2022 Best & Brightest Executive MBA: Ramsey Aljahmi, University of Michigan (Ross)

Ramsey Aljahmi

University of Michigan, Ross School of Business

Age: 39

“Adaptable, Versatile, Resilient, Reliable, Proactive, Observant, Disciplined, Courageous, Transparent, Accountable, Collaborative, Lifelong-Learner, Resourceful, and Self-Aware.”

Hometown: Dearborn, Michigan

Family Members: Amy, Aya, Mohamed, Dean

Fun fact about yourself: My first two jobs as a kid in high school were as a valet driver at a banquet hall and a dishwasher at a senior living facility. My recent two plant manager jobs were at a car manufacturer and a dishwashing manufacturer. Life brought me full circle from using products to manufacturing the ones that have shaped my life.

Undergraduate School and Degree:

Lawrence Technological University – Bachelors of Science in Engineering Technology

Lawrence Technological University – Masters of Science in Operations Management

Where are you currently working? Whirlpool Corporation – North America: Sr Director, Manufacturing Operational Excellence, New Product Introductions, Central Manufacturing Engineering

Extracurricular Activities, Community Work, and Leadership Roles:

2016 Automotive News – Rising Star Nominee

Executive Board of Director and Treasurer – ACCESS (Arab Community Center for Economic and Social Services)

Advisory Board – CAAP (Center of Arab American Philanthropy)

Mentoring US Veterans (American Corporate Partners)

Coaching youths at the YMCA (Young Men’s Christian Association)

2021 Recipient of 20 under 40 – Toledo, Ohio

Class of 2021 Arab America Foundation 40 Under 40 Award Recipient

Which academic or extracurricular achievement are you most proud of during business school? Executive Multidisciplinary Action Project (ExecMAP), where you get a team of elite Executive MBA students, guided by senior faculty, to tackle an organization’s most pressing business challenges. We provided a fresh look at the organization’s business issue from our unbiased team, and we delivered thorough, data-driven recommendations. In our work, our cohort used the latest business tools and techniques. We built relationships with the businesses, as we invested in our education and development using our learnings of the current business needs.

What achievement are you most proud of in your professional career? I am most proud of joining the Integrated Supply Chain Staff at Whirlpool Corporation in 2020, and being responsible for operational excellence that includes the following: new product introductions, central manufacturing engineering, lean business process, automation, manufacturing execution system, net carbon zero, and supporting 14 North American operations sites across the U.S. and Mexico. It has been incredibly rewarding to lead and guide cross-functional teams in the pursuit of manufacturing excellence.

Who was your favorite MBA professor? World’s Most Dangerous Accountant – David W.  Wright (a.k.a.  “Dr.  Dave”). He is fun, insightful, and the master of simplification of understanding/interpreting financial statements. He challenges you to think on an executive level and has transformed the way we view business. He has positioned us for success, ensuring we are enabled to deliver business results.

Why did you choose this school’s executive MBA program? Upon review of the top five Executive MBA programs, the leadership and values of the previous cohort were filled with engaging, insightful, and extremely talented individuals. In some ways, I knew I was going to learn as much from them as I would in the formal program, and I knew you could not get this experience from any other institution.

What is the biggest lesson you gained during your MBA and how did you apply it at work? The Willingness To Pay (WTP) Model was very impactful for me. This model illustrates how to create more value by increasing the consumer’s willingness to pay (differentiation-based advantage) and lowering product cost (cost-based advantage). I have used this model to increase the distance between price and cost (raise price, reduce cost, or a combination thereof) with supporting the business teams, educating my teams on this specific competitive advantage. By utilizing these successful strategies of differentiation, we are able to create a greater business value. The team I lead in manufacturing is focused on both cost acceleration take out and delivering product leadership to support the business. This model has been used to ensure the organization is agile and that we are focused on both elements within our company strategic imperatives.

Give us a story during your time as an executive MBA on how you were able to juggle work, family and education? We in humanity are always learning and growing. In fact, my wife and my daughter are planning to graduate from their registered nurse program and high school (a year early) at the same time I am completing my EMBA. My wife and I did a great job planning our schedules and ensured that, as a family, we understood our responsibilities to the kids and one another as the priority. 

