Almaimani’s outstanding academic accomplishment comes as no surprise to Dr. Jayati Ghosh, associate dean of the Barowsky School of Business, who describes her former student as a natural leader who displayed a high level of integrity in both discussions and assignments.
“Abdurahman is an excellent student with outstanding leadership abilities,” she recalls. “Completing two MBA degrees within two years is quite an achievement.”
Almaimani earned his Bachelor of Science degree in accounting information systems from Prince Sultan College for Tourism and Business in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia (PSCJ.) He studied at PSCJ for two years as a transfer student from the Arab Academy of Science and Technology and Maritime Transport in Alexandria, Egypt (AAST.) Almaimani entered Dominican’s MBA program after spending time working alongside his father, Mr. Khaled Almaimani, in the family business in Saudi Arabia. The business, one of the largest family business in the country and the eighth business to receive a commercial registration in Saudi Arabia, was started by his grandfather, Sheikh Abdulsattar Almaimani, in 1945. His grandfather’s desire was for all family members to work in the firm, a holding company with interests ranging from red bricks to water factories, rockwool insulation manufacturing, and real estate.
His real-world experiences in business helped Almaimani develop his keen analytical and research-oriented perspective. This prepared him well for his MBA coursework at Dominican. It was this hands-on business experience that also helped him place in the top five percent in a highly competitive international business simulation. Almaimani and classmate Dorn Carranza achieved superior results in all nine performance criteria in the semester-long Capsim Capstone business simulation competition, which was integrated into Dr. Franco Vicino’s Strategic Business Policies class.
The Dominican team competed against teams from Europe, Asia, and North and South America. Almaimani and Carranza were in the top five percent in a field of 1,132 teams participating in the competition, which is designed to teach strategy, as well as advanced business finance, cross-functional alignment, competitive analysis, and the selection of tactics to build a successful, focused organization.
Almaimani now has his sights set on earning a Ph.D. in order to continue developing as a professional in the areas of management and leadership.
“I have a strong desire to continue developing as a professional in the areas of management and leadership,” he says. “I also am looking to teach and conduct research, which is why I feel obtaining a Ph.D. would be a good fit for me. I want to serve as an instructional manager and leader in the educational environment and teach business and leadership at the university level when I return to Saudi Arabia.”
Receiving an American education and gaining insight into U.S. business was important to Almaimani, largely because he anticipates continuing to work with U.S. companies once he returns to Saudi Arabia.
“It was important for me to gain more business experience in the United States and to learn more about working with business people in American companies and educational institutions because many U.S. companies have become the most successful in the world,” Almaimani says.
Working alongside MBA classmates who also work for U.S. companies not only provided great insight but also outstanding networking opportunities.
“Many of the students in one of my cohorts were American students who worked for big companies in the Bay Area,” Almaimani says. “There was a good mix of background and work environments and we were able to learn a lot from each other.”
He also was impressed by the selection of guest speakers invited into the classroom to talk with students, including CEOs from several large Bay Area businesses and representatives from the U.S. Department of Commerce. He particularly enjoyed the work on the Capsim Capstone project, noting that the experience gave him a tremendous understanding of the intricacies of business in many areas, including finance, cross-functional alignment, and competitive analysis. Before Almaimani began his Ph.D. studies in the fall of 2013, he had another important milestone to celebrate: the birth of his first child.