding of the region and the topic, his methodological approach is systematic, focused, and applicable. The overall analysis is robust and relevant and the work can potentially be submitted for an academic publication.”

Khal Soufani, Executive MBA Programme Director

Director, Circular Economy Centre (CEC)

Director, Middle East Research Centre (MERC)


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