By Fabian Santana, EDHEC Global MBA Class of 2015
There are many things that come to mind when you talk about a financial analyst. Picture a man in his early 30’s in a sober checkered shirt and casual running shoes; make him punctual, organized and hard working, as shown by the slight bags under his eyes, product of quite a few nights working late. That’s the man I’m meeting today: Rayan Hussami a Saudi born, Lebanese raised, financial analyst who, by all indications, I’d love to have running the numbers on my company.
But, as in the best stories, the most important is what is what doesn’t come to mind when you meet him for the first time. Most people will be quick to brag about their experiences swimming with sharks, flying above Dubai’s deserts in a motorized paraglider or getting certified as professional rescue divers. Ray is not like most people, to him is simply a matter of proving himself that he can do anything because “If someone else can do it, I can too”.
I’ve met many financial analysts throughout my life, they all love making plans, doing research, figuring out timelines and regulations. Most of them would be as far away from shark-infested waters as humanly possible. But Ray spends a solid 10 minute explaining his plans to do this and many other adventures, showing off his organizational skills while downplaying his daredevil attitude. “I'm not really afraid of anything” he says with a straight face “the odds are extremely favorable”. That's adrenaline accounting for you.
“People back home say what I’m doing is crazy”, he says about his move to the French Riviera to study an MBA, “but the school has surpassed my expectations”. Why did you do the MBA? I ask him, why now? “I felt stuck on my comfort zone. I’m looking to grow, do bigger things and connect with people.” He seems a bit more nervous talking about other people than he does when talking about jumping from a plane.
It took me less than 20 minutes to realize I was standing next to an exceptional subject. One that perfectly fits the quintessential EDHEC Global MBA student I had on my mind. Pick someone from this classroom and you’re guaranteed to get a proficient business person… But chances are you’ll get much, much more.