My time at OW provided me with good insights into a variety of industries

Jasser Al Kassab - CO-FOUNDER, SYRIAN REFUGEE CRISIS

What led you to start Syrian Refugee Crisis?

I was born to Syrian parents in Germany and grew up there. I studied in France, Switzerland and England before I joined Oliver Wyman’s Zurich office. After I left OW, I set up the charity Syrian Refugee Crisis with my younger brother Omar. We wanted to prevent a lost generation by getting children off the streets.   In 2013, we collected donations and joined a group of US and Arabic doctors on a medical mission in Jordan. We’d translate during the day and look out for educational projects where there was no other support from international organizations. We managed to start three projects supporting a total of 120 children in improvised schools. Our new project since 2015 is the “trauma school” in Jordan where 160 war-traumatized children receive professional psychological treatment.

You’re also helping the international football-transfer market become more transparent.

My role as Project Manager at FIFA Transfer Matching System (TMS) is very diverse. The project will support and connect all stakeholders in football, making a positive impact on the entire transfer market.

How did your consulting experience equip you for what you’re doing now?

It’s really about rigor, relevance, resilience and persistence.   

What’s different?

It’s different in that you not only prepare options for decisions, you need to make the decision – which comes with a higher degree of responsibility than in consulting.

How did Oliver Wyman prepare you for your life outside the firm?

My time at OW provided me with good insights into a variety of industries, work ethics and morale as well as a strong toolkit of approaches and methodologies.  Despite having done a PhD, I was surprised at how much my “structuring capabilities” still improved.

Any advice for people joining Oliver Wyman?

During crunch times, I always remember a sentence that we were told during the on-boarding week: “Don’t forget that it’s just a job!” Also the flexibility to quickly adapt to new settings is a good skill to have.

You can support Jasser’s refugee work at syrianrefugeecrisis.com