Alexander Dantes Abi-Najm

Alexander Dantes Abi-Najm

M.S. in Global Commerce & M.S. in Global Strategic Management with a Certificate in International Business, 2017

B.S. in Commerce with concentrations in Management & Marketing, tracks in Global Commerce and Business Analytics, minor in Religious Studies, University of Virginia 2016

Now: Lebanese Taverna (family business) (Washington, DC)

Hometown: McLean, Virginia (USA)

Why did you choose this program?

I chose this program for three reasons. One, I love the University of Virginia, and I wanted to come back, especially to McIntire. McIntire has such a great education philosophy, and I wanted to be a part of this community again! Two, I love traveling, and this program provides more opportunity to do so. I have studied abroad in Brazil, Italy (Bocconi), England (Oxford), and France, and I just wanted to keep going! Three, it is hard to beat two master’s degrees plus a certificate in one year! I can’t think of anything comparable from such amazing universities.

The course assignments

The curriculum is based on a lot of group work, which enables us to interact with multiple people from the program. I like this a lot, as it encourages camaraderie in the program. You really become tight-knit after traveling to three continents together and having worked on many assignments with different people, and it has been fantastic to be a part of.  

Fun facts

I am half Lebanese and half Portuguese. My family started and still runs Lebanese Taverna, a restaurant in the Washington, D.C., metropolitan area. I have lived in Virginia my whole life, but I have traveled to 29 countries so far! I love to learn about new cultures.

Advice to future classmates

Enjoy the experience. Ten months goes by way too fast, and while school is a priority (because it does get challenging), make sure to take the time to reflect on the fantastic opportunity this program provides, and enjoy traveling across the world with your classmates.

Most memorable study trip

The most memorable trip was going to DJI in Shenzhen, China. This is a company that makes drones, and we were able to see not only drones flying, but the great impact drones can have in terms of application. The photo taking ability was great, but more impactful uses such as land surveying or rescues were fantastic to see.

Most memorable class

Business Simulation at ESADE. We were put into five- to six-person groups, and we were all competing companies in an industry. We all started out at the same level, and based on our business decisions, we simulated an actual competitive industry. It was interesting to see how our decisions affected the shareholder goals we had to meet each week.