Mashiyaneh Hatam Abadi educational and professional background is as diverse as it is impressive. With experience in architecture, real estate, trading, entrepreneurship, and business management & consulting, she’s currently finishing her DBA at Grenoble Ecole de Management—one more stepping stone in her pursuit of knowledge and multiculturalism.
A self-described knowledge enthusiast, Mashiyaneh is originally from Iran and has been living in Dubai for the past twenty-two years. “Over the past decade, Middle Eastern women have come a long way. UAE is a great example of a Middle Eastern country where women are constantly encouraged to thrive in politics, education, business, entrepreneurship and philanthropy. I’m blessed to be surrounded by very successful female business owners, entrepreneurs and educators who constantly raise the bar and motivate others to challenge boundaries. We’re introducing the 21st century Middle Eastern woman, a woman who is not only successful, well educated, resilient and hard working, but who also embraces her femininity and isn’t afraid to express vulnerabilities. We as women are the guardians of our culture and heritage. We feel it’s our responsibility to infuse the vision of a modern woman with our cultural values and beliefs,” exclaims Mashiyaneh.
Why the emphasis on knowledge?
“I used to see education and a university degree as an end-goal, but I’ve learned to appreciate knowledge for its own sake. At GEM, I witnessed the commitment and passion of professors in terms of acquiring and sharing knowledge. It gave me a new perspective on the meaning of education.”
With a bachelor’s in architecture, an MBA and soon a DBA, this perspective fits perfectly with Mashiyaneh’s lifestyle. And apparently, it’s a lifestyle that appeals to many of her 21.5K followers on Instagram. “People reach out to me for advice on education and business decisions. So, I’m committed to sharing the knowledge I acquire. Instagram is my way of giving back to society using a language that tech-savvy generations understand. By representing a living image of this lifestyle, I share with them how it’s possible to develop a successful mindset. I don’t only talk the talk, but also walk the walk and share it with people daily through stories and posts on Instagram.”
An opportunity for multicultural growth
Most of Mashiyaneh’s education and professional experience has taken place in the Middle East. While Dubai is a melting pot of numerous nationalities, she still felt the need to discover another perspective on business, education and culture. “I’m passionate about the role culture plays in our everyday life and decision-making processes as well as how it impacts business at national and international levels. With this comes a curiosity about the impact of cultural differences on business interactions and managerial decision making. As a result, my doctoral thesis is focused on the topic of cultural evolutions in traditional organizations.”
The DBA at GEM...
When choosing her DBA, Mashiyaneh considered a few essential factors. “The school’s accreditations ensured it was on the short list. But the deciding factors were the culturally diverse faculty and students as well as the expertise of professors in areas related to my research. The diversity of students has opened new doors to friendships and business opportunities.”
...A life changing experience
Before starting her DBA, Mashiyaneh was already juggling a consulting business, helping run the family business, and being involved in other projects such as offering mentorship for younger generations. “The DBA was a life changing experience because it forced me to evolve my lifestyle and mindset. It has pushed me to become more efficient, focused and better at time management. It also provided me with the skills to link theoretical ideas to their broader implications in the business world.”
In addition, Mashiyaneh fondly remembers her first interaction with her DBA advisor, who at that time was on maternity leave. “Even though it was the middle of winter and my advisor had to take a long train ride with her baby to come meet me, she still made it. I will never forget her commitment and kindness towards me. It taught me a great lesson about responsibility.”