Using His Network for Good
Though Ahmad Salah uses his BYU MBA network to further his professional goals, he also channels his Rolodex towards an altruistic outlet as well.
Three or four times a year, Salah and his wife, Shereen, travel to Greece and Turkey, where he uses his background in analytical engineering and his BYU MBA to tackle a variety of problems faced in refugee camps. Using donations they’ve collected, the Salahs allocate funds toward items and services such as shoes, rat extermination, Wi-Fi for filing asylum applications, and basic nutritional needs.
“One thing that really touched my heart was, the second time we went, this little girl remembered me from three months before, and she ran to me and gave me a big hug and said, ‘I missed you! I missed you!’” Salah says.
Salah originally completed an engineering PhD program at BYU in 2006, but the thought of pursuing an MBA degree was always in the back of his mind. When the engineering consulting firm he works for, Stanley Consultants, offered to sponsor his continued education, he jumped at the chance and completed his MBA in 2016.
“What you learn in the MBA program is a way to think, a way to approach a problem,” Salah says. “It lets you see things from different perspectives, which makes me a better engineer, but it also helps me approach any problem in life holistically.”
The Salahs also address obstacles refugees face in Utah. One of their projects involves helping families set up homes after they arrive to the United States. Since many have nothing, each month the Salahs help collect furniture and other donated household items.
Many times, these donations come from his BYU MBA peers who are anxious to help. Salah says his greatest win, apart from receiving an excellent education, was what he calls the “seventy trophies of friendship” from his seventy fellow classmates.
“People have been very generous in gifts, including brand-new items,” Salah says. “My MBA classmates have provided a lot of furniture and other items like computers. This makes the day rewarding, because even though it’s long—we start at seven in the morning and don’t get back before ten at night—we’ve done quite a bit and made a couple of families very happy.”