Written by Fouad Laajine, MBA ‘23:
Combating climate change and preserving the environment is not only about harnessing technical solutions but also about the ability to design and convince funders and investors about the viability of green solutions. Pursuing an MBA was the perfect choice for me to complement my environmental engineering background and hone my leadership skills.
The process of choosing an MBA program for international students is very complicated. Not only do they have to choose a course that suits them, but also have to put in a huge effort to learn about countries and cities that probably they have never been to. Since I wanted to pursue a degree in business, I was sure that the US was the best place to be in because of the vast knowledge of its universities and the professionalism of its business ecosystems; however, there are around 4,000 universities in the country. So, how did I choose a university that is best suited for my career and aspirations?
Coming from an engineering background, the most important objective of my MBA degree is to enhance my soft skills. I wanted a degree that emphasizes teamwork and leadership. Every class and subject that we work on has components that should be undertaken in a group, such as homework, group cases, and projects. This is the perfect setting where one can develop team skills, delegate tasks, and manage conflicts.
Second, I wanted the opportunity to have a firsthand experience with global companies. New York State is home to some of the biggest companies in the US and the world. The State University of New York has an excellent reputation among the top firms in the area. Moreover, living in the state makes internship and job searches with these companies easier due to the guidance and support from the Career Resources Center. In addition, Buffalo is close to other major cities such as New York City, Chicago, Boston, and Toronto.
Another reason that brought me here is the affordability of the city. The cost of living in Buffalo is still accessible to many students, making life here easier and allowing the students to concentrate on their studies without stressing about basic needs. Additionally, UB has a large international community and students coming from seven continents of the world. This factor is crucial in enlarging my professional network and making friends across the globe. Having studied and lived in different countries, I am aware of the usefulness of one’s network and friendships. It is always heartwarming when you travel to a far country and you always find someone to meet and show you around the city.
Finally, the University at Buffalo is home to one of the biggest climate centers. Joining the University will allow me to meet and learn from experts who are at the forefront of climate change combat. I consider addressing climate change issues the most important mission of my career. Earning an MBA degree at UB will enhance my ability to become an active player in the sector and will take my leadership skills to the next level.
Choosing which graduate degree to pursue and where can be the most important decision in your career. If you want a university that is inculcating leadership and supporting businesses around the world, join UB to start your path toward professional excellence.
BIO: Fouad was born in Oujda in the northeastern part of Morocco. He graduated with a Master’s in engineering from the National School of Mines in Rabat in 2008. In 2009, He joined the National Office of Electricity and Drinking Water as a construction engineer. In 2011, he Was promoted to the position of head of Technical Service, where he was responsible for defining the public policy related to the water sector. After 12 years of working, in 2021, Fouad was awarded the prestigious Chevening Scholarship to pursue a master’s degree in environmental engineering at Imperial College London. Desiring to mix his environmental expertise with management knowledge, Fouad is currently studying for an MBA at University at Buffalo where he received the Fulbright Scholarship. In his free time, He likes to travel to discover new cultures and new horizons. He also loves to exercise outdoors running and swimming. These activities are necessary for him to keep a balance between his professional and personal life.