What advice would you give to a student looking to enter an executive MBA program? Based on my insight, there are three things one must understand when committing to enter an EMBA program. First, decide how you can make room for EMBA work and other important activities. Second, set aside time for schoolwork and keep to your study schedule. This will help you finish readings and complete assignments on time—and once you’ve established a regular routine, it will be easier to keep it up. Third, share great articles with colleagues and volunteer for leadership roles on new projects to prove your EMBA will benefit the company.

What is the biggest myth about going back to school? The myth is that if I have kids, family, and a career, my time for an MBA has passed and should not be considered. Others may feel like you’ve been in the workforce too long to go back to school. I have spent a fair amount of time in the workforce and that is why I chose an EMBA.

What was your biggest regret in business school? Having to balance family, work, and school includes the social side of being with your cohort. Reflecting, I have realized that it is possible to prioritize your commitments. I wish I had taken a more balanced approach and participated in more social events because one of the most important aspects of going to business school is making connections, and they last a lifetime.

Which MBA classmate do you most admire? Michigan Ross has recruited and onboarded students from extremely high quality and motivating backgrounds. My interactions with most of my peers have often left me in admiration of what they have accomplished before and during business school. One such classmate is my dear friend, Chinedu Nworu. He’s a hard-working person who truly embodies the idea of following one’s purpose as he is a scientist, and now a professional in the product development of the medicine space. Chinedu is smart (of course), has a business mindset, and is humbled by seeing others thrive. If anyone had a conversation with him, it will never be forgotten because his engaging dialogue has you coming back for more.

What was the main reason you chose an executive MBA program over part-time or online alternatives? Prospective EMBA students have more years in their field versus other MBA programs. As a result, the candidates are professionals seeking to earn their degrees to advance from their current roles into leadership positions. The part-time or online alternative MBA cohorts tend to have less work experience (and earned their undergraduate degrees only a few years earlier) and take the same foundational graduate-level business courses as full-time MBA students. I conducted extensive research and based on the distinct EMBA program that Ross Business School has established, I absolutely made the right decision for myself and my family.

What is your ultimate long-term professional goal? I have been in the manufacturing field since the age of 18. Now is an even more exciting time to be in manufacturing, as there are many trends and advancements available for companies to become leaders in their industry. Manufacturing is embarking on a new era of newly advanced robotics, which is constantly changing. Precision automation that enables great customer benefits and increases efficiencies and new ways of thinking, is critical to our speed to market. In addition to supply chain disruptions, it has been very interesting to see and learn from the changing models. My long-term professional goal is to become a global leader within the integrated supply chain of a global manufacturing organization.

What made Ramsey such an invaluable addition to the class of 2022?

“It was clear from the beginning that first-generation college student Ramsey Aljahmi would excel in a rigorous MBA program like the one we offer at Michigan Ross. Currently the North America manufacturing engineering/operations excellence lead at Whirlpool leading the central manufacturing engineering organization for 14 plants, he has been on a continuous upward career trajectory, having held global positions of increasing responsibility in diverse industries.

Ramsey embodies what every organization seeks in executive leadership as he exudes confidence, presents a professional yet approachable demeanor, uses strong communication and influence, along with his operational skills, to focus teams and execute on deliverables. His peers had the highest praise for his team contributions, his positive energy, and his ability to gain alignment on activities and discussions. He is respected by his EMBA classmates, faculty, and staff for his work ethic, sense of humor, and gregarious personality and leadership.

Ramsey is also a pillar in the Arab American community, having been recognized in 2021 as one the 40 under 40 by the Arab American Foundation and by his local community as a 2020 recipient of the 20 under 40 by Leadership Toledo Inc.

We are confident that Ramsey will continue to excel in his career and we are proud to have him represent Michigan Ross.”

Donna Humphrey-DeLosh
Senior Associate Director, EMBA Career Advancement
Michigan Ross


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