2018 MBAs To Watch: Hashima Charles, University of Rochester (Simon)

Hashima Charles

Simon Business School, University of Rochester

A creative, genuine, music loving strategist who is a change agent and a lover of numbers.”

Age: 28

Hometown: Brooklyn, NY

Fun fact about yourself: I am a thrill seeker who enjoys adventures. I bungee jumped from one of the highest tours in South Africa, it was a superb experience.

Undergraduate School and Degree: Rochester Institute of Technology, Bachelor of Science in Accounting

Where did you work before enrolling in business school? C&C Apartment Management LLC, Accounts Payable Accountant

Where did you intern during the summer of 2017? AT&T Inc. | Bedminster, New Jersey

Where will you be working after graduation? AT&T Inc.| Finance Leadership Development Program

Community Work and Leadership Roles in Business School: (Include school awards and honors)

  • President – Simon National Black MBA Association
  • VP of Club Communications– Graduate Business Council
  • Board Member: Alumni Relations – Simon Consortium for Graduate Study in Management
  • Member, 2018 Grad Week Planning Committee
  • Student Career Advisor, Special Projects – Career Management Center
  • Event Ambassador & Panelist– Admissions Office
  • Venture Capital Analyst – Simon Venture Fund
  • Israel iTrek MBA Consultant – Porcupine.Tv
  • Pro Bono Consultant and 2nd Year Advisor – Simon Vision Consulting
  • MBA Consultant – Wegmans Food Markets, Inc.
  • Ambassador – Jump Start Advisory Group
  • Fellow– Forte Foundation
  • Fellow – The Consortium for Graduate Study in Management
  • Racial Equity Fellow – Net Impact

Which academic or extracurricular achievement are you most proud of during business school? One of the extracurricular achievements that I am most proud of is hosting the Women Who Lead Luncheon. As the President of Simon National Black MBA Association, I revamped our signature Black History Month programming. I created the Women Who Lead Luncheon to honored African American women in the Rochester community who are breaking glass ceilings. This year, we were able to increase the luncheon’s attendance by 10 percent due to the great reviews from past the honorees and attendees. It was an amazing experience highlighting the accomplishments of these women while creating a new platform to showcase the greatness of Black Girl Magic.

Secondly, I also created and produced a video project for Career Management Center, A Second Year View. This project shares the career journeys of second year students from when they started at Simon to when they accepted their full time offers. It highlights various Career Management Center resources that students used throughout their career journey at Simon. This will be a great resource for first years and other students in the future.

What achievement are you most proud of in your professional career? One of my professional career achievements that I am most proud of is creating an accounts payable training program for all newly hired, and relevant employees at C&C Apartment Management LLC. This project was challenging because it was a new system for my department and the users of the system were not all a part of our department. I took on this task, as one of the youngest members on my team and trained employees with more industry experience. This program was used by over 15 employees over the span of two years; I received great feedback on the ease of use of the training material and how it helped them do their jobs better, and increased their productivity. After the success of this program, I was asked to chair an employee satisfaction program championed by the company’s CEO.

Who was your favorite MBA professor? My favorite MBA Professor is Avi Seidmann, he always brings great energy to the classroom and pushes us to bring our best self to class every day. He was always open to meeting students outside of the classrooms to further discuss topics that peak our interests and expanded my interest in information systems and new technology. He is also a great storyteller, bringing real world examples from his background to drive lively discussions.

What was your favorite MBA Course? One of my favorite courses was Economics of Competitive Strategy with Guy Arie. It gave me a deeper understanding of firms’ competitive strategy and provided me with the tools to analyze any set of actions a firm takes to maximize its profits. This course changed how I read and analyze business news.

Why did you choose this business school? I chose Simon Business school for many reasons:

  1. The people; its warmth and vitality of community is one that provides a unique learning environment and supportive community.
  2. Simon’s analytical basis and its integrative and strong finance curriculum, which allowed me to fill the gaps I needed to transition careers.
  3. Simon’s exceptional Frame, Analyze, and Communicate (FAct) model, allowed me to distinguish myself in the workplace because its influence provided me with resonance decision making skills that will successfully impact any organization in a distinctive way.

What is your best piece advice to an applicant hoping to get into your school’s MBA program? You should network as much as possible and get to know the current students and the Admission Team. Simon is a small school; what makes us unique is the people. The more you network with people within the school, the more you will know if this is the right fit for you. As you network, try to build relationships because it helps with creating a support system once you get in. The Admissions Team will also be able to connect you with different resources within the school and available scholarships.

What is the biggest myth about your school? The biggest myth about Simon is our rankings. Simon has a world-class program with great faculty and a diverse community. Our ranking fails to appreciate the educational opportunities available at Simon.

What was your biggest regret in business school? I wish I participated in more case competitions while in business school. Case competitions allow you to use the skills learned throughout our coursework to solve a particular problem in a short period of time, providing a chance to put these tools to work immediately.

