Yasmin Mowafy’s career has spanned the globe, from IBM to Disney to Google

Yasmin Mowafy

Yasmin Mowafy’s (MBA 2016) career path has spanned the globe.

“Every step along the way was a stepping stone,” she says.

Mowafy’s journey began in Egypt, where she was born and raised. She earned a computer science degree and started working as a software engineer for IBM. From there, she worked as a business analyst, consulting with the Egyptian government.

In 2011, Mowafy moved to the United States with her first child and husband when he pursued his MBA at Carnegie Mellon University. The transition was made easier by the campus community. Because she didn’t have permission to work in the U.S., Mowafy used this time to focus on her family.

“We were having fun with it,” she says. “The hardest part was not being able to work.”

Career restart

When her husband landed a job in Seattle at Amazon in 2013, Mowafy knew it was time to jumpstart her own career. She wanted to focus on the business side of technology. “I knew that was the one block I was missing,” she says.

That led her to the Foster School’s Technology Management MBA Program.

Mowafy’s TMMBA study group won an operations and supply chain competition at Foster.

Mowafy loved the fast pace of the TMMBA program and the challenges she received from her professors and teammates. She learned the importance of networking and making connections. Her cohort helped her fill in the blanks of the working world she wasn’t experiencing on a day-to-day basis.

Mowafy even had her second child during the program, four months before graduation. “My professors were understanding,” she says. “I knew what I was getting into.”

She was back at school two weeks after her son’s birth.

Creating magic

A TMMBA company trek gave Mowafy the opportunity to visit the Walt Disney Company. She knew instantly that she wanted to work there.

“I liked how the company and people talked about creating magic. I was like, ‘Yes, that’s perfect for me,’” Mowafy says. “They are building the next generation of leaders, making them tech savvy. It aligned with what I wanted to be in the future.”

Through Foster connections, she landed a spot in Disney’s incredibly selective Technology Management Rotation (TMR) Program. The program exposes participants to the company’s technology organization through six-month rotations in four different businesses.

“I learned how to be very flexible and adapt and to learn fast,” she says. “The quick rotations with highly visible projects helped me form relationships and drive impact.”

Once she completed the program, Mowafy landed a full-time job at Disney as a senior product manager.

Then her ever-expanding network helped her land a job as a product manager at Google earlier this year. At Google, Mowafy acts as a liaison between customers and the tech team, a position for which she is well-equipped. “We think about what the customer needs, then translate those needs to the tech team to build,” she says. “It’s like being the CEO of the product.”

It’s a Small World…

Mowafy has found a way to bring insights from her life experiences—from where she’s lived to her previous jobs—to her work every day.

At Foster, Mowafy learned the value of building relationships.

“Egypt gave me diversity. At Disney and Google, I’ve brought perspective,” she says. “I present a different point of view for developing countries to design for diversity.”

Reflecting on her career path, Mowafy credits Foster’s emphasis on network connections.

“In the TMMBA, I learned the importance of building relationships—with alumni, different companies, career networking,” she says. “I’ve taken that advice to heart. It’s what got me my first job. Disney had a relationship with a former student. My job at Google came through a referral.”

While she’s just getting started at Google, Mowafy is still setting long-term goals.

“I like the idea of starting my own business one day,” she says.

-Story written by Kristin Anderson

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