From SSBM Geneva Graduate to Entrepreneur: Alumni Success Story

Blog > From SSBM Geneva Graduate to Entrepreneur: Alumni Success Story

In the world of international humanitarian aid, where every decision impacts lives, innovation is not just an option but a necessity. Fahed Mrad, an Assistant Field Officer at UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, understands this truth all too well. His commitment to driving positive change led him to pursue the Online Executive Doctor of Business Administration (DBA) program at the Swiss School of Business and Management Geneva (SSBM Geneva), where he’s blending his frontline experience with academic rigor to shape the future of humanitarian efforts.

What motivated you to pursue a DBA program while working at UNHCR?

Working in the field within UNHCR operations, I’ve witnessed firsthand the complex challenges displaced people face. This experience has not only fueled my desire to find innovative solutions but has also sparked a keen interest in how emerging technologies like AI and Robotic Process Automation can revolutionize humanitarian efforts. Pursuing a DBA program became a strategic step towards harnessing these technologies, aiming to blend my on-ground insights with advanced academic knowledge to craft impactful, technology-driven solutions within the innovation-rich environment of UNHCR.

Student testimonial

How has your experience in the Executive DBA program at SSBM Geneva impacted your work as an Assistant Field Officer at UNHCR?

The Executive DBA program at SSBM Geneva has significantly enriched my perspective, especially through its emphasis on cutting-edge research methodologies and the exploration of AI’s potential in organizational settings. It has equipped me with a research-based approach, enabling me to systematically address the multifaceted challenges we face in the field. Moreover, the program’s focus on technological innovation has sharpened my ability to identify and implement AI-driven solutions, thus enhancing our operational efficiency and capacity to serve.

What skills or strategies do you find most valuable in facilitating effective learning and capacity-building initiatives, and how do you envision applying them in your academic pursuits of the Executive DBA program?

Reflecting on my work experience, I’ve found that a combination of empathy, strategic problem-solving, and a relentless pursuit of innovation are crucial. Empathy allows me to understand the nuanced needs of displaced individuals, strategic problem-solving helps in crafting feasible solutions, and innovation drives the adaptation of new technologies for better outcomes. In my DBA program, I aim to deepen my understanding of how these skills can be enhanced by AI and data analytics, focusing on how strategic alignment of technology can lead to transformative learning and capacity-building initiatives.

Can you highlight any specific skills or insights gained from the program that you believe will have a significant impact on your contributions to UNHCR and beyond?

The program has profoundly deepened my knowledge in strategic management and the application of AI within organizational contexts. While I am drafting my Research Proposal as one of the final steps before starting the writing process of my dissertation, Insights into Robotic Process Automation, for example, have revealed its potential not just in operational efficiency but in significantly improving the delivery of aid. These skills and insights encourage a more analytical and evidence-based approach in decision-making processes, which I believe will greatly enhance our mission’s effectiveness at UNHCR and set a precedent for leveraging technology in humanitarian efforts globally.

What advice would you give to other professionals considering pursuing a similar academic endeavor while balancing demanding careers in international organizations?

Embarking on an academic journey such as an Executive DBA while managing a career in international organizations is undoubtedly challenging, yet immensely rewarding. My advice would be to focus on how your academic pursuits can complement and enhance your professional objectives, especially in the realm of technology and innovation. Leverage the unique insights from your work to inform your studies, and conversely, apply academic theories and methodologies to solve real-world problems. Staying organized, prioritizing effectively, and maintaining a strong motivation for both personal and professional development are key to navigating this dual path successfully.

Fahed Mrad’s journey exemplifies the transformative power of blending academic excellence with real-world experience. Through SSBM Geneva’s Executive DBA program, he’s not just advancing his career but shaping the future of humanitarian aid, one innovative solution at a time.