2023 Best & Brightest Executive MBA: Reem Kidess, Arizona State (W. P. Carey)

Reem Kidess

Arizona State University, W. P. Carey School of Business

Age: 53

“Hard-working, focused, life-long learner.”

Hometown: Washington D.C.

Family Members: One sister and several nieces and nephews. My niece just graduated as well from ASU, with her master’s in architecture.

Fun fact about yourself: Recreational Scuba Diver. Speak four languages.

Undergraduate School and Degree:

Undergraduate Degree: Started undergraduate Freshman and Sophomore years at the American University in Cairo; then California State University, Northridge with B.A. in Cellular and Molecular Biology.

Graduate Degree: University of Maryland, Baltimore College of Dental Surgery – Doctor of Dental Surgery.

Howard University Hospital, Washington D.C. General Practice Residency with an emphasis in Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery.

Where are you currently working? Self-employed, Owner/Operator of a Dental Practice in Scottsdale, Arizona – Reem Kidess, DDS, PLLC – PV smiles

Extracurricular Activities, Community Work and Leadership Roles:

  • Licensed to Practice Dentistry in Arizona, Maryland and Virginia
  • Licensed to practice Sedation Dentistry by the Arizona Dental Board (IV Sedation)
  • Associate Fellow of the American Association of Implant Dentistry 2023
  • Master of the Academy of General Dentistry, MAGD 2018
  • Fellow of the Academy of General Dentistry, FAGD 2005
  • Fellow of the California Implant Institute – 2015
  • Mentor – Spear Education Continuum – Scottsdale Center for Dentistry
  • Mentor at the CEREC Doctors Education Continuum – Scottsdale Center for Dentistry

Which academic or extracurricular achievement are you most proud of during business school? It was participating in the second year International Practicum – visiting Dublin and London with my cohort and professors, being exposed to Ireland’s Foreign Direct Investment and the UK post-Brexit. It was enlightening not only from a business standpoint, but brought to light how deeply entrenched in history these business policies are.  This one-week immersion program also gave us quality time with our classmates to get to know each other outside of our regular studies.

What achievement are you most proud of in your professional career? Going back to school at the age of 50+ for the EMBA program, while running and being the lead clinician of a large and busy dental practice, is something that I now look back on as no easy feat. I am proud of myself for staying the course and graduating along with my cohorts.

Who was your favorite MBA professor? Professor Riva Drummond was by far my favorite MBA professor. He taught us Business Innovation, and he tied in many of our other classes, from finance, supply chain to entrepreneurship. She provided a clear format for testing and then developing a business model. One that I have already been able to implement in my own business with several marketing strategies.

Why did you choose this school’s executive MBA program? The executive MBA program appealed to me for several reasons. First, it was for people with a minimum of 10 years of managerial experience, and thus one would be amongst peers with real-world experience that I could learn from. Second, the program was both synchronous and asynchronous was ideal. The asynchronous part was great with my busy work schedule; and yet I do my best learning in person, not on screen, so the monthly synchronous intensive weekends were priceless.

What is the biggest lesson you gained during your MBA and how did you apply it at work? Learning about economies of scale was huge. We were struggling to keep up with the rising costs of supplies in the healthcare field with inflation and supply chain issues to boot. I was able to utilize the lessons from Organizational Behavior, and Negotiations, Finance, To High-Impact Leadership and put them into practice to be able to achieve an economies of scale situation which has allowed us to reduce our overall cost in supplies by 30%.

Give us a story during your time as an executive MBA on how you were able to juggle work, family and education? There is no one story that comes to mind, it was a constant balancing and juggling act throughout. I was keeping on top of readings, assignments, teamwork and deliverables. At the same time, I was as prepping for complex cases and surgeries, attending to patients’ and employees’ needs four days a week – and then running the business in the remaining time.

What advice would you give to a student looking to enter an executive MBA program? This will be a challenging period, with you having to sacrifice much of your free time, but if you can stay focused, the journey will be well worth it.

What is the biggest myth about going back to school?

Myth: Going back to school is impossible if you are over 25 and have a full-time job.

Reality: I defied both of these myths and I am a big believer in when there is a will, there is a way.

What was your biggest regret in business school? Not spending more time with my cohorts outside of school to get to know them better.

Which MBA classmate do you most admire? Amie Kellogg – Amie received a very difficult medical diagnosis during our program, and yet she never gave up. Her tenacity, her willingness to share in her life and work experiences, and her grace throughout are inspirational.

What was the main reason you chose an executive MBA program over part-time or online alternatives?  As I mentioned in an earlier answer, I do my best learning in person, and thus the synchronous aspect of the program appealed to me. A part-time program certainly may have made the load lighter at times, but prolonged the process. I have no regrets about choosing the EMBA program.

What is your ultimate long-term professional goal? Continuing to grow my practice to become the elite dental sedation practice in Phoenix Arizona. In addition, I have a lot of interest in becoming an angel investor.


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