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A Day in the Life of…

By Hilary Diack

Cairo East Magazine brings you a personal glimpse into a typical day for two of our city’s young business professionals.

 

Name: Mahmoud Farahat

Age: 37

Education: Bachelor of Architecture, University of Miami & a Masters in Architecture & Urban Planning from Rome, Italy. 

Current Position: Senior Project Manager in SODIC

CEM: How long have you been working in this position?

MF: I have been working in SODIC since April 2010.

What were you doing before and why did you change track?

Prior to moving to Egypt to work for SODIC, I used to be a Director/ Chief Architect at Kobi Karp Architecture and Interior Design Firm working on large scale billion dollar projects in Miami and Dubai.   This is different from what I am doing now in that before I worked as a consultant, designing and creating construction documents, whereas now, in SODIC, I am working as a client representative managing consultants, contractors, budgets, time and quality.

I am and always will be an architect. I have worked all over the world in the construction field and as a consultant for more than 10 years; so therefore, expanding my experience to managing projects from the client’s perspective was a natural progression which allowed me to have a more holistic view of managing a project from all angles. This, I strongly believe, makes me a more proficient and skilled architect with a greater understanding of how to ensure a project’s success.

Please describe your typical day, from wake up to sleep.

I am at work by 8:30 am where I begin with a cup of green tea with lemon. My document controller then brings me all correspondence that must be either answered or distributed. This is followed by a meeting with my staff to obtain updates on progress of construction, tenders, variations, and issues that require upper management.  I then proceed to do a site walk-through with contractor and supervision consultant to check on progress and make comments. After that, I proceed to SODIC HQ and coordinate all outstanding paper work and payments with all internal departments such as Procurement, Planning, Costing and Contracts.  Finally, I prepare a report on a weekly basis that goes to upper management indicating progress updates as well as highlighting risks that require escalation.  I then drive home through traffic, on the phone most of the way, still resolving work issues.  Once home I sit back, relax and have my dinner either at home or with the love of my life.  Usually I end the evening with a movie or just interesting conversation before finally retiring to bed.

How much time is spent on paper work and correspondence?

I would say 20% – 30% of my day is dedicated to paper work and correspondence.

What do you normally do for lunch?

My lunch is basically a quick sandwich, which is usually eaten at my desk in between meetings.

What is the best part of your day?

The best part of my day is walking through the project site and watching the project come to life in front of my eyes.

What is your tip for success?

Work hard and motivate those working with you. Always challenge yourself as well as your team to be more efficient and most importantly to not be Mr. Fix-it, but rather, be the one that is able to foresee and circumvent problems rather than wait for them to happen.

 

Name: Tamer Fahim

Age: 34

Education: Bachelor of Science, NYIT (New York Institute of Technology)

Current Position: GM/Owner of Jupiter Eclipse Training

 

CEM: Tamer, when did you establish JET?

TF:  I opened the company on the 31st of Dec 2009. We have been operational as a corporate training company focusing on teambuilding/coaching and soft skills training for the past five years, growing slowly but surely.

What were you doing before and why did you change track?

I was the Marketing Director for Avon cosmetics and before that the Brand Manager for CHANEL in Egypt. I have always been a self-starter and proactive, with my own unique perspective on things. I kept wondering why I should make money for someone else, if I had the skills to create something of my own. So I decided to set up my own business. Of course I was blessed to have a family business already running which I used as a stepping stone: a dynamic team-building enterprise that was founded over 14 years ago by my mother.

So what would be your typical day, from wake up to sleep?

My day starts at around 6.00 am with an early bike ride with my dog and then I hit the gym. A good breakfast is a must, and then I am off to work to be at my desk between 8.30 to 9.00 am. One of the things I love about my business is it always comes with surprises; every day is a new day, working on our team-building projects both inside and outside Cairo for our expanding client list. The JET team exists in an industry that needs a lot of innovation and creative thinking outside of the box, so every day we look for positive ways to develop the business.

What about routine tasks? How much time is spent on paper work and correspondence?

Not a lot, maybe an hour during the day maximum. Our work program is hands-on and dynamic and we back it up with a detailed but easily managed planning and communications system.

What do you normally do for lunch?

I normally bring my lunch from home, nothing can beat that!

What is the best part of your day?

Landing a team-building or coaching contract with a client. And ofcourse, when a longstanding customer calls us and asks for another training session. We feel a burst of adrenalin when a new or existing client comes to us with a challenge. That is what we work for.

What is your tip for success?

Innovation is KEY.  What separates you from your competition and always keeps you a step ahead is being innovative and creative.

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