Case Study:
Fadi Rizk

Product Design

Tell us what you do and what your work typically entails.

I’m a designer. I spend most of my time trying to understand the nuance of a particular problem. Once I think I have a good grasp of it I spend my time trying to understand the why behind the why. I then propose solutions, prototype them as quickly as possible, and finally test them with as many people as possible. I rinse and repeat until I’ve arrived at a place that meets the initial goals of the challenge we were trying to solve.

How has the altMBA helped you level up?

The altMBA helped me gain the courage to make assertions and be very clear about them. It helped me ignore sunk costs. It helped me slow down and empathize with those around me. And to remember that the journey is that much better when we do it together.

But more importantly, it helped me see fear. The fear in my work, my decisions, my motivations, and fear in the people around me. This alone unlocked so much in both my professional and personal life.

What’s the #1 thing that made a difference for you about the altMBA?

It was just refreshing to see a community that valued collaboration over competition. A place that saw the value in the long-term vs the short-term. A place that put EQ at the same level pegging as IQ. It was also a place where I was able to experience—in the most practical terms—the power of vulnerability and what it can do for connection, creativity, and collaboration.

In a relatively short period, I shipped work I didn’t think was possible and made intimate lifelong connections that would’ve probably taken me months to build. All of which, I’d argue are essential for the future of work.

What’s something that you have approached differently because of what you’ve learned at the altMBA?

As a designer, a huge part of my work is seeking feedback. It’s the lifeblood of design. I seek it and give it. But there’s something special about how feedback is approached in the altMBA. It comes from a place of generosity, empathy, and enrolment. When those values set the tone for the feedback, it’s given and received from a place of kindness. And as a result it becomes that much more effective. Setting this tone and communicating it clearly from the outset has made an enormous difference in my work.

What advice would you give to someone who’s considering the altMBA or to a first time student?

I’d encourage you to shake off all the assumptions and presumptions you have about online courses. In fact, I’d urge you to do the same with learning and working in general. It’s scary, I know. But it’s also exhilarating. Be sure to embrace it and run with it. Give it just a little bit more than you thought you could. You’ll be surprised what path you’ll end up on.

How did the altMBA change you?

Everything I mentioned earlier culminates in my ability to see possibility in the seemingly impossible. When I slow down, embrace the fear, and feel with people I long to find a way. Not an answer. But a path. A path to possibility.

Professionally, the altMBA helped me make a seemingly impossible leap into UX from the pharmaceutical world. It allowed me to embrace the tension between who I wanted to be and what I was on the path to becoming. Furthermore, it helped me with developing a mindset that not only gave me the courage to leap but to deal with with the instability, the struggle with my impostor, and the vulnerability that comes along with such a leap. Reflecting on this now—a year after I took the program—this change continues to be everlasting and empowering.

Any other comments or recommendations about the altMBA?

If you’ve ever felt deep in your bones that there’s a different way to approach your work. A different way to approach your relationships—both professional and personal. That collaboration, connection, empathy, and generosity are essential and crucial values to you, but you just haven’t been able to point to a place where all those things come together and make something great. Well, I think you might find it here in the altMBA. All that’s left is for you to make the leap.

Apply for the altMBA

The program dates:
Monday, January 22nd – Thursday, February 22nd

Note: The First Priority Decision deadline for the January 2024 session is Tuesday, September 26th at 11:59 PM EST.