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Habib Battah

Alumni Story

Habib is fascinated by the evolution of entrepreneurship and the role of startups in shaping a new workforce culture. He is also passionate about learning new business trends and utilizing technology in achieving business growth. He has a bachelor degree in Computer Science from the Lebanese American University in Beirut. He started his career as a consultant with EY in Qatar, then moved to Kuwait and is currently working as an Executive Manager in the Strategy Unit at National Bank of Kuwait.
POSITION

Executive Manager Strategy Unit at National Bank of Kuwait

Nationality

Lebanese

Current Location

Kuwait

Q&A WITH HABIB

Define your experience in the Executive Master in Digital Transformation and Innovation Leadership in one word.
Enlightening

In what ways do you think program has changed your life professionally and personally?
Professionally, my outlook and knowledge of what digital transformation means has certainly changed. As I work in the Strategy Unit for one of the largest banks in the Middle East region that is going through a digital transformation journey, the knowledge gained and hands-on experience in real life cases was of incredible benefit.

Personally, enrolling in a Program overseas has given me a chance to get out of my comfort zone and learn more about what is happening with respect to digital transformation and many other related topics in other parts of the world through my professors, classmates, and company visits. In addition, my network and circle of friends has had an overhaul. I have met awesome and diverse classmates from more than 20 different countries whom I now consider to be my lifetime friends.

What was your favorite memory from your experience?
I can still remember the first day of the face-to-face week in Madrid, where I first met my classmates, professors, and IE faculty members. It was overwhelming at the beginning; however, the words of the Program Director to fully experience this program from an academic and interpersonal perspectives are very well alive till now.

Why did you choose to study this program at IE?
I am very interested and passionate about the topic of “digital transformation and innovation” and there are not a lot of universities that offer programs in such topics. IE is actually one of the very few top universities across the world that offers a full Master Program (not only a course) in Digital Transformation. In addition, the format of this program was very suitable for an Executive with a full-time job.

What were some of the main challenges that you encountered on your way? How did your master program and IE help you through these challenges?
The main challenge we all faced was the COVID-19 outbreak. We were almost at the end of the 2nd semester and we had a trip to Shanghai as part of the program when China was the epicenter of the outbreak. The IE faculty tirelessly tried to find a different location, but eventually we had to cancel the trip and present our final submissions through IE online learning platform. Few month later and until now, I am conducting almost all my work meetings and presentations through online platforms, which I became more comfortable with thanks to this program.

What is networking like in the program?
It is like you joined a new group and immediately became a close family. A lot of networking happens across the IE community during the face-to-face visits. We also got the chance to network with key executives at international companies and start-ups, which was an added value. Even after graduation, our group remains very active and are looking forward to meeting again once travel restrictions are behind us.

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