“First of all, I introduce myself: I’m Karima Bouzar an Algerian student at BSN Algeria. When I started my MBA I was having a job as an Office Manager at Indra Algeria, by the end of this MBA journey I had the opportunity to be promoted to Finance and Treasury Responsible in the same organisation. My job at the beginning was a polyvalent job. My MBA journey did guide me to focus my energy on what I am good at. I discovered that I’m very good in finance and there it did lead me, actually my previous studies were in economics and finance so I was back on track.”
You always dreamt of doing an MBA. At what point did you took the step to realising your dream?
“Well the MBA studies were kind of a 14 years dream. After I graduated from the university I was looking for this MBA. However, by that time I just started working, there were no schools for this kind of studies and doing it abroad was as well out of my budget. So I kept it as a dream but I have never forgotten about it, until 2015… I guess I was ready for this step. I kept searching for business schools in Algeria but I was not convinced about their offers and as I didn’t want to study the same way I used to do in the university I was looking for something different. I was wanted to develop my skills, I was eager to learn more. Hence I found by chance an announcement of BSN in a newspaper. I called, I asked, I thought deeply. BSN was offering something different so that I decided to enrol at BSN. The truth is that BSN did fulfil my expectation about the MBA I was looking for, it was a big challenge by that time.“
How did you strike the work, study home balance?
“The MBA was a real big challenge for me. I had to manage my time between my studies, work and family, a quite difficult path. I remember once I couldn’t do more. I was stuck, didn’t find an exit, had no help or support. Actually, I was about to give up, but then I asked myself: “Why have you started this MBA in the first place? Don’t Give up your dream or you will lose everything you did to reach this point today!” Then I decided to take my courage in both hands and I had to go on. Therefore Graduation Day is the day you mark a stop and say: “Yes I finally made it! It was not easy but I made it.” So for me, Graduation Day is not an end in itself, it is just to mark the end of a learning cycle and the beginning of a completely different process of practice and continuous learning. And life is full of challenges. Actually I‘m on a new challenge at work: I’m the head of a new finance project and I guess this MBA did give me the right tools to face it.
Did the MBA change you?
“I would like to mention that after my MBA journey I discovered another me, another Karima Bouzar. Why is that? The MBA journey has taken me to another dimension of reflection, it did really have a lasting impact on both a professional and personal level. But I must say that to perceive this evolution on oneself is the fruit of a non-stop hard working, keeping in touch with the research world, maintaining continual coaching sessions, it’s a real discovery of oneself and especially the other.”
“This is due to the coaching sessions we had during the research path. The group’s exchange and coaching contributed significantly to developing and polishing skills that I ignored about myself.”
How does this reflect on you on a professional level?
“On a professional level I have considerably developed my strategic thinking, leadership skills, change management skills, negotiation skills, my cooperation and group work, but especially my decision-making and communication skills. Not to mention how to deal with difficulties at work, how to present structured reports with a logical and precise sequence of information, how to properly analyse any problem that I face, how to do research, look for solutions and improve practices at work.”
“My organisation was the nest of my research, it helped me achieving my MBA big time, but also my MBA has contributed significantly to the smooth progress of my work, whether it is on the HR plan or the financial plan, through actions I applied in real time on real problems. We have applied solutions that did really help us cut costs, and I got a promotion which for me was a return of investment. My MBA studies did offer a win-win situation for both my organisation and me.
Often this is achieved through a deep reflection of my subconscious, it happens to me that at work so many events happen quickly during the working days, everything is not treated in time it happens that my brain makes a backup and analyses those difficulties apart and when I wake up in the morning and I find myself already having a solution to the difficulty or a way how to deal with it, at work. I only make it into practice I just take an action. I confirm that this is due to coaching.“
And at a personal level?
“On a personal level my thinking has become more and more relevant, deep. My analyses are more thoughtful and accurate. My thinking has moved to another level.
A reflection that continues to grow, everything goes through a reflection whether it is related to small or big events, I confirm that the brain is always in ‘ON’ mode.
I will add that I have developed my interpersonal skills, especially the active listening skill. After listening to the problem I can only go straight to the point and ask the right questions. However, a good part of my interpersonal skills remains to be improved through coaching sessions and putting them into practice on a daily basis.
In my MBA journey the coaching sessions we had inspired me a lot. I will not hide that I really want to go even deeper in this area because today the experience I had has engraved in me another approach to observe and analyse the difficulties that I face on all levels. Today I find myself willing to explore this technique. Although many times I have been afraid of the evolution of my thinking and I found even difficulties in adapting it to my circle of work, family and friends.”
Last but not least?
“Finally I can add as well that this journey allowed me to learn continuously and to adopt this new model of reflection which has become not a learned and forgotten technique but rather it has become my style of life.”
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