Interview 5: Jad Esber

Jad Esber (MEng Hons, University of Cambridge), Harvard Business School 

Prior to starting his MBA at Harvard, Jad spent time interning in the energy space with the United Nations Development Program and with BP, before making a bold move into the internet space working for Google. At Google, Jad spent two years at YouTube working on developing the content creator ecosystem in the Middle East & North Africa region and was involved in a number of YouTube’s social good and curation-focussed product development efforts before leading Strategy & Operations for Google’s EMEA Ads Marketing team.

What do you hope to achieve through your MBA experience?
The toolkit, network and confidence to become a fuller, better equipped and more self-aware contributor to the business community and society at large.

How will you use your MBA to further your career?
I have strong entrepreneurial ambitions and am passionate about social justice. I would be keen to start a mission-driven company that focuses on the growing digital native population. As an engineer at my core, I am a passionate builder – a builder of businesses, concepts, products or physical structures. And with product at the core of any internet business, I am keen to explore product-focussed roles en route.

What are your hopes/expectations of being part of the SMF network after business school?
I believe that it is possible to engineer serendipity. In essence, I believe that we can shape a path which increases the probability of having meaningful collisions. Joining the SMF network is one of the best ways I’ve been able to engineer serendipity for myself and I’m excited about the opportunities that will come from it.

How do you hope to support SMF after you graduate from business school?
I am a strong proponent of open sharing, peer-to-peer learning and mentorship – it is fundamental to our growth as a community. I look forward to passing on my learnings to future generations in the hopes that it’ll help catalyse their efforts to reach their goals.

When did you start thinking about doing an MBA?
During my undergraduate years, I was drawn to engineering’s ameliorative nature and to the application of the ‘engineering mindset’ to problems that aren’t typically ‘engineering problems’. However, to really maximise my impact, I realised that I needed a deeper understanding of business – and a deep network.  This spurred my interest in pursuing an MBA after my engineering degree and a few years of work experience.

How did you learn about the SMF scholarship?
I was a recipient of the Royal Academy of Engineering’s Engineering Leadership Award and had the opportunity to meet a number of SMFs through the program. I was inspired by their career trajectories and opened my eyes to the option of going to business school with the support of the SMF scholarship. It has been my aim ever since to pursue the scholarship.

What tip would you give to someone seeking financial support to do an MBA?
Be proactive about it, ask questions and knock on doors. Many universities offer some financial support and there are a number of networks that offer generous support – start planning early, research them and then don’t be afraid to apply!


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