For Majid Mufti, the opportunity to pursue a graduate finance degree came along at just the right time. He had been in the workforce long enough to understand exactly what he needed to supplement his undergraduate engineering training and help him move into higher management. The NYU Stern-HKUST Masters of Science in Global Finance (MSGF) fit the bill: “It wasn’t the generic MBA program that included a variety of subjects, but an in-depth program in one of the more important topics in the world of business today, offered on an international foundation of extremely reputable institutions,” Majid says. “I was able to complete my masters in finance while maintaining my job and progressing in my career.”
Majid, 35, born in the UK and raised in Saudi Arabia, with a chemical engineering degree from the US, has spent his career in the energy business, mostly with Saudi Aramco in the Middle East. In his first few years with the company, he held several roles, including market analyst, process engineer, trader, and joint venture coordinator, managing the company’s downstream investment in the Philippines and China. After receiving his MSGF, he developed a corporate venture capital program for Saudi Aramco and formed a new company (SAEV) to execute VC investments. Today he holds the position of Chief Investment Officer of SAEV, managing a multimillion-dollar corporate fund. “Having a masters degree in finance opened up the opportunity for me to be part of the company’s M&A group in assessing transactions and negotiating valuations – an area I thoroughly enjoy,” Majid says.
Besides enabling Majid to advance to the next phase of his career, the MSGF program introduced him to accomplished peers from around the world, with whom he forged strong relationships and made important professional connections. “Having gone through the one-year program together as a group, through all its academic challenges, projects, and travels, the bonds of friendship among our diverse collection of people will always be strong, given the sheer enjoyment we all experienced” he vows. What’s more, he recently started developing a business plan with one classmate to set up a promising new venture.
Pressed to name the program’s standout feature, Majid says it has to be academics. “One of the MSGF program’s key strengths is the quality and diversity of its faculty,” he explains. “The combination of NYU Stern professors centered at the heart of the financial capital of the world, alongside HKUST’s deeply versed dons on the opposite side of the globe’s demand hub, made for an intellectually rich and unique experience. Also adding to that flavor was the additional exposure to seasoned lecturers at Tsinghua University, who brought about an extremely rewarding experience for anyone outside of China.”