Stanford Graduate School of Business
Describe yourself in 15 words or less: An MBA mom who constantly wonders why there are so few moms here!
Fun Fact About Yourself: I am very good at copying accents.
Undergraduate School and Major: MIT, BSc Environmental Engineering
Employers and Job Titles Since Graduation: Design Consultant, United Nations Development Programme (UNDP); Head of Business Development, Jeeon (Bangladesh): General Manager, WaterHealth Bangladesh
Describe your biggest accomplishment in your career so far: I believe my biggest career accomplishment happened as General Manager of WaterHealth Bangladesh, when I closed an agreement with a very large non-profit for constructing two water purification plants in a remote area of Bangladesh where people had limited access to drinking water. The plant was technically very complicated because of the highly saline coastal water and lack of grid access. However, I worked with our global engineering team across India and Nigeria to come with a plant design that would work under these constraints. Our team worked more than a year on that project but it was worth it because people got potable water.
Looking back on your experience, what advice would you give to future business school applicants? You need to be very clear about why you are applying to business school. Repeatedly ask yourself what the skills are that you need to build and what are the opportunities you want to seek. That clarity will come across very clearly in your application and likewise so will the lack of that clarity. If you can’t sum up your priorities in two sentences when talking to a friend, then it might not be a bad idea to wait a year or two until you do.
What led you to choose this program for your full-time MBA? Stanford has an essay prompt, “What matters most to you and why?” It is unlike any other business school essay and it really required me to dig deep and be courageous. I wrote about inclusion and what that means for a Muslim woman from Bangladesh who aspires to be a global leader. I felt really proud of what I wrote as it was the truest reflection of my core values. I thought to myself: “Wow, if the GSB can bring out the best in me even before I have gone there, what will it bring out of me if I do?” I knew that if I got in, I would accept in a heartbeat.
Tell us about your dream job or dream employer at this point in your life? My dream job would be creating a product or venture that changes the lives of millions of people in a fundamental way – giving them something that they did not have access to before. I know that’s very big picture, but in a way also very limiting because I have to focus on markets that will deliver the biggest impact to the largest number of people.
What would you like your business school peers to say about you after you graduate from this program? That I was authentic, generous and fun to hang out with!