Saudi Arabia is going through a period of radical change. The reforms set out in the Crown Prince’s Saudi Vision 2030 aim to transform the nation into a pillar of innovation, holding up the Middle East.
Guidance and leadership will be ever more vital in the years to come, as a nation built on oil looks to innovate in other areas without slipping up.
With this in mind, Faisal Al Amro, an MBA graduate from Copenhagen Business School, recently co-launched his own consulting firm in Saudi Arabia—Pioneers Consulting and Training.
“Our role is to challenge the theory and best practices and customize them according to local needs—ensuring we deliver a customized version which is more applicable on the ground,” Faisal explains.
“We have been able to build a strong success track supported by a diverse group of clients; many of which are leading organizations in their fields—including banks, retailers, and IT firms.”
Building long-term sustainable relationships with clients, Faisal’s current role is a far cry from the career he held before and immediately after his MBA, when he worked for a telecommunications company, first as a billing developer and business analyst, and later heading up the firm’s business analytics team.
It was during that first stint at the company when his initial intrigue for business education surfaced—“working as a business analyst with a purely technical background made me realize what was missing,” he says.
“I missed the business side of things, and that’s what made me start searching for an MBA degree. I wanted to build a strong business acumen and add it to my technical background. In my mind, it was the MBA that would put me in a better position to make the next breakthrough in my career.”
It did. Faisal became the company’s executive business analysis manager, achieving his goal of becoming a “super corporate executive,” he says.
But not long into his more senior role, Faisal realized it was not for him. He wanted to put his MBA education to more purposeful use and become the boss of his own work.
With consulting, Faisal could collaborate with a plethora of companies and people, gaining a grounding in multiple disciplines. It seemed the obvious choice. Indeed, Faisal notes, consulting is not too dissimilar from his experience on the Copenhagen MBA.
“You get business insights from all over the globe,” he says. And, in a class of 43 students made up of over 20 nationalities, Faisal adds that there is no place to hide when it comes to developing communication skills.
“You have to work with everyone, whether you like it or not. Whether you’re an introvert or an extrovert, you have to bring out the collaborative team player inside you to be able to succeed in such a set up.”
Part of his soft skill development was cultivated by the Copenhagen MBA’s Leadership Discovery Process (LDP)—a personal and professional development program that runs alongside the MBA.
LDP topics include cognitive coaching, the functioning of the brain, team dynamics, and situational leadership. The program culminates in a three-day leadership simulator—based in the wilderness of Southern Sweden—where students are put under pressure to showcase what they’ve learned during the LDP.
“It’s a journey that takes you on a deep dive into your inner self and helps you discover and realize your real and ‘full’ potential,” Faisal explains.
Faisal takes a similar approach with the companies he works with in Saudi Arabia, but his links back to Copenhagen Business School don’t end there. Together with Matthew Harland, former admissions manager for the Copenhagen MBA, Faisal helps introduce the program to potential candidates in Saudi Arabia.
Acting as ambassadors for the program in the region, both Faisal and Matthew—himself a former MBA student from Australia—are a symbol of the global potential an MBA harnesses.
“I have not encountered any Copenhagen MBA graduates who don’t think that attending the program was one of the best decisions they’ve ever made,” Faisal concludes.
“If you’re looking to make friends from all over the globe, learn business, and improve as a person, the Copenhagen MBA is definitely the right place for you.”