“My MBA classmate Conor Sweeny wrote this Haiku about me which I feel describes me well:
Doctor, mom of kids
From the land of pyramids
Doubt her, I forbid”
Hometown: Cairo, Egypt
Family Members: When you ask an Egyptian to list their “Family”, you can easily end up with a list of 100+ people. My nuclear (living in the same home) family members are my husband Tarek, our boys Kamal (12) and Mourad (10), and our two Staffys Zola and Bonzo.
Fun fact about yourself: My Booth cohort will relate to this: My name is a combination of the Egyptian name “Mai” and my great grandmother’s name “Rose”, mom’s and dad’s choices respectively. The final result “Mairose” is a testimony to their collaborative relationship. It is a difficult name to pronounce at home and everywhere else. I have been called many versions of my name, MayRose, MyRose, MaryRose, and Fairouz to list a few and I will easily respond to all versions.
Undergraduate School and Degree:
- Bachelor of Medicine and Surgery – Cairo University Medical School
- Diploma of Internal Medicine – Cairo University Medical School
Where are you currently working? Co-founder and Chief Operations Officer in Dawi Clinics; an outpatient, integrated multispecialty clinic chain in Egypt offering quality healthcare services to underserved urban communities.
Extracurricular Activities, Community Work and Leadership Roles: I am most proud of the work done at a charity / nonprofit community geriatric center where I serve as a medical advisor to develop their program in training underprivileged women as nurse aids to care for senior citizens at home. The program has now graduated over 100 candidates who serve across Cairo and have been given an opportunity for women to develop their skills and fulfill a gap in care of senior citizens. Although I had to cut back on some of the time I dedicated to extracurricular activities, I still maintained an active presence in my children’s school and sports programs during the EMBA. As a classical piano soloist, I am looking forward to picking up my training again, and hopefully return to performing soon.
Which academic or extracurricular achievement are you most proud of during business school? There are so many moments during the program where I have surprised myself with the knowledge or wisdom that I have gained during business school. I would say I am most proud of the level of understanding and appreciation of Macroeconomics I have now, a topic that is very different from my educational background and often interpreted at a superficial level. It is deeply satisfying to understand and appreciate the mechanics of policies in a fast-changing world.
What achievement are you most proud of in your professional career? In March 2020, COVID cases were rising in Egypt and as a healthcare provider, my partner and I had to make some difficult decisions: balancing being there for our patients and protecting our employees from unnecessary exposure, all in the midst of rising uncertainty and being personally concerned for the safety of our loved ones. I am proud of the action plan we created to respond to different risk levels and how we supported our doctors, nurses and staff morally to face the crisis as a team and emerge stronger and more resilient as an organization.
Who was your favorite MBA professor? It is so difficult to name just one! I have learnt so much from Per Strömberg in Financial Strategy and Scott Meadow in Entrepreneurial Finance and Venture Capital. I have no background in finance and it feels like I learnt by osmosis just being in their classroom. Remarkable professors! Tanya Menon’s Power and Influence and Richard Thaler’s Managerial Decision Modeling have challenged my thoughts, deepened my understanding about my own management style, and given me wisdom to lead across diversity and uncertainty.
Why did you choose this school’s executive MBA program? I chose Booth because of its culture. It is a culture that I view as a promoter of learning and sharing wisdom. With campuses in Chicago, London, and Hong Kong, the diversity in the classroom brings an immense amount of experience to learn from. The framework approach that Booth adopts allows the learning to be implemented in various settings across functions or geography. My inspiring cohort is a testimony to Booth’s dedication to bringing true leaders and enabling them to further develop their skillsets.
Give us a story during your time as an executive MBA on how you were able to juggle work, family and education? Picture this weekend: Our 14th clinic is opening in a new city, which always comes with its unique set of challenges, so I am taking calls all weekend to help my team. My boys have a swimming tournament across the weekend at different timings, so I am driving back and forth, making sure they have adequate snacks and cheering during their races. Our dog is pregnant, and will go into labor anytime in the next few days. My final paper for Competitive Strategy is due by Sunday night. It is madness and there was no way that I could have structured it. But we launched the new clinic, the boys swam well, we had 4 beautiful puppies and I submitted a paper that I was satisfied with. Sometimes there was a method to the juggling and sometimes I had to wing it. I am grateful for my husband, family, co-workers and EMBA team. It would have been impossible to go through these situations without their support!
What advice would you give to a student looking to enter an executive MBA program?
1. There is no right time to start, you just need to jump into it and figure your work, personal and EMBA commitments as you go. You will reach a very different level of multitasking and prioritizing and it will never be perfect, so accept some limitations and lean on your support system.
2. You will only do this once in a lifetime so do not choose a “best fit”. Choose a fit that will challenge you and get you out of your comfort zone. You will be surprised at how much you can push your limits in a stimulating environment. Once you start, benefit from all the aspects of an executive MBA. The wealth of knowledge in the room between the professors, the readings and your peers is an exceptional opportunity for learning.
3. Create strong bonds with your peers. You are all going through a tough period together and an EMBA is a team achievement. I am grateful for the opportunity to have met so many inspiring people and will treasure their friendship beyond the program.
What is the biggest myth about going back to school? Not a myth, but generally going back to school is underrated. The learning that you can achieve in an EMBA combined with work experience expands your skill set to a whole new level.
What was your biggest regret in business school? I wish I had more time for all the optional readings! Looking through some articles now that I am done, and I wish I could pop back into class to discuss them!
Which MBA classmate do you most admire? Temi Fehintola. Temi’s dedication to learn and explore, her grit to push through and question norms was truly inspiring. As a mother with a full-time job, Temi has admirable time management and organization skills. I am grateful for the time she took to share her knowledge with our study group and cherish our personal relationship.
What was the main reason you chose an executive MBA program over part-time or online alternatives? The EMBA program combines a class of similar age ranges and years of work experience. This has definitely enriched the experience for me and allowed me to connect easily with my peers. Being very much a people person, a physical experience brings a level of understanding beyond an online alternative. Overall I consider that my cohort had the best of both worlds: our online classes due to COVID sharpened our skills in connecting and being efficient remotely, while our in-person classes gave us an opportunity to bond on a deeper level.
What is your ultimate long-term professional goal? I aim to improve the accessibility and quality of healthcare services in Egypt.
What made Mairose such an invaluable addition to the class of 2022?
“Mairose is an amazing woman! She is a calm leader in her class. When she speaks, her classmates listen – it’s not for show, she always adds substantive comments. She’s passionate about her professional world, and often uses examples from her work to illustrate points being made in class. She also integrates her family into her school life: when her husband and sons arrived in London for our Closing Ceremony there, it was clear that many of Mairose’s classmates “knew” her kids and vice versa.
Mairose’s approach to her commitment to becoming a leader and a reformer of the Egyptian healthcare system is similar to her approach to her school life: she is deliberate, decisive, and forward-moving. Mairose’s culturally diverse professional and personal background, her experiences leading in a very male-dominated culture, her action-orientation as she strives to overcome the challenges of the healthcare industry in a developing nation, and her daily success in juggling a demanding career, a rigorous academic program, and a vibrant family – Mairose is extraordinarily capable and will go far.”
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