Education Never Ends, Says Fast-Rising Al-Khatatbeh MBA '18
His CEO has high praise for Zade Al-Khatatbeh MBA '18.
“Zade brings us the perfect combination of outstanding academic experiences, exceptional work experiences, ad real-world business acumen,” Xaas Acquistions CEO Steven Highfill said in a prepared statement. “He is a very driven, competitive, intelligent, well-spoken, and entrepreneurial individual.”
That was in January 2021, when Xaas, a private equity firm, announced the hiring of Al-Khattatbeh as its lead M&A (mergers and acquisitions) financial analyst.
It’s been a quick rise for Al-Khatatbeh, who went to work as a financial analyst at Bates Group immediately after graduating from the Pacific University College of Business, then to Oregon Health Sciences University and then to UC-San Diego Health. And since January, he is also working for Xaas, which provides project work.
A few years ago, after graduating from Portland State University with a bachelor’s degree in finance, he wanted to continue his education by earning a master of business administration. “I wanted to be competitive in the market and earn that edge that others might not want to pursue,” he said. He saw earning an MBA as a way to help develop the skills needed to advance a career goal of finance or consulting management.
Al-Khatatbeh found Pacific’s MBA program aligned perfectly with his lifestyle. He visited the Hillsboro Campus as a part of an informational interview. “It was very transparent, supportive, and useful to get a feel of the culture of the university,” he said.
“I enjoyed the cohort format. I made some good friends and found a really supportive group of students that worked diligently, which in turn inspired me to be a better student,” Al- Khatatbeh said.
One moment that stands out from the MBA was when a vice president from Nike came in as a guest lecturer. “We saw the power of influence and how being able to present a story, not just a presentation, is truly impactful. It was powerful,” he said.
Al-Khatatbeh's credits Pacific faculty for much of his success. “I could get support from them … they are truly trying to help you learn,” he said. While in the program, a referral from one of these professors led to the job as a financial and investment analyst at Bates Group, LLC.
At Pacific, not only did Al-Khatatbeh advance his quantitative skill set in accounting and finance, but he also learned new soft skills. Often overlooked in MBA programs, soft skills are crucial in most careers.
He said one of the best courses he took at Pacific was a communications class, which focused on effective conversations inside and outside the workplace.
“I learned new strategies and became comfortable with ambiguity in my daily work,” Al-Khatatbeh said.
Since earning his MBA, he also earned a master of science in finance (MSF) from Johns Hopkins University and certificate in financial management. He is also pursuing certifications in financial modeling and accounting.
“Education doesn’t end at the undergraduate level,” Al-Khatatbeh emphasized, “It is truly a life-long commitment … reinvesting the time and energy in yourself is absolutely worth it. The Pacific MBA was the best choice for my career advancement."