Hesitant, Reflective, Inspired, Excited… A new journey begins!

The MBA journey begins way before classes officially start. Deema Habboub, incoming student of IESE Class of 2020 reflects on what led her to this point and what lies ahead for her.

I will be starting my MBA at IESE very soon, and time visiting my family in Tampa Bay is quickly passing. I found my apartment in Barcelona. I booked my flight. I paid my commitment fees. Yet, as I gaze out from my parents’ home, I have half a mind to give up my MBA plan and forgo it all.

I have had too many doubts clouding my mind lately. Really, what am I doing this for?

Why not stay here forever?

Why be away from my family?

Why am I going back to school in the prime of my career?

Why would I borrow money again when my loans are nearly paid off?

Then, in a rare moment of clarity, I vividly recall myself standing here years ago in the same position similarly thinking, ‘Why would I ever leave this perfect place? This is the essence of life!’ Then, only a few months later, I left for Dubai to start a new job and everything in my life changed.

I found myself in a city eternally aspiring to be the best, and I quickly identified with it—Arabic imprint, independent, globalized, ambitious. My world opened through exposure to advancement beyond what I thought possible. Unbelievable skylines displayed over the ancient desert, towers, roads, canals, world wonders seemingly built overnight taught me to see beyond limits and to pursue the full extent of my dreams. Nonetheless, I still needed to be brave and strong moving to Dubai by myself, and constantly facing challenges built my character. However, it armed me with invaluable skills. It gave me priceless friendships and memories to carry with me the rest of my life. Was it worth it? Absolutely.

I couldn’t have ever anticipated the impact moving to Dubai would have on my life, and this reflection immediately relieves me of my doubts and makes me so excited to start another new adventure. Especially so because I will be going to IESE, an institution which has consistently impressed me in every interaction and persuaded me to trust in them to support my objectives for pursuing an MBA. And the best part is this time I am not alone! With amazing people from all around the world, I have the IESE family to grow, share and inspire…in Barcelona and beyond!

I can’t wait to see you all in Barcelona!


Deema Habboub

Thank you Deema, we look forward to hearing your thoughts on Orientation in a few weeks!

Pursue your dream MBA! Take these next steps today:

Camille Chow View more

Associate Director, Admissions (MBA '16)


  1. That’s great Deema, wish you a very happy and successful in your education. Nicely explained your thoughts in this article and loved to read this awesome article. Thanks much for sharing.

  2. You are very inspiring and well spoken. I think most people feel the same kinds of doubts that you did. It’s so important to push through them on your journey to be successful. I love it. Great story.

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