Secretary-General Visits Athens MBA Students to Share Keys to Success in Business and Life

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Arab-Hellenic Chamber Secretary-General, Rashad Mabger (front row, third from left), stands next to Webster Athens' Head of the Business & Technology John Dumont (fourth from right), and Webster Athens' Campus Rector & Managing Director Vasilis J. Botopoulos (third from right), alongside MBA students after the lecture.

"Ethnic diversity is vital to a successful society. Being aware of cultural differences and similarities is enriching and does not divide humanity," said Rashad Mabger, Secretary-General of the Arab-Hellenic Chamber of Commerce, during his lecture, "Leadership Across Countries and Cultures," presented to the MBA Managerial Leadership class at Webster University Athens on Feb. 17.

Believing that one should valuing ethnic diversity and cultural differences was central to his the message he shared with the diverse MBA class that included students from US, Greece, Iraq, Lebanon, Egypt and Afghanistan. This belief was, as he explained to the students, one of the reasons why he has succeeded in navigating the challenges that he and his multicultural family have experienced living in different countries and societies.

Mabger urged the students to "read from various sources, work hard even out of your direct domain of studies and training, have a good disposition towards people and life in general, (and) never lose sight of your target without tramping on your values.” It was an empowering message to the students, reflecting his effort to cope with continuous life changes and learning experiences at the same time.

The Secretary-General's career extends over 40 years in investment services, as an advisor to high-net-worth businesspeople in the Middle East and as an Accredited Investment Consultant to Financial Institutions in the United Kingdom and Switzerland. He has traveled extensively and has developed a great business network across the Arab world.  

"His presentation was particularly appropriate as the students are nearing the completion of their studies and are beginning to experience new challenges in a variety of areas including the oil and gas sector," said John Dumont, MBA class professor and the head of the Business and Technology Department of Webster Athens. "We appreciate his willingness to share his insights and are much indebted."   

'Leadership Across Countries and Cultures - The Oil & Gas sector in the Middle East'

"Through the discussion of his extensive experience, he provided timely information about leadership in general but also topics within the field of oil and gas as a crucial sector in the Middle East," said Dumont. "He particularly emphasized to the students the importance of continuous studying and embracing diversity."

Dumont also emphasized that "it was fascinating to hear of the difficulties Mr. Mabger had to overcome during his career, and the importance of perseverance in these hard times. He also made an important point about the likelihood of being involved in activities that might be outside of one's educational expertise and how crucial these experiences are for professional development." 

Mabger provided an interesting narration of his life journey; from being raised by his aunt's family in British-occupied Yemen, to gaining scholarships to study in Cairo and then Czechoslovakia. He discussed his life's milestones, severe setbacks as well as the bold comebacks, and provided proof of what he considers to be of paramount importance to someone's life. His life has also been an authentic and contemporary story similar to that of many people who are leaving their home, looking for better or different experiences, or are striking out on work or study abroad opportunities.

About Secretary-General Rashad Mabger

Rashad Mabger was born in Aden, Yemen, and holds a Master's degree in International Relations and Law from Charles University, Prague, Class of '77. He started his career after his graduation at the Kuwait National Petroleum Company (KNPC), in Human Resources and Administration. He was one of select personnel in the task force for the upgrading and modernization of two refineries in Kuwait. Mabger holds Greek and Yemeni nationalities.

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