Ask an Alumni Anything: Wassim Daoud ('08 BSc, '18 MBA)

Augustana alumnus Wassim Daoud gives advice on pursuing a career in business and tech, working for multinational conglomerates and much more.

13 November 2020

In his work as senior director of services at Honeywell, Wassim manages multiple teams and functions such as Global Field Service Organization, Business Development, and Product and Service Transformation, including AI/Autonomous Solutions. He has led many successful technical teams and business teams, and has published papers in industry-related journals. Wassim has previously held various roles within Honeywell, ranging from quality assurance, marketing, and product management, to global operations for a leading-edge software business.

Before joining Honeywell, Wassim was a project manager for Siemens Channel Partner in the Middle East for mega automation projects such as motor control center, building management systems, and process automation. He has earned a degree in electronics engineering, a bachelor of science in computer science and mathematics and a master of business administration, and additionally holds certificates from Harvard Business School and Cornell Johnson Graduate School of Management.

Q: What's the most important skill to have in tech, and what's the best way to demonstrate/learn that skill?

A: I found that one of the most important skill in tech is critical thinking to solve problems. This skill is needed in coding, finance, human resources and many aspects of the tech world. You can learn this skill by practicing the 5 whys methodology. I suggest looking up books on the 5 whys and critical thinking in general.


Q: How can I make myself a desirable employee for large corporations?

A: To make someone desirable employee for large or small is the amount of experience, passion or drive someone will have. Sometimes being entrepreneurial and new energy are needed, other times it’s truly the amount experience that is needed. I suggest you understand what a job entails and then emphasize your resume as well as your profile in general to show that you will be successful at said job. There is a great service at the U of A that you can leverage to help you do that. Please check out the Career and Placement Services at the UofA.


Q: Do you think that the foreign exchange market is worth it to go into? I've been thinking about studying it and maybe diving into the market myself. Considering I know how risky it is, do you think I should go for it? I'm currently doing computing science right now and was considering dropping it and focusing on Forex as I do not find that my passion lies in computing science.

A: There is a career to be made in every field. Forex is huge but also computer science…I recommend looking into FinTech which merges finance and computer science. :)


Q: Are there any upcoming fields in your work that I can start looking into now to get an edge after graduation?

A: One of the key trends in the Industrial automation right now is IIoT (industrial Internet Of Things). I highly recommend you look into that and learn more about it.


Q: What's something most people don't know or wouldn't expect about working at companies like Honeywell?

A: Honeywell is a great company that values customers, and employees more. Honeywell truly invests in people, and our products and offerings do make a difference in the world today. I strongly recommend following our news to learn more.


Q: How much of your time is spent in meetings?

A: Over 80% in meetings…I average around 45 meetings per week. :)


Q: It would be great if I could get some piece of advice, how should I approach my future? What steps should I take in order to fulfill my dreams? According to you what can I do the best if I combine both computer science as well as business fields? [Edited for length]

A: I sense a lot of passion and dedication in your question and it sounds like you’re exploring what you like and what you don’t like early on—so that’s great. My advice to you is to keep up the passion and be curious to learn more. It doesn’t matter what your call is; your passion and drive will get you to any position you want to go. There is no magic bullet or rule set in stone to achieve and fulfill your dreams…it’s a lot of hard work and little bit of luck…keep persevering and you’ll get there in no time.


Q: How did you choose your certificate programs? As someone who hasn't been in school for a while, there's so many options and I'm a little lost...

A: I’ve always had a passion for physics, math and computing. That was my drive that made me decide on my field. I suggest to ask yourself what is it that you want to do? What do you find joy in? I recommend reading a great book by Simon Sinek called Start With Why.


Q: I'm new to managing a team and still don't really know what I'm doing. Any tips for a newbie?

A: Leadership is hard work but very rewarding. First we must seek to understand our peers and direct reports to better help them be successful. Each person brings on a new and different perspective and we must acknowledge it. I recommend looking up books on leadership in general but one good book to start with is The 5 Dysfunctions of a Team


Q: What motivation made you choose this field? If I have no experience in these majors, is it okay?

A: I love math and physics. I had no experience when I got into the field so I let my passion drive me.


Q: I am wondering what your best advice is for starting a good career/getting a good job when you finish the U of A, BSc degree? I am in my first year and would like to know what I can do to start the job finding process now, rather than when I graduate. A part of the reason I decided to go back to school was the bleakness of Alberta's current job market, so I would really appreciate any advice that could help improve my chances.

A: I recommend you find what excites you about computer science and follow it. Work on a few projects, read articles and books and sign up for courses/webinars to learn more about its application in the industry. Try to find summer or part-time jobs that will allow you to try out a few ideas you’re interested in. Then in your third and fourth year, I recommend you focus on one or two aspects that you found interesting and design your course load to align with that. In your last year, start applying for jobs and go to career fairs. Applying for jobs at companies you have been following will help because you should know a lot of them and their business, etc. Good luck.

The above questions were submitted by our Augustana community during the week of Wassim's Ask an Alumni Anything. Thank you to all who participated!