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Winning Voices: Shirad Salaheddine, Solutions Architect at Sprinklr

Winning Voices: Shirad Salaheddine, Solutions Architect at Sprinklr

Each week, JWMI profiles students and alumni in its new featured series “Winning Voices.” Learn about our diverse community and what sets our program apart from those who have experienced it. For more great “Winning Voices” content, click here.

Shirad Salaheddine
Solutions Architect
Sprinklr
Program/Concentration: Jack Welch MBA 

TELL US ABOUT YOUR JOB RESPONSIBILITIES AT Sprinklr

What I love about my work at Sprinklr is what we stand for. Our vision, “To be the world’s most loved enterprise software company, ever.” Our mission, “To enable every organization on the planet to make their customers happier.”

In a digital world where building innovative data-intensive solutions to connect and serve people is the norm and what determines the survival of modern businesses, the need to build a differentiating, effective, and modern solution, fast, is essential. So it’s not easy to execute such a vision and mission, yet, we do it every day at Sprinklr.

As a Solutions Architect in Customer Experience Management (CXM), I work closely with a diverse team of experienced professionals to identify the customer’s pain above the noise and then architect the right solution. This allows data to flow seamlessly in and out between Sprinklr and customers’ systems, enabling them to run their business efficiently, hence, serving their customers better and faster.

Why were you looking to get an MBA?

In 2012, a competitor acquired the company I was working for, and they made my role redundant alongside 500 other employees. After over ten months of applying for hundreds of jobs, I was still jobless and worried about my finances. Thankfully, I found a job and also a realization that my technical skills were outdated.

So I thought, why not compliment my technical skills with business acumen, perhaps even land a career in technical leadership.

I started thinking about getting an MBA but knew a “typical” MBA was not for me. I wanted something unique, differentiating, something that stands out and compliments my current experience and that could accelerate my career (quickly).

I stumbled across the Jack Welch MBA, and the rest is history.

HOW HAS THE JWMI CURRICULUM HELPED YOU IN YOUR CAREER

Since I come from a technical background, I was less focused on business and leadership. While I have learned many of these skills in the field, I am still viewed as the “technical person,” and I could only discuss business to a certain level.

While I had the chance to lead meetings with various personas from every business level, I stayed in my comfort zone by instinct, I found myself speaking about engineering and complex concepts instead of business solutions. As I became more aware of this, I knew I should find a way to become more business literate and less of a techie.

The JWMI curriculum equipped me with everything I needed to get going. Not only did I learn the concepts, but I also learned the tools and how and when to use them. Best of all, I became comfortable and fluent in having open discussions with C-level executives and aligning to their vision, missions, and future goals

Did you find the curriculum immediately applicable?

Yes, definitely.

The program opened my eyes from the very first course, Leadership in the 21st Century. I could see so many opportunities for improvement within my workplace. Each class builds on the next, and when I took the economics, finance, and marketing courses, I started digging more into market trends, changes in demands, economy, financial ratios. The Jack Welch MBA provided me an opportunity to have meaningful conversations with CEOs, CFOs, and even CTOs.

Looking back at what you thought about an online program when you first embarked, what was your overall impression now? Did it meet your expectations via DQ boards, EOP videos, faculty etc?

I did not know what to expect from an online program, other than it fit my need for not attending on-site classes.

But, I soon found that I enjoyed the challenge and the interaction with fellow classmates and my professors, even if remote. As for the learning experience structure, the curriculum was organized, and the faculty were very helpful and supportive.

And because of this incredible experience, I am now looking to get my MSc online, followed by my Ph.D. online.

HOW DID YOU NAVIGATE JOB, FAMILY, AND WORK? WHAT STRATEGIES DID YOU IMPLEMENT TO GET IT DONE?

Managing the time was tough as my business travel was very demanding. There were times that I missed a deadline and earned a lower grade just because of that. But, I soon found a groove that allowed me to stay ahead of the game.

The key is organization, persistence, focus, and staying determined (with many coffee and energy drinks):

  • Read the discussion questions (DQs) and assignment requirements ahead of time.
  • Look at the weeks’ material ahead of time, and organize your thoughts days before the DQs and Assignments are due.
  • Look for external short articles online to help you explore more ideas quickly and reference them in your assignments.

It’s hard because a million things can disrupt your plan or schedule, but a good foundation and structure will help you regain your focus.

WAS THERE A PARTICULAR PROFESSOR OR MEMBER OF THE STAFF THAT YOU FELT HELPED YOU TO EXCEL? PLEASE ELABORATE.

Everyone was extremely helpful and got me where I am today. I thank them all for this.

But, there is one person who stands out amongst many, and that is the one and only Heidi Boyd. She has an amazing positive energy that radiates. As Admissions Director, she is very helpful, always makes things easy, and responds quickly. She is also one of the reasons why I love JWMI.

Additionally, a special thank you to all my professors who challenged me, advised me, and went the extra mile, among whom are:

WHAT’S BEEN YOUR MOST REWARDING EXPERIENCE IN THE PROGRAM?

The most rewarding experience is the continual growth, confidence, and being in control as I apply the JWMI principles that I learned.

I have a newfound awareness of many business dynamics, what works, what doesn’t work, what’s dysfunctional, and what is a competitive advantage. This awareness and realization allow me to put an effective strategy forth and execute that strategy to optimize the business performance.

Please share any advice for new students embarking on the MBA journey.

Go for it. It’s worth the journey. You will go through a unique transformation that you will feel in your bones. You will grow in your career as you learn and apply the Jack Welch MBA principles. You will see things differently. And know what to do to get things done better.

Have fun while you are at it, and don’t forget to celebrate your achievements!

Connect with Shirad Salaheddine on Linkedin

For more information on the Jack Welch Management Institute, visit us.

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