Zena Massaad, 35, was born and raised in Syria. An architect by training, she holds a series of degrees from Syria, France and Germany. She is currently a Senior Architect at PMS AG in Berlin, and is also involved with the NGO, Space2Grow, which won first place in the Deutscher Integrationpreis (2018) and was nominated for the Deutscher Engagementpreis (2019). To find out more about their work, visit www.space2grow.de.
Challenge, diversity, and a welcoming atmosphere
Studying in Germany was an easy choice for me, as it’s simply the most attractive destination in the EU for international students. When it came to selecting a city and an institution, IU (formerly known as IUBH) Berlin was top of my list: a highly regarded, state-accredited business university in a fabulous, diverse and exciting global hub – what more could I want! From my first day at IU (formerly known as IUBH), I felt at home. The atmosphere was so welcoming, and I made so many new friends from a wide range of backgrounds. Indeed, it was this diversity amongst the students that I enjoyed most about my IU (formerly known as IUBH) experience. As for the professors and faculty, I found them great – so friendly and helpful. It was true that the workload could get intense, but that just gave me a reason to work on my time management skills! All in all, studying at IU (formerly known as IUBH) was amazing, a relatively short period of time in which I learned and experienced more than I ever expected.
Two path towards fulfilment
After graduating from IU (formerly known as IUBH), I decided to remain in Berlin. My life took two paths: the passion and the career. On the passion side, I became involved with Space2Grow, an NGO founded by my friend, offering and education to women of colour who have recently arrived in Germany, helping them to get settled in their new home. On the career side, I secured a position as Senior Architect with PMS AG. We work on major public renovation projects, for example the Theater an der Parkaue in Berlin and the Velodrom in Regensburg. In both my passion and my career, the skills and competencies I learned during my MBA at IU (formerly known as IUBH) have made a big difference in wide variety of ways. These include working as a part of a team, managing projects, planning strategies, collaborating with stakeholders, and more. My ambition is to rise to a leadership position where I can use my architecture assets while focusing more on management.