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Market Yourself

Assignment 1
Part 1

Student Name: Ahmad Alsharif

Student ID: 201200112
Tutor Name: Mrs. Laura Lobato

Word Count: 1,528

Due Date: 9th April 2015

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1.0 Interview...............................................................................................3

2.0 Research.............................................................................................4

3.0 Analysis.................................................................................................5

4.0 Conclusion.............................................................................................6

5.0 References............................................................................................7

6.0 Appendix...............................................................................................7

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The strategy side of business has always been of an interest to me. Having
the ability to assess the company on various levels and build plans to sustain the
business has always been something that I always wanted to do in the future.
In this report I am going to shed light on what is a strategic planner, what are
the roles that are undertaken by this job, in addition to what are the specific job
requirements and career path.
The above information will be gathered through two means, individual research
and an interview with Mr. Waseem Salah. Moreover in this report I will be comparing
and contrasting my findings, in order to conclude at the end if being a strategic
analyst suits me.
I interviewed Mr. Waseem Salah in caribou coffee located in the Diplomatic Area,
on March, 25 2015. Mr. Waseem Salah was the Chief Strategy officer for Zain
Bahrain, and many other international firms, before leaving to establish his own
strategy consulting firm. His consulting firm revolves around helping companies in
aligning their mission and vision to their strategy, in addition producing them with a
stratfical framework were they can assess their internal and external environment.
The purpose of the interview was to discuss the job of a strategic planner, in
addition to its requirements as well as its responsibilities 1.
Purpose of the Strategic Planning Department
The role of the strategic department in simple terms, is looking at the
organization as a complete entity and is concerned with both their long term and
short term goals. Most of the time Mr. Waseem job revolved around looking at where
the organization is now, and where it wants to reach in the future.
It helps the company asses its environment and competitors in order to
operate internally and externally on a more coherent level. Mr. Waseems latest
client has requested him to help them in analyzing how efficient is their strategy in
terms of their market and their implantation.

The required qualifications

Companies require candidates to hold a bachelors degree in both banking
and finance or business management. However now a days they require
professional certificates such as CFA or business analytics certificate. For any
managerial or higher position its required to have a higher academic certificate
such as the MBA.
The required skills for the Job
1 See Appendix 1

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Analytical Skills
Research Skills


To be able to communicate thoughts and plans

clearly to different individuals.
To be able to pin point trends, analyze, link and
compare data and information.
To be able to find the relevant information, and
filter the irrelevant information.

The required characteristics for the job

Mr. Waseem said that in the case of a strategic analysis, the most important
thing is to ensure that you are feeding them the correct most accurate data with up
most integrity and skills. He kept mentioning the importance of data, for this job
revolved around data mining and integrity.
Honesty and
Team work


Being able to provide accurate non tampered

information to the management.
Not sharing data and information.
Being able to work with various teams to find and
solve problems.

Work place Environment

Mr. Waseem emphasized that strategic department are usually newly
established departments composed of maximum four to three individuals. Since this
department is always working closely with the CEO, hence this provides a very
competitive, high paced demanding environment.
Challenges the strategic planner face


Its always difficult in engaging the

proper people into the planning
Its always difficult getting all the
management on board with the plan
and the procedures that you are
Putting the plan into action

Hiring Scope
With the increase in demand for strategic analysis, companies are always in
the look for new talented skillful employees, so getting a job in such a demanding
market is always hard. However the turnover over for employees is very low for the
fact that they can find great career progression, in addition to companies always
having great retention programs for them.
Salary packages

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Strategic analysis employees earn between 450 600 BHD, depending on the
organization in terms of local or international. They are also entitled for annual
bonuses, and many other fringe benefits.

