Alumni Spotlight: Zainab Rubab Haider (MiM’20) and her Post-Graduate Career
After living in Shanghai, China, for three years as an undergraduate at NYU Shanghai, Zainab Rubab Haider (MiM’20) enrolled in Georgetown’s Master of Science in Management (MiM) program. Haider discusses how the program helped prepare her for her current role at Ernst & Young and her career goals for the future.
What prompted you to enroll in the MiM program?
After earning an undergraduate degree in finance, I wanted to enhance my knowledge with a management degree. I wanted to diversify my learning and also gain an edge in the industry with a graduate level degree. I saw the MiM program as a great stepping stone into the world of risk management consulting and toward my career aspirations. Georgetown’s one-year STEM program seemed like a valuable investment where I would be able to expand my network and also have an education that equips me with the core of an MBA.
How has your business school experience helped you in your career?
We would always be working in teams in our classes. Our teams would shuffle every module and we would have new people to work alongside every couple of months. This is something that really prepared me practically for my career as a consultant. In my current job we are always working on client teams and at times for multiple clients at the same time. I have learned to adapt and realize the team goal while working with people with diverse mindsets and work approaches.
What is the most important lesson you learned while in the MiM program?
Georgetown’s classes truly embody the university’s values of cura personalis (care for the whole person). I saw this strongly reflected in all of my interactions with the faculty and administration. When the coronavirus pandemic hit and we were all forced to go virtual, some of my professors even offered assistance outside of the classroom for students who needed help for groceries and other daily errands. Holding on to and really embodying the values of cura personalis helped me cope through this difficult time. Georgetown’s values have taught me resilience and gratitude for having a caring community around me.
Where do you see your career being in five years?
I see myself climbing up the corporate ladder and rising to a position that is of a bigger impact to the community. I aim to get there by making efforts of change and impact on a smaller level around me and subsequently reaching that level where I can see myself as a team member who inspires those around her to be better and make a positive difference in the community.
What advice would you give to future applicants?
The MiM program is an accelerated program and I initially struggled balancing my time between classes, coursework, and exploring Washington, D.C. While adapting to off-campus living, I also had to think about my post-graduate plans. Fortunately, I had a very collaborative and helpful cohort. We helped one another alleviate the pressure of academics and career recruiting events. Along the way, I was able to foster some very beautiful friendships and soon enough Washington, D.C., felt like home.
What advice would you give to those starting their careers?
I would advise each person to be more open to reaching out to the people around you for their professional and personal advice. I developed my people skills while at Georgetown. The McDonough community is one of the most valuable assets I have acquired at Georgetown. The inaugural MiM 2020 cohort had a small class size of 30 people, each of whom came from a different background. I was able to learn from each of my classmates in terms of personal and professional experiences. Moreover, the frequent networking events made me expand my network and meet some great role models along the way. So, take a chance and initiate that conversation.