Christian Kaoukabani at commencement

Experiences at CityU shape an MBA student into a leader

The fate of a company rests in your hands, and you and your colleagues only have 72 hours to determine the best course of action to ensure the company’s success. This is the scenario that Christian Kaoukabani and fellow MBA students faced during City University of Seattle’s MBA Case Competition.

“The competition gives you hands-on experience of the business world,” Christian, who graduated in June 2016 with a MBA in Finance, said. “You get a case study and your team has 72 hours to come up with a strategy plan and presentation to deliver to a panel of judges.”

Christian was able to leverage his natural leadership skills and what he learned in the classroom to help his team secure first place in the competition.

“I like being in charge,” Christian said. “My advanced strategy course was my favorite because you get to apply what you learn about strategy and planning, and you get to manage excellent colleagues and achievers.”

In addition to leading a Case Competition team, Christian had the opportunity to lead CityU’s first Business Students Advisory Board.

“While I was president, we started creating the structure, policies and procedures for the organization,” Christian said.

Advancing to new levels

The leadership experience he’s gained in and out of the classroom was what Christian came to CityU to earn.

“I did my undergrad in finance and wanted to get a bigger, managerial experience,” Christian said. “I wanted to go out of the micro and into the macro level.”

Along with increasing his knowledge of finance, Christian was able to sharpen his skills in project management, strategy and business planning – securing the “macro-level” managerial experience he’d been seeking.

“I chose CityU because it offers more of an applied approach than theoretical, and you’re taught by working professionals, so you get hands-on experience with people who are in the field,” Christian said.

Not only did he learn from the faculty, he learned from fellow students too.

“With CityU, you learn a lot about different cultures,” Christian said. “All of the classes involve group projects, so you share knowledge and learn how different cultures conduct business.”

Pursuing new opportunities

Since he finished his degree, Christian is ready to apply what he learned and advance his career.

“I’m moving to California where I’ll be working as a business and finance controller,” Christian said. “I want to be part of a successful organization and be able to help boost it in terms of profitability.”

With his deeper knowledge of finance and diversified experience in other focus areas, Christian is well positioned to succeed.