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Sajjad Rehman (EMBA 2016) levels-up his career in the games space at Twitch

20 May 2019

The article at a glance

Executive MBA (EMBA) graduate Sajjad Rehman (EMBA 2016) is now working as Head of Business Development and member of the EMEA leadership …

Executive MBA (EMBA) graduate Sajjad Rehman (EMBA 2016) is now working as Head of Business Development and member of the EMEA leadership team at Amazon subsidiary Twitch.

Sajjad Rehman
Sajjad Rehman (EMBA 2016)

Sajjad Rehman, who graduated from the Cambridge Executive MBA programme in 2018, is now Head of Business Development and member of the Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) leadership team at Twitch.

Twitch is a live, social and interactive video platform for gamers. Focused primarily on video game streaming, which sounds like a phenomenon with niche appeal, Twitch’s format is immensely popular, leading to its high-profile acquisition by Amazon in 2014 for $970 million (£756 million). In 2018, Twitch users collectively watched more than 500 billion minutes of footage, creating a new way to produce, share and interact with content. For a greater sense of the scale of that number, that’s more than 951,000 years. On average, at any given moment, more than one million individuals are watching Twitch streams.

In his new role, Sajjad focuses on identifying, developing and executing strategic partnerships.

“I work closely with Twitch, its streamers and other partners to empower them to create amazing entertainment experiences for our growing base of viewers in Europe, the Middle East and Africa,” says Sajjad.

A passion for interactivity

Sajjad spent his formative years living and working in Pakistan, where he received an undergraduate degree in computer engineering and worked in several design and product engineering roles.

“Following my early roles in Islamabad, I received a Fulbright scholarship that allowed me to study a masters degree in the US at Stanford University,” continued Sajjad. “That launched me into work across North America, Europe and Asia, working my way up the ladder and progressing to leadership roles.”

Prior to joining Twitch, Sajjad was Vice President of Strategy and Business Development for Cambridge-based company Jagex – one of the biggest names in massively multiplayer online role-playing games.

“I have always been a gamer,” admits Sajjad. “My passion for the experience and artistry of video games only intensified with my work. I feel fortunate that I can explore my passion and work with people that share it every day.”

Compromising career for further education?

Like many professionals returning to education, Sajjad’s path wasn’t immediately clear.

“I considered a pretty diverse set of options for my next career move, including pursuing a PhD at Cambridge or joining an MBA programme, whilst also weighing up offers to join one of several exciting tech startups in London.”

Ultimately, Sajjad didn’t have to take time out from his career to return to study.

“The weekend format of the Executive MBA programme meant I didn’t have to compromise my career to further my education. I’ve been able to build my leadership skills and grow as a professional without losing my footing in the fast-paced and highly competitive video games industry, so I got the best of both worlds.”

Sajjad says he has greater clarity in his long-term career goals as a result of his time on the programme and helped him evaluate the work that’s important to him. The balance he’s struck between pursuing his passion and building a successful career is testament to this belief.

He also believes he benefitted from the diverse cohort the programme attracts.

“The most valuable component of the programme for me was the peer-based learning and extensive networking opportunities, both within the cohort and in the wider University of Cambridge community. The connections I made have been and remain advisers, collaborators and friends.”