University of Toronto, Rotman School of Management
Describe yourself in 15 words or less: Someone with a global perspective who enjoys learning and improving my surrounding situation and myself.
Hometown: Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates
Fun Fact About Yourself: I was named after Steffi Graf, the famous German tennis player. I grew up playing tennis. Unfortunately I did not play as well as Steffi Graf. But it was a funny coincidence when I moved to Germany for work and everyone thought I was German.
Undergraduate School and Major:
Embry Riddle Aeronautical University, BSciEng of Aerospace Engineering
Employers and Job Titles Since Graduation:
Operation Management Leadership Program – GE Energy (UAE, France, Germany & UK)
Materials Manager – GE Power Conversion (Berlin, Germany)
Product Sourcing Leader – GE Healthcare (Salzburg, Austria)
Describe your biggest accomplishment in your career so far: Leading a team of almost 50 people at the age of 22 in a foreign language.
After completing a leadership program with GE, I got the opportunity to lead a team in a newly-acquired GE site. I always had a passion for leading teams and jumped at the opportunity. After starting the position, I figured out my team spoke almost no English (and I spoke no German, at the time). Additionally, I was one of the few female managers in a male dominated, highly unionized environment. However, I focused on my targets and did not give up. Within six months, I was able to deliver and change the perspective my team and manager had of me. Additionally, I set up the Women’s Network to help women (and men) to network and take on leadership positions.
Looking back on your experience, what one piece of advice would you give to future business school applicants? First, figure out what you want to get out of an MBA program. Then, reach out to current students or alumni to talk to them about the program. It will help you get a more in-depth understanding of the program and it is a great way to develop your network. These discussions can help you decide if the program is a good fit for you.
What was the key factor that led you to choose this program for your full-time MBA and why was it so important to you? There are two main factors that led me to Rotman. First, at the rate the world is changing economically and politically, it is imperative to change the way we tackle challenges. Rotman encourages a new approach to problem solving. By promoting integrative thinking, I feel I will be equipped with the skills to help organizations solve the issues they will face in the future.
Second, one of the key reasons I decided to do any MBA was I wanted to improve my presentation and communication skills. Through the Self Development Lab, I feel I will be able to improve my skills in those areas through a collaborative and effective method.
What would success look like to you after your first year of business school? After my first year of business school, I would like to look back on the new topics I learned through class, the wide variety of clubs, and my cohort and be able to say I used those topics to tackle real world problems. Additionally, I would like to obtain an internship position at a consulting firm during which I could use my past experience and new learning to help companies achieve their goals.