Mamadou Diallo

Dubai Executive MBA 2017
Financial Services professional

Cass Business School

I had heard very positive echoes from friends that studied different programmes at Cass’ London campus. As I was researching, I found out about all the recent rankings and achievements that Cass Business School had made over the past years. One of the main factors for my decision was Cass provided an important network of alumni within the financial centres of both London and Dubai.

Since I was travelling regularly to the Middle East to meet clients, the weekend study format of the Executive MBA programme and its location in the centre of Dubai Financial District made sense to me. It allowed me to juggle between my professional commitments and family life, while enjoying the student experience.

The future

My EMBA adventure started with a lot of hopes and ambition. I wanted to focus on career first, then personal development and networking. Starting the programme, I wanted to get exposure into Islamic and conventional banking in the region and meet with local industry players.

Half-way through the EMBA programme, I left my company and started a new business venture where I managed to leverage both my investment banking and advisory experiences, while using some of the tools acquired during the first two semesters. Building the network for success is a long-term objective for me and I am still working on it with conversations around the different type of Islamic finance instruments, main institutional players etc. The university’s wide alumni base and also the opportunity to meet and build relationships with senior managers of financial institutions within DIFC, has helped me to reaffirm the vision for my future objectives.

The Executive MBA Experience

It's a great experience, challenging as well because you must put in a lot of work and professors won’t take any excuses. The curriculum covers a variety of topics from marketing, finance to organisational behaviour, which is enough to take someone out of their comfort zone. Despite the long hours spent in the evenings doing group work exercises, I will keep good memories of our involvements and desire to produce great pieces of work. Exam preparation and stress brought us back a few years earlier to our “student days” but it all went fine at the end of the day. I want to highlight the kindness and great support that was provided by the course officer and all the administrative staff in Dubai, truly amazing professionals.

The Cohort

I am grateful I had the opportunity to meet such a diverse groups of people, to be part of a cohort of more than 40 individuals and 20 nationalities. I have been amazed by the positivity that was shown module after module as we all understood that this experience had to be fully enjoyed. Representing some of the biggest banks and corporations (like HSBC, Citigroup, Samsung and so on), they were able to share concrete experiences of today’s most relevant business cases. Upon leaving Cass, I will have built an extensive network that I am sure will be ready to engage in the execution of future opportunities.


Dubai is literally at the centre of the world and is known for the economic growth it has shown to the world for the past decades. Business opportunities are real in the region, a place like Dubai DIFC (which is home to the largest banks and financial companies) allows you to meet and develop business relationships in a convenient way. Completing an EMBA in Dubai can give an extra edge in this competitive job market.

Advice to new students

The EMBA programme at Cass Business School will give you the opportunity to learn, reflect, make lifelong friendships, and belong to an institution far greater than yourself. I highly recommend this amazing and unique experience. Go on and fully enjoy the experience!