computers and companies
a casual bistro near Picassos house, Le Bistrot
dHenri, Syed Hoda 96MBA relaxes
with a glass of wine and recalls his days at Emory.
Goizueta gave me my degree, he says. He
was a good ambassador for the business school. The
way he smiled and said hello, there was a lot of
is now a managing director at Cisco Systems in Paris,
a $20-billion networking technology company with
thirty-five thousand employees and offices all over
the world. He directs a division of the Internet
Business Solutions Group, which helps companies
be more successful at applying the technology they
already have, such as encouraging them to go
paperless or to use e-learning.
help people gain competency at getting the most
out of their IT investmentto maximize its
potential, he says. They dont
have to use our products. But if Nike helps to turn
someone into a marathon runner, and they discover
that they need newer, more advanced and complex
shoes, guess where they will go? Nike. When we become
a trusted adviser to large, global companies, it
creates brand loyalty for Cisco.
the mid-90s, Hoda was working for IBM in Atlanta
when he decided to take advantage of the companys
offer to pay for him to get his MBA at Emory.
When he accepted the international assignment at
Cisco, his wife, Sahba, was delighted.
probably couldnt have said anything better
than that we were moving to Paris! he says.
Our boys, Shaan and Kamran, are seven and
four, so our personal and professional lives kind
of lined up. They settled into a large apartment
in central Paris, near the Arc de Triomphe. The
boys sometimes miss having a big backyard to play
in, says Hoda, but he and his wife love the city.
like when youre a kid, thirteen or fourteen,
and you have your first crush, he says. And
then, imagine your first crush never ending. The
way of life, the food, the wine, the fashion. .
. . Ill start walking home from work on the
street where we live, maybe Im stressed out,
in a bad mood, but Ill be walking and by the
time I get to our apartment, Ive forgotten