2.0 Research
Based on the research that I did, I found out that in Bahrain they have always
implemented the traditional model of strategy implementation and that is through
the CEO and the CEO only. And that is due to the vision, planning, and how the
management flows from the top levels of any organizations. The CEO in most
companies are responsible in ensuring that everything being performed in the
company are aligned to their companys strategies, regardless of the variations in
management models and styles, its usually the CEOs sole contribution.
In such traditional organizations a strategy department does not exist, hence there
is no job requirements nor job descriptions for any strategy officer. Hence most
employees who are interested in being part of the strategy department are hired in
the compliance department.
The required Qualification
The required qualification to work as a strategic analysis is a higher education
such as MBA or any professional certificate. Any person aiming to peruse a career
as a strategic analyst has to have more than 5 to 6 years of experience.
The required skills and characteristics for the job

Communication Skills
Flexible and Adaptable
Energy Level
Ability to Synthesize
Work Ethic
Honesty and Integrity

Very High
Very High
Very High

Work place Environment

Due to the fact that the department is usually made up of a small number of
employees the competitive levels are not that high. The work is routine and requires
a lot of data analysis and trend understanding, hence causing boredom, moreover
lower satisfaction levels. Employee will be sitting using the computer for long time,
in addition to having massive work load since the strategy implementation is
something that always have to be checked and updated. The department is usually
composed of 1- 2 individuals.
Challenges the strategic planner face

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A Demanding Job

Its always difficult in engaging the

proper people into the planning
Its always difficult getting all the
management on board with the plan
and the procedures that you are
Putting the plan into action
Since he/she will be working closely
with the CEO they will be constantly
under pressure.

If I to compare the result of both methods I will come to a conclusion, the
gathered information are similar in some aspects and contradicting in others. Hence
I will be dividing the analysis in the following manner:-

Different Information

With regards to the required information Mr. Waseem said that you should,
hold a bachelors degree in either banking or finance or business
management, and accompanied with other professional certificate. However
based on the information gathered from the internet it was mentioned that at
least you need to have an MBA to work in such a field. I think the difference in
information is due, to speaking from different aspects one is international and
the other is local.
Mr. Waseem informed me that I require a little experience to get a job,
however in the internet it was mentioned that at least I need 5 to 6 years of
experience. I personally think the reason why its different is because Mr.
Waseem was speaking from a specific aspect whereas the internet was more
Mr. Waseem mentioned that he was not able to spend a lot of time with his
family due to the work load, however in the internet it mentioned that
employees will have a lot of time. I think this difference is during to the work
ethics and priorities of the individuals.

The information I got from both sources insured that its a tough field to break
into, for the reason that it is very demanding and fast paced. The work routines is
very repetitive and includes a lot of analysis and report writing.
It also has an amazing career progression, for it opened you towards the keys to
running an entire company. With all the globalization that is occurring in the
business world, companies are leaving their old traditional thinking and opening up

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strategy departments. They require high amount of skills and character that will
give you the leverage in proving yourself; such as analytical and presentation skills,
moreover in addition to integrity and honesty.
This report made me have a better grasp what it is to be a strategic analysis.
What is the path that I have to pursue a career in this field, moreover what are the
skills that I should work in building so that I can, have the leverage. I also became
aware that I need to enrich my analytical skills more. In addition to being able to
work in a fast paced environment.
Based on the information that I collected, I can see myself thrive as a strategic
analysis. Moreover hope to be able to pressure this career in a reputable Bank or

Careers in Strategic Planning: Skills and Requirements for Your Job as a Strategist. (n.d.).
Retrieved April 4, 2015, from
Strategy analyst. (n.d.). Retrieved April 4, 2015, from
Schneider, T., & Leslie, B. (n.d.). 10 Characteristics of a Great Strategic Plan. Retrieved April
4, 2015, from Characteristics of Strategic Planning.pdf
.com, S. (n.d.). Strategic Business Analyst: Job Outlook & Career
Requirements. Retrieved April 4, 2015, from
The following where the questions being asked during the interview
1. In your experience how do you define a strategic analyst?
2. What are the roles of a strategic analyst?
3. What are the qualifications that an in individual should take to be able to
pursue a career in strategic analysis?

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4. Is there certain computer software that I should be aware of with regards to

the technicality of the field?
5. Should I think of pursuing a professional certificate or higher education?
Which track did you take?
6. Is there a visible career path? What was the career path that you took?
7. What are the required skills and characteristics that one should have or
acquire, to become a successful strategic analysis?
8. Is there a difference in working in an international or regional scope? Or they
all fall under the same norm?
9. What are the advantages and disadvantages of having a career as a strategic
analysis? May I also add are your likes and dislikes?
10.What is the salary scale? Moreover do they offer Bahrainis any fringe
11.Through put your career did you face any challenges with regards to the
field? If yes how did u handle them?

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