After a gruelling 42-kilometre marathon in Boston, our CEO Kamran Kardan completed his visit to the U.S. as a guest speaker at the American University, Washington, D.C. Kamran addressed an audience of first-year students from two different classes for an hour each, sharing his journey so far, starting a business, setting goals, and providing them with tips and insights that may contribute to their success once they graduate.
Running the marathon
Kamran proudly shared his experience running the marathon, emphasising how setting goals helped him train when he was preparing to run several miles before completing it. He told the students how he put a lot of effort into completing this race with a slipped disc, and it paid off. The atmosphere was full of cheer and support from those who came to watch – it was something he had not experienced before.
Kamran met runners with unique stories, one of whom was a gentleman who ran beside him – he is 67 years old and had gone through two strokes and a hip replacement – yet he still managed to complete the run, which was, in fact, his 101st marathon.
The story of how he got to CEO
Kamran shared his views on the importance of applying real-world application to studying, building trust and relationships with clients and stakeholders, dealing with uncertain times and fear of the unknown, with an open mind.
He reviewed the challenges and strategies that arise in business and life and how to manage them with optimism and positivity, highlighting the importance of adopting a learning attitude and not giving up when faced with failure along the way. He then touched on the ambiguity of the path to success, which looks different to everyone.
Kamran also provided the students with personal anecdotes about how he achieved success, factoring in the hard work, consistency, and persistence he put in every day to go the distance. His willingness to instil that same spirit he had in the students was palpable. He then mentioned how maintaining a good work/life balance means not sacrificing one over the other and how personally- managing his family, company, studies and sports – which are all equally demanding and requires effort and communication on his part.
Q and A’s
The students asked him life advice such as: ‘how do you find a sense of purpose in life?’ and ‘how can you be a more mission-driven person when chasing your ambitions?’. To answer these questions, Kamran gave the students insights into his beliefs and experiences thus far, leaving them with food for thought.
They also asked ‘if it is important to know what to do after leaving University?’, to which Kamran responded saying he did not know what he wanted to do. Although he knew his biggest asset was the relationships he built with clients he worked with as an employee before starting his business (Knowledge E) in 2012.
The students from the statistics class led by Prof. Khoshnevissan, in particular, were eager to learn about developing an analytical mindset, interpreting numbers/statistics and the importance of Maths and decision making. His thoughts allowed the students to broaden their thinking and critique their understanding individually.
Kamran ended the sessions by reflecting on some of his proudest moments, which were contributing to revamping the education system in Egypt, supporting with building schools in various locations and running a variety of programmes to make the world a more knowledgeable place. Overall, it was an inspirational discussion, giving the students a fresh perspective into gaining a successful career, whichever industry they choose to go in.