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Rashwan Hammady leads the Business Banking and Payment Acceptance business in CIB, the largest privately-owned bank in Egypt. Since 2004, he has been in various roles with CIB including finance, credit and investment management and leading the bank’s strategy group. Through CIB’s sponsorship, Rashwan obtained his MBA degree from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business in 2018. In this blog post, we discuss the steps he took to obtain employer sponsorship and how he thinks about the ROI on his MBA now.

We know many prospective candidates worry about initiating the MBA sponsorship conversation with their supervisor. What advice would you offer to individuals preparing to approach their supervisors about doing the Executive MBA Program? 

My first piece of advice for anyone considering an MBA would be to get in touch with alumni who have been through the program – preferably alumni who work in the same field as you. Find out what the ROI has been for them. Try to understand how the MBA has positively affected their work and their organization. This is a great way to help you position your case.

Companies are smart and are always looking for a return on any investment they make.

There is a very solid investment case for an MBA. The productivity gains of an individual who goes through this program are huge. You become a much better decision-maker, better at dealing with challenges and a better innovator. Whether the challenge is digital transformation or understanding customer needs, the MBA prepares you.

In the long and short term, you should be able to guarantee these outcomes in return for your company’s investment. So, when asking your employer for time or financial support, you can assure them that you will be able to improve X, Y, and Z within your company over a certain time frame.

You should have the confidence to offer these outcomes to your employer because when your company faces a problem, you will have acquired the knowledge and the network to help you solve it.  

Now that you’ve graduated, how would you characterize your ROI from the MBA?

The beauty of Booth is that it teaches you a unique framework called the Chicago Approach. 

When faced with any business challenge, in any industry, instead of flicking through a list of case studies I may have done during my MBA to find the most relevant solution, I apply the Chicago Approach framework to fit the problem. Whether it is an operational, leadership or brand awareness issue, there is a unique framework you have learned to apply. This unique way of thinking will positively influence your performance daily.

Remember, it is not just about earning an MBA certificate. People often ask if I got promoted as a result of the degree. My response is always the same: You will become more productive and efficient because of the MBA, and as a result, a promotion will surely follow. In my case, I faced a huge business challenge right after finishing the program. Within a year, I managed to put the business back on track and regain the confidence of the executive management. If was I in that same situation pre-Booth, it would have been a disaster for my career.

It is so much more than just the technical qualification, it’s about your confidence, humility and the way you approach business and building relationships.

How quickly did you see the impact of your MBA on your work and company?

You can ask my team! Every time I came back to the office after a class week in London, I unearthed new areas for improvement inspired by what I learned in class. I used to ask my team endless questions. The Booth MBA framework opens up a new way of thinking. I would come back to work after a week of Microeconomics and immediately rethink my pricing strategy. After a Marketing class, I would be worried that we should be using a better customer segmentation methodology. I often joke that my colleagues hated me during the MBA because I was always questioning everything we did. Despite this, it benefited the business a lot and had an immediate impact on my work.

For help approaching your employer about supporting and/or sponsoring you to do the MBA Program, please visit our Employer Support resources. We have also created an Employer Sponsorship page that you may share with your employer to help educate them about the Executive MBA Program at Chicago Booth.

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