Balancing Act: How a CFO Executive Successfully Pursued an MBA and PhD

Submitted by Alessandro Odoardi

New economic perspectives and financial expertise

The global economy is in a process of dramatic change. With widespread access to the Internet, information seems to be available to everyone at all times. Matters that only concerned a few have been democratized in different matters of human knowledge and financial matters. Before, for instance, it was not possible to access the financial markets unless you had a lot of money and the right contacts to learn how to operate in the stock market. Nowadays, anyone can do it and we see that more people decide to bet on their financial freedom. According to data from the Gallup consulting firm, in April 2023, 61% of Americans had stocks in various companies.

Mahmoud Muhammad Zaky Elghamry is a professional with enormous international recognition in the world of finance. He has a 25-year career in the financial field, time in which he has been able to work in the Arab Republic of Egypt as well as in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

Currently, Mahmoud Zaky is working as Chief Financial Officer (CFO) at Zahrat Al Waha For Trading Company, a Saudi Joint Stock Company, since 2017. For this role, he’s responsible to assess and evaluate financial performance of organization with regard to long-term operational goals, budgets and forecasts. He began working for this company as their Accounting Manager (2012-2017) with tasks on accounting, general ledger, administration and operations moving on to the height in his career as a Chief of Finance in the same group. Before that, he held important positions for Unionaire Group in Egypt as Financial Vice President (2004-2012) and for Khaled El-Musa in Saudi Arabia as Chief Accountant (2002-2003).

The search for growth and new perspectives in education at EIU-Paris

When a professional career has reached certain milestones, it is common to wonder what is next. Mahmoud Zaky holds degrees as Bachelor of Commerce from Minufiya University (Egypt, 1997) and a Master of Business Administration from the American International Theism University (USA, 2023). In his search to continue his education with an institution of international prestige, he found the European International University, Paris. With EIU-Paris – a business school based in Paris, Mahmoud Zaky decided to pursue another MBA and give a European perspective to his business worldview.

“Obtaining a master’s degree was the biggest challenge for me in my professional career. It also changed the course of my life and my mindset, as well as my decision-making process, and it was a motivation for the second step, which was seeking to obtain a doctorate degree. And I didn’t have to move permanently to London or New York to do it.”

Mahmoud Zaky

Pursuing graduate & post graduate studies online is convenient for busy executives in an overwhelming career, yet there are many challenges to face in doing so. EIU-Paris always supports its students in everything. Mahmoud Zaky identified three important issues to address: Being open to learn new things, managing the lack of time and developing research skills.

Being open to new things could seem difficult in the beginning as our students are challenged to change their environment: From one where they know what they are doing to another where they have no idea on what to do.  Then, the lack of time is usually a big problem for executives but Mahmoud Zaky solved this by creating a study space, setting a schedule, putting his goals ahead, and getting help and support from EIU-Paris’ team. Finally, developing research skills is a marathon for those that didn’t have a tenure as professors at colleges. However, Mr. Zaky found it funny and interesting with a positive and practical attitude.

The adventure for Mahmoud Zaky doesn’t stop there. Indeed, he is enrolled for a Doctorate of Business Administration (DBA) and Doctorate of Philosophy (PhD) at the European International University, Paris. Regarding this decision, he said that “Education is a tool for achieving goals that do not stop at a certain age or limit, regardless of the difficulties. So, education with EIU-Paris helped me achieve my goals.”

Executive Business Education via distance learning at EIU-Paris

Pursuing an MBA online can offer several important benefits. Firstly, it allows working professionals to continue their education without having to take a break from their careers. This flexibility can be particularly valuable for executives who may not be able to commit to a traditional full-time program. Additionally, online MBA programs often provide a more diverse and global perspective, as students can interact with peers from around the world.

The advantages of distance education for executives include the ability to balance work and study commitments, as well as the opportunity to apply newly acquired knowledge and skills directly to their professional roles. Distance learning also provides executives with the flexibility to study at their own pace and on their own schedule, which can be especially beneficial for those with demanding work and travel schedules.

The European International University, Paris is not only a pioneer in the internationalization and democratization of distance education, but we are ranked 55th among the best business schools in the world according to CEOWORLD Magazine and ranked 46th globally according to Pedagog Magazine UK. You don’t need to live in a large European capital like Berlin, London or New York when we bring from Paris the possibility of doing your MBA or doctoral degree from the comfort of your home (and with the rigor of French education).

there are several European MBA programs that can be completed entirely online, and these programs can be beneficial for both corporations and executives globally.

Benefits for Corporations

  • Access to a Global Talent Pool: Online MBA & DBA programs allow corporations to recruit from a wider pool of talented individuals, regardless of their location. This can be particularly beneficial for companies that are looking to expand into new markets or that need to fill specialized roles.
  • Develop Employee Skills and Knowledge: Online MBA programs can help corporations develop the skills and knowledge of their employees, which can lead to increased productivity, innovation, and competitiveness.
  • Reduce Training Costs: Online MBA programs can be more cost-effective than traditional MBA programs, as they do not require corporations to pay for travel, accommodation, and other expenses.

Benefits for Executives

  • Advance Your Career: An online MBA can help executives advance their careers by providing them with the skills and knowledge they need to move into senior leadership positions.
  • Enhance Your Earning Potential: Executives with an MBA can typically earn higher salaries than executives without an MBA.
  • Gain a Global Perspective: Online MBA programs often include a focus on global business, which can help executives develop a broader perspective and prepare them for the challenges of working in a global economy.

EIU-Paris offers one of the Prestigious & advanced top European MBA programs that can be completed entirely online:

These programs are all accredited by prestigious organizations, As an institution committed to quality and transparency, we are proud members of five world-renowned organizations: ASIC UK, ACBSP, BGA, ECBE, ATHEA, and CIA. To nurture our faculty’s professional development, we offer an annual faculty development program with seminars and training sessions.

I appreciate the program enabling uninterrupted education for a working senior professional like me. Its flexibile, especially for those managing professional responsibilities said Zaky speaking to Dr. Tina Yang in a recent conference.

Contact: [email protected]

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