Meet The Warwick MBA Grad Who's Rebuilding The Caribbean After Hurricane Maria
Saidi Abraham is leading a project to rebuild destroyed homes in the Caribbean. She says her MBA at Warwick Business School has helped her make an impact back home
Saidi Abraham is accustomed to travelling. Originally from Trinidad & Tobago in the Caribbean, she moved to New York for her architecture degree and lived in London during a study exchange.
After her degree, Saidi worked for a few years as a construction manager back in Trinidad & Tobago before deciding that a business masters was the logical next step in her career.
“In my view, the MBA would allow me to acquire the ability to apply new learnings to any industry, thus making myself more flexible and marketable,” explains Saidi.
It was a recommendation from a family member—and a craving for “a different experience”—that pointed her to the UK for her MBA, and specifically Warwick Business School (WBS).
However, it was seeing Warwick’s place in the MBA rankings that cemented Saidi’s desire to study there. This year, the Financial Times placed Warwick’s Full-Time MBA in the top 45 in the world, fifth in the UK, and it’s consistently climbed places in the rankings over the past three years.
For Saidi, it was important to have a high-ranked degree in order to open employment doors in the future. “I had no idea where my travels and work experience would take me,” she admits. “I thought the MBA at WBS would allow for global networking opportunities and relationship developments.”
The Warwick Full-Time MBA’s LeadershipPlus module stood out to Saidi the most. This compulsory module allows students to reflect on their own leadership abilities and develop their skills during the course.
Included in the LeadershipPlus module is a 10-day workshop program, which focuses on skills including building strong teams, emotional intelligence, and how to be an authentic leader.
“The fact that this type of self-knowledge was not just delegated to career development, but rather integrated into the course as a required module, really appealed to me,” Saidi says.
To enhance her MBA experience, Saidi also took advantage of Warwick’s Partnership in International Management (PIM) scheme. The program enables students to extend their study after graduation at a partner institution around the world—Saidi was a WBS ambassador at ESADE Business School in Barcelona.
But it was an unlikely, and catastrophic, event that led to her current role as a project manager in a social enterprise.
In September 2017, just two months after Saidi had returned to her home country after her MBA, the region was devastated by Hurricane Maria. In particular, her mother’s native island of Dominica was badly affected, experiencing $931 million worth of damages.
In the wake of this natural disaster, Saidi was offered the opportunity to lead a project through the Mercy Foundation, an organization that assists communities in the Caribbean region.
“The Foundation wanted to launch the 'Caribbean Rebuild our Homes' project, which aims to construct homes throughout the island for beneficiaries who lost all material possessions,” Saidi explains. “They approached me to request that I lead, develop, and execute the project on their behalf.”
As a culmination of her business know-how and previous construction experience, Saidi’s new role is perfectly matched to her experience. “Currently, the most beneficial effect of the MBA is the personal development that occurred there,” she adds. “I'm more confident in my business knowledge, and my experience on the MBA at Warwick has helped me identify my strengths as an individual.”
For Saidi, the decision to take up her new role was less to do with her long-term career goals and more to giving back. “I committed to this project as a way of contributing to the region,” she says.
With regards to her future plans, she’s keeping an open mind. “My experience has shown me that the MBA at Warwick Business School would benefit anyone, regardless of their industry or geographical location,” she notes.
“I am looking forward to taking on new opportunities overseas, and I fully expect that my WBS MBA will assist me greatly in opening the doors to global opportunities.”