Which MBA classmate do you most admire? One classmate I admire the most is my friend Gilbert Bonsu, also a Consortium fellow. He is brilliant and is always his authentic self. He organized and led one of our global immersion courses to South Africa. It was one of the best trips I’ve ever taken and an eye opening cultural experience. He has also created impactful programming on campus such as the Rochester Africa Business Conference that exposes students to leaders and business issues on the continent of Africa. I admire him because he is always willing to speak up and challenge the way people think in a respectable way, allowing you to view issues through a different lens. It takes courage to challenge people and be willing to face the consequences head on because the diversity of thoughts leads to greater good.

Who most influenced your decision to pursue business in college? My mentor Del Smith, Dean of Alabama A&M University, influenced me pursue a graduate degree in business. As my club advisor during my undergraduate studies, he exposed me to the different opportunities available for those with an advance degree in business that didn’t know existed. As the owner of an information technology company and leader of an incubator, he serves as an example of a business leader who has used his advanced degree in business to take advantage of the various opportunities that such a degree affords.

“If I hadn’t gone to business school, I would be…exploring accounting roles in another industry outside of affordable housing real estate or making strides to become a social entrepreneur, providing financial literacy education to students in urban communities throughout Brooklyn.”

If you were a dean for a day, what one thing would you change about the MBA experience? If I were Dean for the day, I would change two things: I would host more workshops on Fridays with industry experts and alumni. This would grant students the opportunity to see how tools they learn in class are applicable outside of the classroom and grant a chance to learn about various industry topics. Second, I would add more variety to cultural immersion courses and make it mandatory for each student; I would ensure that students leave the program with a global perspective.

What are the top two items on your bucket list? My top two bucket list items are to visit the 7 wonders of the world and fly a helicopter.

In one sentence, how would you like your peers to remember you? I would like to be remembered as a connector, a doer, a resourceful individual and someone with a sense of humor known for bringing great executable ideas to the table.

What is your favorite movie about business? The Pursuit of Happyness: Will Smith showcases some of the best life lessons. He shows everyone that you can accomplish anything with hard work, persistence, and determination. You also have to have faith in yourself and your abilities, you should never let anyone tell you that you are not capable of accomplishing any goal you set your mind to achieving. It showcases what it means to overcome adversity.

What would your theme song be?  “Go Get it” – Mary Mary and “Can’t Knock the Hustle” – Jay Z

Favorite vacation spot: St. Lucia

Hobbies? Boxing, Cooking, Painting, Reading and Community Service projects (“To much is given, much is required.”)

What made Hashima such an invaluable addition to the class of 2018?
“I have had the pleasure of working with Hashima since the day she arrived on campus back in June 2016. Watching her grow personally and professionally over the duration of her program, and being able to be part of that process, has been amazing.  She is one of the most determined, hard-working, fun-loving, genuine students I have worked with in my ten plus years at Simon. She jumped right into the Simon community as an active member of many clubs and organizations.  Hashima is a Fellow through the Consortium for Graduate Study in Management, Forte Foundation, and a Racial Equity Fellow through Net Impact. She was heavily invested in promoting the organization missions and visions through programming she helped design for the Simon community.  Her “In My Shoes” event in the Spring of 2017 is something I will always remember. In collaboration with the Simon Net Impact chapter, “In My Shoes” gave students an opportunity to learn more about racial equity in the United States, unconscious biases and inequities, raising awareness of racial issues in our country through open dialogue, and students sharing their own stories.  Hashima understood the impact open discussions around these hard-to-talk-about topics could make on someone’s outlook on life and the importance of being open and learning more about new perspectives.

Hashima stepped up and took on a number of different leadership positions during her time at Simon.  She was the VP of Club Communication for the Simon Graduate Business Council, President of Simon National Black, Alumni Relations board member through the Simon Consortium for Graduate Study in Management, volunteered for countless Admission and Career Management Center programming, cultural immersion classes and trips, and most importantly always came out to support her classmates and school programming and events.  Through her work in these positions, she will leave a lasting legacy on how our student led clubs operate and the high-level programming they put on. Turning her ideas into new processes and programs, and her leadership with the class, have added tremendous value on the Simon student experience.

I am realizing how much I will miss Hashima the closer we get to commencement in June 2018. She stops in to see me so often we joked that she has standing meeting with me all day, every day. Her smile and energy are contagious, and no matter how my day was going, even a quick 5-minute chat with Hashima would make my day. I have even jokingly asked her to hire me as her personal assistant in 10 years wherever she is!  Having the opportunity to work with and get to know students like Hashima make me realize how lucky I am to be part of the Simon Business Community.  I look forward to watching her career progress, and I am proud to call her a friend and to have been a part of her growth here at Simon.”

Nathan Kadar
Director of Student Life
Simon Business School, University of Rochester

 

DON’T MISS THE FULL LIST:

100 MBAS TO WATCH IN THE CLASS OF 2018