We talked to Rene Moawad, graduate of the Master in Sustainable Business & Innovation, to find out about his personal and professional journey and how his experience at EADA shaped his career.
Rene is from Lebanon and holds a Bachelor of Business Administration. During his time at EADA, he studied abroad for a term at Maastricht University School of Business and Economics through the exchange programme. He currently works in Lisbon, Portugal, as Associate Managing Consultant at Mastercard Advisors.
What is an average day like for you at Mastercard?
Well, it always depends on the project. Since I work in the advisory team, every project we work on is different. Usually, we conduct our external and internal meetings in the morning, in order to align with the client and the teams on the workstreams. In the afternoon, we meet internally and work on the project deliverables. Sometimes, we might finish work late, since some projects might require extra effort depending on the timelines.
What is the most challenging part of your current position? And the most rewarding?
In my current position, the most challenging part is “decision making”. In each project, we must take decisions based on several factors: scope, deliverables, outcomes and timelines of the project. Any change in the decisions of these factors will have an enormous impact on our business. For that reason, in each and every decision we take, we have to study the rationale behind it. This might require hours and days of brainstorming, data crunching and deep dive analysis. By the end of the project, achieving the client’s satisfaction and receiving positive feedback is the most rewarding part.
How do you think that technology will change the finance landscape over the next few years? How important is financial technology in your work?
I think technology has already changed the finance landscape. As new payment methods are emerging, fintech players are starting to dominate the financial market. One of the most famous examples are the “Neobanks”. Consumers are looking for easy, simple and transparent banking. Neobanks managed to fulfil the market needs with their revolutionary digital banking innovative features such as quick onboarding processes, instant issuing, open and mobile banking, buy now / pay later solutions, etc. Unfortunately, traditional banks are left behind, with some trying to implement new changes.
Digital currencies are also emerging in the market, with crypto currencies becoming a global and valuable trade tool. At Mastercard, we aim to focus on offering several digital payment solutions – these payment methods are fundamental for our clients and represent an added value for their brands. One of our main objectives at Mastercard is to reduce the use of cash in the world in order limit money laundering and corruption.
What skills do you think are most important for someone interested in a position like yours?
The most important qualities and skills are:
- A detailed knowledge of the payment industry trends and market behaviour
- A detail-oriented mindset
- Communications and problem-solving skills
- Deep analytical thinking skills
- A deep understanding of management frameworks
How do you use what you learned at EADA in your current position?
At EADA, we learned how to communicate with teammates and colleagues coming from different personal and professional backgrounds in order to reach our objective. At Mastercard, we work with global teams on the same project – successful communication between team members is essential to reach our objectives on every project.
What role do sustainability and sustainable practices play in your current role/company?
Currently I’m enrolled in several local and international initiatives with Mastercard. We have been supporting local pro bono projects in Portugal, helping several NGO’s on different projects that impact society and increase opportunity. In addition, we have been supporting “Banco Alimentar” in distributing meals to those in need.
What advice do you have for students looking to get into a multinational finance giant like Mastercard?
Getting to work in a multinational company is not an easy journey. When applying for these kinds of roles, the application must be very competitive. Hiring managers nowadays are focusing more on the candidate’s character and behavioural answers rather than experience. During the interview process, a candidate must demonstrate a strong and confident level of communication, sympathy, and passion/interest for the company. Diversity at Mastercard is also taken very seriously – all candidates must tolerate and respect different cultures, genders, religions and races.