Going back to testimonies
Post date : Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Bahar ALHARBI, Saudi Arabia

MSc Banking & International Finance (Toulouse)

Currently living and working in resides in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia


Why did you choose TBS and the MSc BiF?

As I am a holder of an undergraduate degree in Finance and with 3 years’ of experience in Project Management and Corporate Sustainability, I shifted my interest to Investment and Portfolio Management. Therefore, joining SEDCO Holding’s Corporate Development department, working closely with the Direct Investments team was the first step towards realizing the field of Corporate Finance and the numerous types of financial activities. Nevertheless, a Bachelor degree and experience are not sufficient in terms of understanding the depth of the current state of our economy and the complexity of international financial transactions. Therefore, being enrolled in an effective program such as TBS’s MSc Banking and international Finance, that caters to academic and practical needs, was crucial to my career development.

What you thought about the programme (academic) and faculty who taught you?

It is a pleasure to be enrolled at Toulouse Business School, which offered the right mix of theoretical and applied modules in FinTech, Financial Economics, Advanced Corporate Finance, Financial Analysis and Modelling, introduction to start-ups disruptive business models, and Econometrics. Along with an effective set of tools in terms of accessing data on Bloomberg terminals for financial markets, conducting case studies on portfolio and asset management, introducing valuation methods, international financial management, contemporary derivative products and markets. In addition, the faculty has a highly qualified level of expertise. Furthermore, a training program with reputable business institutions in France. The MSc programme covers a range of topics necessary to embrace the dynamics and constant changes of the business world today.

What do you think about TBS’s Toulouse campus and the support teams (academic administration, International Student Services, etc.)?

Toulouse Business School’s main campus is located within the heart of “La Ville Rose”, Toulouse, which I loved, and the campus is assisted by numerous active and helpful departments such as the academic administration and International Student Services with a wonderful team where they add value and guide your experience within TBS’s Toulouse campus. 

How has the programme helped you (both in terms of what you learnt, and the qualification itself)?

My interest in finance and investment was gradually shaped over the past years, and was firmly rooted by the financial crisis. Hence, being enrolled in such a program helped me to understand how to deal with the effect of the recent financial crisis and the consequent economic downturn. More importantly, investment banking and finance will play a significant role in the future of Saudi Arabia. We know that the current economy of Saudi Arabia is solely based on oil export, and the government of Saudi Arabia aims to diversify their export base towards an industrial and knowledge based economy. In order to achieve this goal, it is important to provide a set of programs and financial services that enable the private sectors, SME’s and foreign investors to participate in the development phase. I believe that proper knowledge of investment banking and finance will assist in the design, implementation, and risk aspect of Saudi financial products and services.  Therefore, as an MSc Banking and International Finance degree holder I was able to identify the weakness of the current Saudi Entrepreneurship Eco-system. 

TBS’s programme has helped me to better shape my understanding towards the Saudi Eco-System. Being associated with one of the local valleys in Saudi Arabia and high exposure to market offerings by incubators and accelerators and demands by entrepreneurs, the lack of effective entrepreneurship programs was identified. In addition, since the recent establishment of the SME commission the organizational connectivity gap is slowly diminishing which is the first step to enhance the Saudi Eco-system. Obviously, what entrepreneurs actually demand in advance “prior to starting a business” is to have a set of knowledge, skills and also validation of the business model. The absence of these components may paralyze both the investor and the entrepreneur. Hence, having advice and professional engagement before and during the start of any business is the key to identify the critical steps. I co-founded Startups Zone with the ambition to support startup.

Would you recommend this programme to future students, and why?

I would definitely recommend this program to future students for many reasons apart from the previously mentioned ones, such as the friendly environment on the campus and the city, the rich culture and the hospitality of its citizens. 

Your current position and company name

I am a Co-Founder at (Startups House)

Your nationality and where you are currently living

Nationality: Saudi national
Currently living: Jeddah, Saudi Arabia