Alumnus Profiled: Demetris Zenetos
Graduated: Deree ‘95
Lives in: Doha, Qatar
Current Position: Head of Strategic Planning, Qatar Football Association
Born in Boston, Demetris Zenetos graduated from Deree in 1995 with a Bachelor of Science in Marketing Management, while at the same time, working in sales within the construction industry. Moving back to Boston that same year, he began an MBA with concentration in Information Technology at the Frank Sawyer School of Management in Suffolk University. Upon graduation, Demetris started working at the National Bank of Greece (US operations) and later in State Street Bank Corporation, where he was able to compliment his graduate education with hands-on banking operations and client relationship management. In 2000, he moved back to Greece and continued his banking career in French institution BNP PARIBAS Securities Services, assuming the role of Project Coordinator for a series of process re-engineering projects.
Demetris joined the Athens 2004 Olympic Games organizing committee in 2002, where he worked on multiple event management projects before moving to the UK and completing a series of strategic integration projects across Europe and the Middle East. A few years later, he moved to Qatar and assumed the PMO (Project Management Office) Head position for the AFC Asian Cup Qatar 2011™ local organizing committee, and later a Venue Planning Management role for the QOC Doha Arab Games 2011. In 2012, Demetris was hired by the Qatar Football Association as PMO Head, working on key planning and strategic projects across the board.
Demetris now resides in Doha with his wife and fellow alumna Marianna Skliri, and their two young daughters, Nefeli and Natalie.
Q.: What are three enduring lessons you learned during your studies at Deree?
- No one ever succeeds without properly cooperating with fellow colleagues/students/friends.
- Don’t accept the status quo. Question everything.
- College is just the beginning!
Q.: Describe Deree in three words.
International, Different, Fun.
Q.: One of your favorite Deree memories?
International Talent Day – with the traditional “bachelor” fund raising event at the end of the day.
Q.: What do you miss most from your days at Deree?
Moments with the football team, and the annual trip to Thessaloniki for the tournament with Anatolia College.
Q.: Where was your favorite spot on campus?
The gym, always! As captain of the football team, and part-time assistant at the gym, this was the first and last place I visited on a daily basis!
Q.: Who was your favorite professor and why?
Truthfully, I can’t just pick one. It was a really good time for professor-student relationships, from general studies like Professor Marcos in Sociology and Toufexis in Music, all the way to concentration studies with Ioannidis in Information Technology, and Koutsomitopoulou in Marketing. The relationship was cooperative and symbiotic, inside and outside of the classroom.
Q.: Have you kept in touch with any of your classmates?
Almost all of my fellow footballers, and quite a few classmates! Facebook and LinkedIn have helped a lot in this process.
Q.: How did Deree help prepare you for your professional life?
I cannot emphasize enough how important the Deree class projects and group assignments were in introducing me to real-life work cooperation and collaboration.
Q.: What’s the greatest piece of advice you’ve ever received?
Stop complaining about what life throws at you, smile and push ahead!
Q.: What (or who) inspires you most?
Undoubtedly, my wife and two daughters. Especially since we are away from “home,” we rely and support each other on a daily basis.
Q.: Your motto in life?
“Be yourself, no matter what they say” – lyrics from the song Englishman in New York by Sting.
ACG Alumni: We Stay Connected!