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Meet Maria Banti, the Dubai Scholar on the Cass Global Women's Leadership Programme

A clinical embryologist, Maria believes that her experience on the Executive MBA programme will offer her the opportunity to make a greater impact at work and bring a unique perspective to her industry.

by Nahda Abdalla (Senior Communications Officer (Dubai))

She is only four months into her Executive MBA in Dubai programme, but Maria Banti, Cass Global Women’s Leadership Programme Scholar, can already see the value of the programme in terms of equipping her with valuable knowledge and skills she needs to rise through the senior ranks of the healthcare industry.

A clinical embryologist, Maria is the first to admit that she does not fit the mold of a typical MBA candidate.

Her decision to join Cass Business School stemmed from a desire to develop her leadership capabilities and move on to the next stage in her career.

Unconventional background

Maria, who has always had a fascination with biomedicine, attended Aristotle University in Greece, where she completed her BSc in Molecular Biology and Genetics. She went on to earn an MSc in Prenatal Genetics and Fetal Medicine from University College London.

‘While I was studying towards my Master’s degree, I remember looking through a microscope to view a sperm sample for the very first time; it took my breath away. I thought to myself: “This is the coolest thing I have ever seen!”. That moment reassured me that my decision to take up embryology as a career was the right one,’ Maria says.

The most rewarding aspect of her job, she says, comes from helping couples conceive and realise their dreams of becoming parents.

‘Also, the field of medicine is ever-changing and I enjoy witnessing first-hand the remarkable developments in medical science.’

Following her work stints in London and Greece, Maria eventually landed a job in Dubai at Orchid Fertility Centre, where she worked as a senior clinical embryologist. A year later, she was swiftly promoted to her current position of laboratory director.

According to Maria, many of those in management roles in healthcare come from a non-medical background. She believes the Cass Executive MBA will set her apart from her peers in the industry, broaden her understanding of business and pave the way towards a senior leadership role.

The ability to inspire and motivate your team, communicate effectively, resolve conflict in the workplace, and display emotional intelligence, are all essential qualities and skills that good leaders should demonstrate. In addition to the technical knowledge I want to gain, it is these soft skills that I hope to develop while studying on the Executive MBA in Dubai programme, so that I can achieve my goal of landing a role in upper healthcare management."

Cultivating a powerful network

Within the Global Women’s Leadership Programme, Maria says there’s a 'real opportunity for women from diverse professional backgrounds to connect, discuss the common issues that women encounter when it comes to career advancement, and support each other.'

As part of the Programme, events are held in Dubai and London, where inspiring speakers share their stories in the hope of empowering women to achieve their potential. Maria says she is already looking forward to organising an event later this year, where she will put the skills she acquires on the EMBA to good use.

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