Meet MIT Sloan’s MBA Class of 2018


Anum Hussain

MIT, Sloan School of Management

Describe yourself in 15 words or less: I’m the not-as-brilliant but just as annoying, Ravenclaw version of Hermione. Beyoncé is my patronus.

Hometown: Windham, NH

Fun Fact About Yourself: I’m the first member of my immediate and extended family to be born in the United States.

Undergraduate School and Major: Emerson College, Journalism & Marketing Comm

Employers and Job Titles Since Graduation:

Company: HubSpot, marketing and sales software company

Roles: Inbound Marketing Intern, Content Strategist, Growth Marketer, Senior Growth Marketer / Team Manager

Describe your biggest accomplishment in your career so far: In 2014, I joined a startup division within my company aimed at moving the business into a new market. As a member of an early-stage growth team, my task was to build a new content marketing presence from scratch for a freemium business, and then prove its ability to generate new product users. If I could do so as a one-woman machine, I’d be allotted budget to scale the operation. There were exactly zero examples within the tech industry for me to turn to for insight on how such a content framework works for a freemium product.

Within six months, I launched the content presence, including some standalone content pieces that garnered upwards of 1,000 new users of our product in a single week. My next challenge was to hire and train a team of marketers to scale these efforts and weave in new waves of experiments to our constantly maturing playbook. With guidance from my manager, I hired three full-time growth marketers and two interns, and off we went. Of course, managing a five-person team at age 25 was daunting. I was afraid that my team wouldn’t respect me or see me as someone they could learn truly from. To ensure I was ready, my manager tested me through a week-long boot camp where I had to get all five new crew members up-to-speed and moving in the right direction. I somehow passed the test, was promoted to Senior Growth Marketer, and learned more than I could imagine. I also miss that team every day, and hope that our time together was valuable to their own career journeys. 

Looking back on your experience, what advice would you give to future business school applicants?  I’d like to pass on one of the best pieces of advice given to me during my application process: Invest your money wisely, if at all. Business school is a steep investment. It takes a strong jab at your financial situation. On top of that, there’s a number of trips and extracurriculars you’ll want to allocate funds to. Don’t make your overall financial situation worse by spending huge heaps of money on the extras to try and feel like you’re increasing your chances. Everything you need to know about writing essays is hidden in your own personal journey.

It’s simply about writing enough drafts and doing enough self-exploration to eventually land on your golden ticket story. Everything you need to learn to dominate the GMAT (or in my case, just barely get a score that isn’t embarrassing) is in the test-prep booklets. It’s just about having the patience to work through problems over and over until you get it, or about having the confidence that you’re ready to take the exam. It’s easy to spend money when you’re still making it, but that monthly income will diminish as quickly as your monthly graduate bills come in. Invest in yourself, not in others. Invest in your time, not your money.

What led you to choose this program for your full-time MBA? Throughout MIT’s admissions events, you hear one phrase often: Past performance as a predictor for future success. This phrase truly stuck to me, and I even spoke to it in a post on Medium. While applying to other programs, I was asked about my exact goals after business goal and my exact job prospects after business school. It was as if I needed to have my entire life figured out, but was looking for a graduate “stamp of approval” for the world. But in my case, I truly didn’t know what I wanted my future to be. I know I want a meaningful career infused with an entrepreneurial spirit, but I can’t tell you exactly what that is yet. I appreciate MIT’s mission in bringing together creative minds and passionate personalities to pave new possibilities as a collective force. I look forward to learning from those around me, giving to those around me, and building a future for myself.

Tell us about your dream job or dream employer at this point in your life? I hope to carve out a meaningful career for myself infused with an entrepreneurial spirit, creative energy, and a mission for helping the communities that matter to me. At this point, the only job I truly dream about is being the successful COO of a billion-dollar theme park where people travel to from all around the world to be mesmerized and spooked. The role involves casually running in heels from dinosaurs and saving the world. And yes, my dream job is being Claire from Jurassic World.

What would you like your business school peers to say about you after you graduate from this program?   I hope they enjoy and understand my creative and positive outlook on life. Negativity only poisons the people around you.

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