Simon Business School, University of Rochester
Hometown: Brooklyn, NY & Karachi, Pakistan
Undergraduate School and Degree: City University of New York Hunter College – B.S. Accounting
Where did you work before enrolling in business school? BlackRock – Alternative Investments Associate
Where did you intern during the summer of 2015? I had two internships during the summer: The Abraaj Group (a private equity firm in Dubai focused on investing in emerging markets) – Private Equity Associate for an Emerging Market PE fund; and Legg Mason – ClearBridge: Buy-side Equity Research Analyst for a Long Strategy Portfolio.
Where will you be working after graduation? I will be working at BCG in Dubai as a Strategy Consultant.
Community Work and Leadership Roles in Business School:
Awards: Ronald Fielding Finance Fellowship
Hult Prize Regional Finalist: we travelled to London to present our business idea
VCIC Northeast Finalist – Entrepreneurs Award
School Clubs: President – Simon Venture Capital Fund, a student-run VC fund that manages $2,000,000. I lead due diligence for new investments and follow-on investments, and coach CEOs and management teams to reach milestones.
Co-President – Simon Investment Club, a student-run long-strategy investment fund that manages a $500,000 endowment.
Basketball Club – I’m known as the LBJ of the Middle East.
Which academic or extracurricular achievement are you most proud of during business school? The achievement I am most proud of is revitalizing the Simon Investment Conference, an institutional tradition that disappeared in 2008 when funding dried up. This year, we held the conference in NYC for the first time and had firms such as BlackRock, Legg Mason, and BCG discuss the investment management industry and the changes they are facing.
What achievement are you most proud of in your professional career? The achievement I am most proud of in my professional career is founding NIA Nest, a food subscription service powered by mobile savings. The business helps solve the problem of food waste in urban areas. The pilot will be launched in Karachi, Pakistan. Last summer, I interacted with both the supplier and consumer sides of the problem. By day, I was knee-deep in the operations of a food company in Karachi on behalf of the Abraaj Group. By evening, I witnessed the daily time and budget conflict my Aunt Safia faced just to put lentil and roti on the dinner mat. Nia Nest aims to solve these problems. The venture made it to the regional finals for the Hult Prize in London.
What is your favorite course? My favorite MBA course is Business Modeling. We modeled everything from business scenarios to critical policies in Excel. Leveraging powerful statistical tools such as Rand Analytic Solver Platform, we developed solutions to address the fresh water problem in the Gulf (towing an iceberg from the South Pole was a possibility).
Who is your favorite professor? My favorite professor is Mike Wohl, who teaches Urban Entrepreneurship and serves as an adviser for the Mark Ain Center of Entrepreneurship. He is just one example of the incredibly dedicated professors at Simon. He takes a flight to Rochester from Baltimore every week just to spend time with students. He dedicates an hour a week for each team to help develop and launch a business by the end of his course. This year, our final presentations were judged by the mayor of Rochester and other key stakeholders who would invest in the businesses.
Why did you choose this business school? I love Simon’s awesome tight-knit community. The support I received for my vision for NIA Nest is a great example. First, I can’t speak highly enough of the Simon alumni — without Matt Tipple, I wouldn’t have even imagined taking the risk of creating NIA Nest. He has spent countless hours coaching me in so many facets of my life — I’d be remiss without mentioning him. Secondly, Mike Wohl was instrumental in the development of the idea, acting as NIA Nest’s ultimate and tireless sounding board from both a rigorously academic and experiential perspective. Finally, the administration fully funded my trip to London this March and the marketing team helped NIA Nest put together a professional marketing campaign for the KickStarter launch coming soon.
When Julie Sadwick, associate director of admissions, welcomed me to Scholarship Weekend two years ago, she quietly promoted the dynamics of the Simon community and as I reach the final weeks of my Simon experience, I know that it is just the beginning and will take me far.
What did you enjoy most about business school? Business school provided a great platform for reflection, refinement and risk-taking. Simon has truly been a stretch experience for me to engage new cultures through travel and in the classroom. I have also been able to develop strong relationships with Simon alumni through club and career development.
What is the biggest lesson you gained from business school? Take risks! I received an offer very late in the recruiting cycle from the Abraaj Group to work in Karachi for the summer. The media and my mother did a really great job of scaring the American public of the dangers of Pakistan and I was definitely sold on the problems. However, with the encouragement of my mentors and friends, I decided three days before my flight that I would take the jump. Going to Pakistan has easily been the most transformational experience in my life. Not only did I get to meet my Pakistani family for the first time, but I got plugged into the phenomenal Middle East network, which has dominoed into my BCG Dubai offer and mobilized my start-up NIA Nest.
What was the most surprising thing about business school? Everyone will take your call when you’re a student. Everyone! Take advantage of this time to find mentors and build friendships — make sure to maintain those relationships.
What was the hardest part of business school? The most challenging part of business school was to get accustomed to the only constant — change. Business school presents amazing opportunities and sometimes it’s difficult to prioritize.
What’s your best advice to an applicant to your school? My colleagues who were doing the same job as me were making more money because they had a MBA.
“If I hadn’t gone to business school, I would be… still be working my way up at BlackRock.”
Which executive or entrepreneur do you most admire? The entrepreneur I admire most is Shakir Husain. Shakir founded Creative Chaos, a tech company that develops world-class web and mobile applications. The company serves as a platform to give back to the community by hiring talented, underserved people. I owe a lot of my success to his openness, network, and advice. I am inspired by his incredible success but even more inspired by his humility.
What are your long-term professional goals? I hope to be a successful entrepreneur who gives back more than the world and my mentors have given me.
Who would you most want to thank for your success? I would like to thank my mom, who passed away in December 2015 due to breast cancer. She sacrificed her entire life just for a chance to raise her family in America. Though we grew up poor, my summer in Karachi showed me a life of extreme poverty and limited upward mobility that my Pakistani family battles every day in the urban slums. I am forever grateful for her sacrifices that have positioned me for life with no bounds.
Finally, I wouldn’t be where I am today without the support of my friends and mentors, you all know who you are.
Fun fact about yourself: I sold iPods to the New York Knicks when Stephon Marbury was in his prime.
Favorite book: Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck
Favorite movie: The Jungle Book
Favorite musical performer: Jay-Z
Favorite television show: “Seinfeld”
Hobbies? Training Muay Thai, playing basketball, and cooking
What made Mohammad such an invaluable addition to the class of 2016?
“The Simon Business School’s Mohammad ‘Moe’ Shaikh MBA ’16’s impact on the school in the time he has been here is significant. His ideas will have lasting impact long after he leaves Simon in June to work for CPG.
“I have witnessed Moe’s ability to create cohesiveness among his globally diverse student peers through hosting social activities at his home and arranging distinctive Muay Thai sessions with students to create a sense of calm and focus. He is a natural leader and I have gone to him several times for assistance in creating camaraderie with our current Consortium (CGSM) students. He also stepped up to his second year of MBA programs to take over as Co-CGSM Liaison, working with the entire current CGSM student population as well as grooming the rising liaisons for next year’s elevated duties.
“I’m always impressed by Moe’s willingness to go out of his way to unofficially mentor our prospective students, especially those who are looking to pursue a career in investment banking. It has never been asked of him by our admissions team and is truly a testament to his commitment to bringing in the best and brightest Simon students. He is a gem and we will miss him greatly.”
Assistant Dean, Career Management & Corporate Engagement
Simon Business School, University of Rochester
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