Graduation might seem like a lifetime away but I can guarantee you, it will come around a lot sooner than expected, especially when you’re working hard and having fun! But before I jump into that, I’d love to introduce myself and share a little bit more about my experience at ESEI.
Life In ESEI
I’m Yasmeen, a 2022 graduate where I completed my MBA in International Relations and International Business. I led an exceptional team to bring the Capstone Project to life under the incredible guidance of Professor Steve Mallon. The Capstone Project differs from that of a thesis paper in which you embark on a task to either build out an existing business idea or work with an existing company to reach their business objectives.
My pitch to work with Impossible Foods, a plant-based meat company based in the United States, to create a strategic launch proposal in Spain was selected amongst my fellow MBA peers. That began the exciting process of researching and brainstorming ideas for the eventual presentation a month before graduation.
Capstone Project presentation to Impossible Foods
What I loved most about ESEI was the hands-on experience and the ability to work on real-life projects because it gives you an idea of what working in the corporate world would be like. Presenting our proposal to the International Launch Manager at Impossible Foods was an exceptional experience and receiving positive feedback from him and his team just made the journey even more fulfilling. This would perhaps pave the way and motivate current and future students to push the boundaries and create opportunities for themselves in their own respective projects.
I was given the opportunity to address the batch of 2022 graduates in July and while I was hesitant at first, I knew I could not pass this up. I have always believed in saying yes to the things that scare you the most or that take you out of your comfort zone – needless to say, it was one of the best decisions I had ever made. How could I have said no to paying homage to my friends, loved ones, and faculty members who have made my ESEI and Barcelona experience what it was?
Giving a speech at graduation
Inspiration is all around you. In my speech, I shared more about how inspired I was by the brilliant minds I was surrounded by, some of whom have big dreams of creating a massive impact on their own communities. From wanting to start a sporting culture in the land of the Blue Mountains, creating a better life for Lebanese people through the use of NFTs, creating opportunities for themselves by going on work trips across different regions to attending lectures online after putting their kids to sleep, all for the purpose of providing their little ones with a better future, there is no short of inspirational stories to tell. You can watch the full speech here!
Life After ESEI
And so began the daunting task of searching for jobs. It really feels like a full-time job in itself! I can imagine many of you might already be thinking of jump-starting your careers ahead of graduation and while it might seem taxing, I can guarantee you that a little bit of patience goes a long way. After a two month long process of job applications and interviews, I finally landed myself a role I never thought would have been possible. I am now a Senior Consultant at Consulum, a government advisory firm in Dubai where I provide strategic counsel and digital services to government bodies in the MENA region.
My first day on the job at Consulum
There were moments during the job application process where I felt like I was losing hope or felt that I would not be able to secure a job I really wanted. However, the support and motivation I had from my family and loved ones kept me going and I now sit in my office at Trade Centre, in the heart of Dubai, pursuing my dreams of creating real impact in the realm of sustainability and innovation.
I would love to share some tips on how I was able to land this position:
- Updating my CV and LinkedIn Profile: This is incredibly important as it is the first impression any company would have of you. Keep your CV to a two-page maximum document that showcases all that you have accomplished in your past work experiences or in school. Be sure to update your LinkedIn profile while you’re at it! You could also check in with faculty members at ESEI as they provide brilliant feedback on how you can improve your CV.
- Creating A Portfolio: I have 4 years of work experience and did not hesitate to showcase what I had achieved in this document. The portfolio I created helped me stand out from the crowd and it was a great way for companies to get to know a little bit more about me prior to meeting me at interviews. I used Canva, a design tool, to create my portfolio. The best thing about Canva is that it’s free and has beautiful templates for you to choose from!
- Skills, Knowledge & Areas of Interest: Before I started applying for jobs, I had written down a list of my skills and identified areas I was most interested in. While you think about how you can benefit a business through your skills and knowledge, you also want to be sure that the company is the right fit for you. Getting personal and understanding what it is you really want to achieve would help guide you when applying for jobs. My experience working on the Capstone Project at ESEI solidified my interest and passion for creating a more sustainable world and this propelled me towards the job I currently work in.
The job application journey will be difficult and challenging at times but I cannot stress again how important it is to be patient with the process and with yourself. You are just as qualified or even more qualified as the next person and the right fit will come along in due time. Now go forth and pursue your dreams!