FAU Broward Campuses - Alumni Spotlight

Tamer Mahfouz

Thursday, Apr 01, 2021
Tamer Mahfouz

Marketing | Class of 2017

Tamer Mahfouz graduated from FAU with a degree in marketing in 2017. He is now one of the partners at Eff5 Digital Marketing, a South Florida-based agency that provides small businesses with the tools and solutions they need to win their respective markets and grow their business. "I take care of the creative, back end automations, and advertising. Creative is basically content a business would put out on their social media. We shoot in-house and provide professional videography," Mahfouz said. "I also handle our client’s automatons. You know when you type in your email to get the free bonus offer you see in an advertisement? I’m the one who builds out the emails, texts, or communications you get after you hit submit. Advertising on Facebook, Google, and pretty much anything digital is what we specialize in."

Mahfouz, who currently lives in Denver with his fiancee, was born in Greenville, SC. His family moved to Davie when he was two years old. When Mahfouz was a sophomore in high school he decided that FAU would be his choice for college.

"FAU was a perfect fit. I could live at home, take classes, and work to pay for my education. I'm a strong believer in on the job learning and FAU supported that belief. I had many professors who would say things like ‘I love teaching at FAU because the students here work hard. You have jobs, you have families, and you are working towards a better future for yourselves.’ That acknowledgement really helped me push to finish my degree despite some of my stubbornness."

Mahfouz originally started taking his classes at the Boca Raton campus, but switched to the Davie campus after a chance conversation with a friend. "I didn’t even know there was a Davie campus until a friend of mine bragged about his commute to school after I complained about driving an hour each way every day to Boca. I was thrilled about the shorter drive, but also that Davie was a hub for business classes."

The job that enabled Mahfouz to pay for his FAU education was as a black belt martial arts instructor at John Wai Martial Arts in Plantation and American Top Team in Davie. Mahfouz had started his martial arts training at John Wai Martial Arts when he was a child and by the time he was 16 years old was experienced enough to teach adults.

Mahfouz said his FAU Davie experience allowed him to explore his career paths. He considered majoring in Chemistry or Accounting, as his mother wanted him to become a pharmacist or an accountant, but it was his daily job as a martial arts instructor that taught him that his major should reflect his passions and career ambitions.

"I spoke to some of my mentors and friends outside of academia. John Wai, my boss at the time, had encouraged me to finish my degree whatever it may be so I could pursue my passion for business and entrepreneurship. I had always wanted to open my own martial arts school and run that business. I was essentially being groomed to do so. John had sent me to business seminars, instructor certification courses, and even allowed me to teach at other schools to acquire more knowledge," Mahfouz said.

"I chose marketing as my major. It lined up with the accounting credits I had already taken. My FAU Davie academic counselor who had been working with my struggles in accounting said, ‘You seem so passionate and creative why don't you do marketing?’ The rest is history."

Mahfouz’s favorite class? "Digital marketing hands down was my favorite class. I had an interest in helping John Wai Martial Arts grow as a business and this class gave me direct power to do so. The professor’s end-of-semester project was to create a website, run google ads to drive traffic to it, and sell something. Little did I know that was going to be my future. What I did in class that entire semester was exactly what I do now at my company, Eff5 Digital Marketing," Mahfouz said.

When Mahfouz moved to Denver with his fiancée, his marketing degree and his job at Eff5 Digital Marketing helped him land a job at Colorado Krav Maga as a martial arts instructor and as its program director. "They said to me after the interview that they weren’t looking to hire anyone but I was so qualified they almost had to. Instructors who understand business are very rare. You can be the best martial artist in the world, but without basic understanding of business you’ll never have any students."

At Colorado Krav Maga. Mahfouz teaches krav maga, an Israeli form of self-defense, to adults and kids and handles its sales and marketing. "I love teaching martial arts, krav maga, specifically, because it has a direct impact on people’s livelihood. I see men and women become empowered and confident enough to stand up for themselves in all aspects of their lives."

Mahfouz said martial arts has taught him a lot about perseverance, kindness, and humility. "I think if more people did martial arts for a year or two we’d have a better world. The combat part of it is the smallest and least important part - it's the primal part. But the journey to become good at combat is one that will shape you to become a better person."

Mahfouz said his ultimate career goal is financial freedom. "John Wai of John Wai Martial Arts gave me so many opportunities and taught me so much. I would love to have the ability to do that for others as well," he said. "When we build Eff5 Digital Marketing into a bigger company I fully intend to implement a company culture that involves those same tenants of martial arts, and hopefully give financial freedom to my employees while providing career opportunities that benefit both of us."