I am originally from Rome, Italy, but I’ve been living and working in Geneva for the past five years. Friends and colleagues often describe me as results-oriented and determined. On a managerial level, they describe me as a supportive, authentic, honest and respectful leader. I’m essentially a change-maker with a can-do attitude, who’s constantly on the lookout for potential roadblocks and thrives on figuring out how to get past them. I believe that empowering teams brings about the most effective and creative results. I’m passionate about innovation and organizational efficiency, and often willing to challenge convention in order to boost efficacy.
Satisfying a sense of curiosity
Before enrolling in the Finance Program program, Magdy Reda had recently made the move to an international organization in a new country. It was a particularly challenging time for him since the new role required a solid foundation in finance.
Although he had some knowledge of the finance world thanks to previous work experience, a previous MBA program had sparked a sense of curiosity that Magdy wanted to satisfy. It was this, coupled with the stellar reputation of IE Business School, that eventually led him to enroll in the program.
Magdy attributes the added value of the program, both in terms of professional background and culture, to the diversity of his class. In his view, the most rewarding aspect of the classes is the way in which the professors are able to generate discussions based on the various subjects that make up the curriculum. He believes it’s an excellent strategy for enhancing motivation, deepening understanding of the material, and fostering intellectual agility. He also highlights the fact that there are ample opportunities to brainstorm alternative solutions and practice new skills.
When it comes to balancing a job and studies, Magdy believes that it’s just a matter of being organized and determined. He mentions that each of his peers had their own personalized strategies for combining these two areas of their lives, and that each of them were equally effective.
Though he argues that having some knowledge of finance is preferable before embarking on the Finance Program, he by no means sees it as a prerequisite. In fact, he goes as far as to say that sufficient curiosity and passion for the subject can make up for this, and that potential participants in this situation shouldn’t be deterred.
“Having a solid literacy in finance complements anybody’s career and is transversal to industry and roles.”
In Magdy’s view, having a solid understanding of finance complements anybody’s career, since it applies to multiple industries and roles. In his profession, improving cost reductions through the aviation value chain is a crucial prerequisite for ensuring profitability for his customers, the airlines. In order to do this, he has to focus his attention on understanding the business models of the various stakeholders, their challenges, and his opportunities.
The Finance Program provided him with both the tools and the mental agility to analyze his company’s first-, second- and third-tier suppliers and service providers, helping him to realize what’s required. Another aspect of his role involves lowering costs through renegotiation of contracts, financial statement analysis, and forecasting. Since completing the program he has improved his results by 40%, three years in a row.
Now entering his 50s, he believes that coaching a new generation of leaders will provide our economy with new opportunities for sustainable growth. He is now seeking leadership opportunities in a dynamic, growing organization that values iteration and evolution over stability and predictability.
Upon reflection, Magdy feels assured that the Finance Program has provided him with the tools and knowledge to move horizontally and vertically through organizations, regardless of the industry. Moreover, it has increased his network exponentially, as a result of the great friends he has made over the course of the program. His advice to future students is to enthusiastically embrace the program, saying it’s “a once-in-a-lifetime experience.”