MBA Alumnus Hany Soliman On Being Listed Among Five Finalists for 2020 MBA Entrepreneurial Venture Award by AMBA
Hany Soliman (MBA '19), founder and managing director of Engineering Group Innovation, has recently been listed among the five finalists for the 2020 MBA Entrepreneurial Venture Award (Private Sector) by the Association of MBAs (AMBA) and the Business Graduate Association (BGA) during the AMBA 2020 Excellence Awards.
The AMBA and BGA Excellence Awards event celebrates the quality and achievements of business education at the forefront of leadership and business excellence, recognizing the talents and contributions made by AMBA-accredited and BGA-member business schools along with their students and graduates.
The MBA Entrepreneurial Venture Award, for which Soliman was shortlisted for, highlights the success of business schools in fostering entrepreneurship among their MBA and executive MBA cohorts and is a chance for individuals to impress a panel of high-profile judges who are already at the forefront of global entrepreneurship. Additionally, Soliman received the 'Highly Commended' award title from the jury during the Gala Night in Mayfair, London.
On this occasion, we interviewed Soliman to reflect on his journey and express what the nomination means to him.
Among the diverse job positions that you took on in engineering, sales, marketing, management, and more, how would you choose to introduce yourself without touching on each experience?
A LEARNER (hopefully a good one). Despite my varied career experiences, the most worthwhile and beneficial experience was the learning itself.
“Good learners, regardless of their professional backgrounds, can digest, apply, and utilize their learning to advance in their careers.”
How did you encourage yourself to take the leap and quit from well-established corporates to transition and become an entrepreneur?
Although I’ve always dreamt about having my own venture since as early as high-school, I only became confident enough to take that step when I joined the MBA program at the AUC School of Business.
What were your aspirations when you joined the MBA program?
To grasp first-class management studies to complement my managerial and technical experiences, in order to manage either my own firm as an entrepreneur or other established firms in a present-day, knowledge-based, eloquent and streamlined mechanism.
How were you able to strike the balance between being an MBA student, a husband, a father of four young children, and launching a new startup?
Devotion and precision are my secret recipe to success.
“In order to achieve a life-work balance, one must be highly devoted and precise in both family life and work-life aspects. I believe that family comes first, which is why I say life-work balance; one must be involved in their family’s most intricate details and be present during their major life moments. Nevertheless, in order to secure a good enough life for your family members, you must work hard and take an active part in community progression.”
Did you feel that undergoing your MBA concurrently with launching your startup came in handy? If so, how?
Absolutely, I felt very fortunate that my private venture was opportune with my MBA studies, as both learning experiences fed into one another. I was able to timely apply what I was continuously learning from the MBA courses and my previous personal practical experience within different areas (multi-nationals, local companies, and governmental entities), to lead and collaboratively work with a tremendously cooperative team towards achieving substantial results.
What were the most significant challenges you faced during your journey, and how did you address them?
The challenges were numerous, but the most complex ones were leaving the comfort zone of having a stable monthly income as an employee in a well-established entity, not to mention the idea of launching a new business itself. I was privileged to be enrolled in the MBA program when I faced these challenges; it truly helped me to address them rationally and make a proper action plan to face and overcome such challenges.
How would you describe the value-added from the MBA program? Career-wise and personality-wise.
“I cannot split the value-added from the MBA program at the AUC School of Business into career and personality; it’s a whole life-changing experience. It helps you to make a paradigm shift to your life and way of thinking altogether.”
I genuinely believe that if you are fortunate enough to seize this precious opportunity (enrolling in the AUC School of Business MBA program), you shouldn’t think twice; you will achieve major strides in both your career and personal lives alike.
How did you find your experience in applying for the AMBA and BGA Excellence Awards?
It was a thrilling opportunity to get our success recognized (the team and I), and a new learning tool in our career. Merely working on the application submission process with my team created an elevated level of enthusiasm and allowed us to collectively reflect on our journey to success.
Describe your feelings on being among the top five finalists for the MBA Entrepreneurial Venture Award and receiving the “highly commended” recognition from the jury.
Unexplainably proud. Proud that our efforts were recognized globally in such an elite business society, and proud to be representing the AUC School of Business and our beloved country, Egypt, in a prestigious event of this kind for the first time ever. It was an indescribable feeling.
If you were to give a general piece of advice to both undergraduates and graduates, what would it be?
“Follow your passion. Determine your career and life goals precisely and devote yourself to achieving them. Arm yourself with knowledge and never stop learning. Last but not least, achieve a proper life-work balance.”