Q&A with Shahin Ahmed
Exclusive Trusted Magazine Q&A with Shahin Ahmed, Program Management Lead at a multinational company
How could you describe your career path in a few words?
My career is a journey with different milestones and during this journey I was keen to find the right mentor to help me to progress though my different career stages. I started my career as a software engineer but after sometime I have realized that I need to do something that can take me to the next level so I have decided to pursue my management and business studies which led me to work on my Masters degree at Heriot Watt university so I get to learn new topics that might be uncommon for IT engineers to know about. Being a software engineer with business knowledge opened the door for me to work with many financial institutions including investment banks, commercial banks, and multinational/ global companies leading different technical, culture and digital transformation mega programs across middle east and Africa that have changed these organizations and helped them to reduce operating cost, increase revenues and most importantly increase the customer satisfaction. I didn’t stop at the MBA degree but I have invested in learning other topics to support my career like Program Management, Agile Coaching, Product Management, Digital Transformation, design thinking, and plenty of other topics. And every time I get to learn a new topic, it becomes an eyeopener for me.
What was your most challenging experience and it has changed your mindset?
As a technical, management and business consultant, I’ve been working with different organizations in different countries and each time I change my role I feel like it’s a new challenge that I have to deal with. I can say, the most challenging experience that anyone can passthrough is working on transformation programs as people will be resisting the change so you have to deal with this in a way to help those people to know why they need to change not only how they work but also changing their day to day culture and interactions moving from “they” to “we”. All of these interactions have helped me to change to a person with an agile and dynamic mindset and being able to keep my sanity when I’m dealing with uncertainty.
What’s the most important key success factor for you based on your experience?
There are many factors that can help in the success formula and I can talk about:
Be agile: we all are living a very dynamic world that keeps changing so not having an agile growth mindset we will struggle, and we might lose the chance to progress so we need to accept this fact and adopt & adapt to these changes that can be a technological change considering the AI and big data world that keeps analyzing our behaviors and predicting our actions and preferences or it can be a cultural change moving from that slow pace world to the race to excellence that has not end so all we need to do is just to be open to any change and learn how to deal with it not to resist it otherwise we will stay behind.
Keep learning: the best investment that we can do is investing in ourselves as it will have higher return than anyone can imagine. Be open to learn from people around you even if they are younger than you. Everyone will have a part of the experience, all you need to do is to connect the buzzle and learn from it. Learning is a race and the moment you decide to stop, the other will overtake you so keep learning and in today’s world it will be an easy job to find a learning material for any topic that you can imagine or even can’t!
Resilience is an important factor: keep going and I can promise you that you will make it despite any challenge or hurdles. All these challenges will make you stronger and you will be surprised how did you make it.
Fall fast, learn fast: We either learn or win all we need to do is to keep trying and have the tolerance to fall and stand up again. Those who do not experience difficulties will be immature either professionally or emotionally as what doesn’t kill you, makes you stronger. Just to celebrate failures as you celebrate successes as they are gifts to you.