Ahmed Hamza

  • Degree Programme: Executive MBA Dubai
  • Global Nationality: Egyptian
  • Profile Job Pre-programme: HR Manager, Shell UK
  • Profile Job Post-programme: Policy & Employee Relations/Industrial Relations Manager, Shell International/Oman LNG L.L.C

Changing business needs
My key motivation for enrolling on an Executive MBA programme was to develop myself into a more effective strategic business partner within my organisation. Shell continues to go through a major transitional period, largely to cater to changing business needs. Changing its footprint in the world ensures effective expenditure of investments, and involves withdrawing from some existing locations to concentrate on others. Managing this change successfully and helping our people adjust to new structures is a major challenge, so it’s important I have an up-to-date toolkit of skills. 

Renowned for the diversity of its students, London Business School offered me a rich learning environment, one where I could share my own reflections and also learn from the experiences of my classmates. I weighed the benefits of both full-time degree programmes and executive programmes, eventually deciding that the EMBA provided me with the best opportunity to put my learning into practice at work. The School also is highly ranked and has the strong reputation that I was looking for.

Sharing best practice
EMBA is the perfect environment in which to share best practice. During my time on the programme I specialised in Organisational Behaviour and Change Management. I gained a greater understanding of what other businesses do in this space from the challenges my classmates were facing. Preparing for potential divestment scenario issues was particularly useful, as several colleagues had gone through similar experiences. I learned what to keep in mind and what to watch out for; this knowledge is helping me successfully deliver a number of core projects at work.

I’m currently in another role within the Shell group, working for a Joint Venture between Shell and the Omani government. This move has given me a high level of exposure to different environments and cultures, and I’ve been amazed at the contrasting working styles I’ve experienced. Here in Oman there is an extraordinary balance of top-notch business delivery and very high consideration for human welfare, far beyond what’s considered normal in Europe or the US. Currently, I am part of a team leading a massive transformational journey for HR - thanks to EMBA I’m able to influence the business effectively by providing an overview of global best practice.

Top-notch network and faculty
The quality of people at LBS is top-notch, and for me, this invaluable network was one of the main highlights of my degree. My study group came from the automotive, financial services, insurance, entertainment and IT industries, with every person representing a different nationality, continent, culture, and language. Studying with such a diverse group of people was intense, but incredibly beneficial. It’s great to know that whenever I’m faced with a particularly difficult business challenge, someone in my network will have the answer. 

The faculty at LBS are seasoned professors and widely published academics, who bring real business insight and creativity to class. One of my favourite Organisational Behaviour professors, Henry Moon, used a clip from a war movie to encourage debate about different leadership strategies. It was a great way to think about the different consequences of leadership behaviour, and an effective means of bringing these concepts to life. 

A breadth of knowledge
The Executive MBA delivers immediate impact. Since completing my degree I question things more, and I’ve learned not to accept the obvious. I think deeply about the added value of any process, about who might be affected by change, and about whether the change is in fact worth making. I’m now looking at the organisation from a holistic viewpoint, anticipating the impact on different pockets of the company following any potential change. These new skills have given me more confidence at HR Leadership Team meetings, where I offer a wider breadth of knowledge and external insight. Most importantly, I now know I’m supporting the business in the most effective way possible.