“Thanks to this course, my skills are up-to-date and I’m ready for the future!” Testimonial by Mrs Fatima El Mrabti, 2016 MBA holder from Montpellier Business School


On Friday 27 January, Mrs Fatima El Mrabti will officially receive an MBA from the Montpellier Business School, along with a hundred other graduates from the classes of 2015 and 2016. Supported by a solidarity-based economy for 12 years, she has just become the manager of the Social and Educational division of the DeFI — an organisation for development, training and integration — in Montpellier. Dedicated and hoping to establish a foundation for social economy herself, she looks back on her experience and the values she shares with MBS.

“For me, symbolic goodwill is important because it is imperative that we neutralise symbolic violence in order to escape the state of exclusion. Diversity and equal opportunity are very important in my daily life, so I feel perfectly aligned with the values of MBS,” began Mrs Fatima El Mrabti. “I have 22 years of practical experience in different industries, including commerce, sales, property, and national education — it's been 12 years since I joined the DeFI association. But on a personal level I felt frustrated because I never had a higher education degree, even though I felt that I had the ability and the personal and business skills to obtain one. So I told myself that I would try to enrol at the best school, which for me is Montpellier Business School.”

Almost two years later, Mrs Fatima El Mrabti gives us her initial reflection on this intense experience. “I was like a sponge during the 18 months of the Executive MBA programme. Now that my skills are up-to-date, I can look ahead, develop a vision, come up with ideas, put strategies in place... Interacting with the other students was also a very valuable experience. I discovered new fields, such as the food industry and even the health industry. During group work, when you’re in contact with others, you gain knowledge of several areas of business. In addition, our professors provided us with a great deal of support and I have always appreciated the qualities of the academic team.”

Last November, Mrs Fatima El Mrabti completed her course by defending her thesis in front of the board of examiners. An entirely successful defence, as she explained to us. “I could not believe that I achieved the mention ‘Excellent’! The thesis took 500 hours of relentless work which required a great deal of introspection, and I had doubts right up until the last minute. I knew that I had gone in the right direction but I really wanted to deliver a high-quality piece of work on a subject that is close to my heart: ‘The perception of entrepreneurship amongst troubled youths: an approach through the use of symbolic violence’, under the guidance of Dr Walid. A Nakara, whom I would like to thank for his advice and his excellent support.”

Looking to the future, Fatima El Mrabti plans to put her expertise to good use by setting up a foundation. “I am working on a business plan but I already have about forty people who are interested in starting the project with me. My thesis also gave me the idea of setting up a research committee to work on educational programmes, based on the materials already available. This committee will form part of my start-up foundation, but I must have a business plan before anything else.”

The MBA team at Montpellier Business School congratulates Mrs Fatima El Mrabti and wishes her, and all the new MBA holders of the classes of 2015 and 2016, all the best!