Joseph Zekry

Nationality: Egyptian and Belgian
Job title: owner of technology development and sustainability consultancy ZekryTech, and interim manager
Previous degree: PhD in electrical engineering at KU Leuven

1. What was the main reason for you to do an MBA? 

“I wanted the right balance between my experience as an engineer with education on general management to dive deeper into the topics I care about, which is mostly sustainability and technology development. I wanted to cover a broad spectrum of subjects, and I had the intuitive feeling that the culture of the school fits with my values. The GEMBA is also unique because of the global exposure and orientation.”

2. What expectations did you have studying for your Global Executive MBA in a world in motion?

“Here’s another reason for choosing this study. I wanted the study to guide my evolution as a person to fit the world’s needs, for example sustainability, welfare, and social and economic equity and growth. I see valuable results immediately. The study trip to Singapore opened my eyes to challenges and opportunities I wasn’t aware of through true global exposure. The world is changing, and I’m also changing as a leader and a person.”

3. How would you describe your RSM MBA experience so far?

“A study of this intensity, engagement and interaction with likeminded professionals feels familiar and comfortable while it’s challenging at the same time. Working with people from different backgrounds is a big learning experience. New aspects and challenges are uncovered in every assignment. Each project is rewarding because we put a lot of effort into getting results to come to a clear outcome and convincing story.”

4. What impact does the Strategic Leadership Development (SLD) component of the programme have on you?

“SLD will have a long-lasting impact on me, my business and professional activities. It helps me analyse and reflect on my own behaviour, the world around me and what people expect from me. It’s useful to be aware of the relationship between my knowledge, skills, attitude and behaviour, and how they come together to form my values as a leader. For example: as a new entrepreneur I’m busy creating relationships with new customers. It can be stressful because I don’t have a long history as a company owner. SLD helped me a lot to find the right communication, space and tools to tell my story with confidence, not limiting myself by my own fears.”

5. If you had to choose one Sustainable Development Goal, which one would you choose?

“I want to use technology to advance the overall sustainability of our planet. The fact that I’m always wearing a badge with the SDG logo and want to make people aware of the sustainability impact is a goal in itself too. We need to share this knowledge and create awareness and engagement for people to be involved.”

6. Has your MBA journey changed your outlook on what your career will be like after doing an MBA?

“I’m sure there will be a big change. Even in the first months of the programme, there was a shift in how I feel about my career. I have a wider perspective, now that I’m learning about leadership challenges and connecting with other professionals. Going into the MBA, I thought I’d set up my own company with tech-related products and start with a few customers. Now, I see how I can grow and enrich my business by being more collaborative and supporting other companies as an advisor. I’m involved in a wider business ecosystem. I was also unaware of entrepreneurship through acquisition, and this idea generates even more opportunities to explore.”

7. What advice could you give to people who are considering doing a Global Executive MBA?

“There are two things that people underestimate: the impact it can make on your career and your perspectives on the world, and the intensity and time commitment to fulfil a study like this. At the same time, the more I invest in the study, the more I can get out of it.”