Amokrane, “Amo”, Mohammed Mariche (35) is an Algerian International Action Learning MBA student who just relocated from Algeria to Malta, thanks to a fantastic promotion. From 1st January 2017, Amo will be Regional Marketing Manager for NIKE in three countries; Algeria, Morocco, and Tunisia. We called him to congratulate him on his great achievement and to find out more about this inspiring student who started his MBA with Business School Netherlands in February 2015.
Amo is 35 years old, married and father of a little princess of three years old, called “Rym”. He holds a degree in the Sciences of Information and Communication (Audiovisual Journalism), from the University of Algiers. While at university, Amo worked for the Algerian Public TV and Radio as Host, Reporter and Program Producer for almost four years (2001-2005). After graduation, he decided to switch his career to cinema and documentary filmmaking. ‘I wanted more depth and meaning in what I was creating and producing. I got three scholarships in two years just by networking online and submitting motivated applications.’
Success often comes from having a great network, just like one needs to be successful in order to establish that great network. ‘One day, I received an assignment from an agency to produce a short video for Nike and I had to collaborate with PMG, Nike’s distributor in Algeria. When the job was done, I got a job proposal as Marketing Manager from PMG that I declined. One year later, PMG directors reiterated the offer and I reflected on the opportunity and the possibilities. I accepted the challenge and that’s how I shifted my career again and started a new journey in the Nike brand world, which now includes moving to Malta’.
How do you feel about moving to Malta?
‘It’s a very pleasant country. My relocation has been very smooth and easy, even for my little family. The country was ranked one of the best for expats in 2015. I think it’s very similar to the northern cities of Algeria; I’m still in a Mediterranean environment. The main difference is the switch of language at work (from French to English); the ease of doing business and the richer mix of nationalities here in Malta, and last but not least, the fact that I am now in the central office setting with the senior directors and therefore, I’ve a broader vision of the business.’
What was your main motivation to do the Action Learning MBA?
‘Knowledge. I felt that my professional career had a faster pace than my knowledge acquisition pace. I also wanted to evolve from a marketing manager with operational capabilities to a leader and an entrepreneur with strategic and decision capabilities.’
How do you find the program so far?
‘I sincerely think that enrolling to on the International Action Learning MBA was one of the best decisions I have ever made. It exceeded my expectations; the program has had a huge impact on my life. The Action Learning method is an eye-opener, and I see and reflect on things now differently.’
What has been the greatest insight or eye-opener so far?
‘I would say that in decision-making, it’s important to not judge immediately; it’s better to ask and to take time to reflect. In our Mediterranean culture, we tend to react immediately. My Action Learning MBA has taught me to avoid that. It is a simple, but important insight from the very first meetings I had with my colleagues and coaches at BSN Algeria.’
What do you like most about your job?
‘I am a man with a Just Do It spirit. Nike’s mission is to bring innovation and inspiration to every athlete and the brand marketing role is key. It’s very intense, I learn every day, I’m challenged every day and I now have three emergent markets on my radar with particular conditions. You don’t do marketing in Morocco or Algeria like you do in Europe; you need to be innovative and meet the high expectations of a very connected youth population.’
Did the MBA play a role in your promotion to Regional Marketing Manager?
‘Yes, it probably did. I know that directors of BDI were aware about my MBA plans and they strongly encouraged me to pursue it. When my CEO found out about my MBA application, he told me how he likes having “smart managers” working for the company.’
How do you combine the intense job with the MBA and possibly also a family/social life?
’Yes, that’s the toughest part of the MBA. How to combine work, family life and MBA needs. I need to acknowledge that I’m not very good at that, especially with the relocation process. Luckily, I am a very motivated student and my wife is such a lovely and understanding person. She just finished her PhD in Algiers University and we had to help each other in order to succeed on our leraning journey together.’
Do you use BDI as a case study for your Action Learning projects and other assignments?
‘Yes I did – BSN’s IALMBA is different and meaningful because of this particularity. The fact that I use my own BDI projects as case studies ensures that the company benefits directly from my research and reflection. For instance, I just finished an assignment about the marketing strategy of “Playmode Gallery”, a Sporting Goods retail chain in Algeria. This helped the company in the development and expansion of this new franchise. I was so pleased to follow the opening of its flagship store in Sidi Yahia in Algiers through social media last week!’
How have you changed personally and professionally over the course of the program so far?
’As a manager, I think that I have a broader vision of the business – remember that I originally come from Journalism and Filmmaking with very few business capabilities. As a person, I have become more respectful of other persons ideas and opinions.’
What advice would you have for peer entrepreneurs that think about doing an MBA?
‘I have been very positively impacted by the International MBA at BSN Algeria. Action Learning is about learning together, differently and has a high ROI. The program has helped me to improve my management and leadership skills and led to increased productivity at work. It’s an inspiring learning journey with best-in-class approaches to identifying and resolving problems. True, it’s demanding but it’s worthwhile; I strongly recommend it.’
Anything you’d like to add…?
‘I just wanted to add that I am very thankful to the PMG team for trusting me and giving me the opportunity to discover the Nike brand. Moreover, I am thankful to BSN Algeria, my classmates, and my beloved coach Mohamed Yacine, for the help and guidance.’
Want to get in touch with Amo? Contact him on LinkedIn.
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