Meet Rochester Simon’s MBA Class Of 2021

Mohammed Faiyak Zaman

Simon Business School at the University of Rochester

“Curious and open-minded, focused on growth and a believer in laughter!”

Hometown: Dhaka, Bangladesh

Fun Fact About Yourself: I wrote a couple of songs in my undergraduate days that were recorded in a studio, videotaped and played in campus events!

Undergraduate School and Major: Institute of Business Administration (IBA)- University of Dhaka. Major- Finance

Most Recent Employer and Job Title: Vice President and Relationship Manager, Commercial Banking, HSBC

Describe your biggest accomplishment in your career so far: We were trying to bank with a subsidiary of a multinational customer in Bangladesh for over a year. After working both with the client’s local team and regional team in Singapore and carving out the deal structure along with the legal clauses, I successfully booked the customer. When we issued the first letter of credit for the customer for over USD 5 million, I felt a great sense of achievement as I could see the hard work pay off. The deal generated incremental revenue of USD 150K for the bank leading to substantial growth in my portfolio.

What quality best describes the MBA classmates you’ve met so far and why? We at Simon are a tight-knit group of aspiring students with a strong desire to connect and perform at our level best. I admire my classmates for being collaborative, driven and unscathed in the face of challenge.

Rochester Simon is known for being “unabashedly analytical.” Why does the program’s focus on quantitative analysis and decision-making appeal to you? How do you intend to leverage this approach as a student and professional? As a professional, I prefer to use my intuitive skill of dealing with numbers to keep up with deals and projects that I work on. Simon’s focus on quantitative rigor in each academic semester not only helps me sharpen my analytical skills but also offers tools to strengthen by abilities.

Aside from your classmates, 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? Coming from a small-sized undergraduate program, I appreciate the value of a close-knit community. Simon graduates are very much in touch with the career management center and ready to support the students in carving out the right career path. The career peers from second-year MBAs and the recent graduates are a key factor in the process. Any newcomer will always feel welcome in this collaborative environment.

What club or activity are you looking most forward to in business school? Simon Finance and Investment Club, Simon School Venture Fund

What was the most challenging question you were asked during the admissions process? The most challenging question asked in the admission process was why you wanted to join Simon. This seemingly harmless question needs a lot of background research, study and interacting with current students to find out the culture of the school and why it is valuable to you. Knowing the strengths of the program and how can that help you in the process is the first and foremost idea that one needs to be cleared about.

What led you to pursue an MBA at this point in your career? As a professional working in the banking industry for seven years, I wanted to take on newer challenges that will further my skill set and career. Pursuing an MBA at this phase offered the best chance to go through the academic rigor and explore career options that will lead me towards that goal.

What other MBA programs did you apply to? NYU Stern, Columbia, Duke

How did you determine your fit at various schools? As I planned to improve my finance skills and work in the investment banking sector, I wanted to stay close to New York City. Proximity to NYC, strong alumni network, and a rigorous focus on being analytical were the top priorities for me in choosing Simon.

I used school websites, other open-source materials to read about the program, and speak with current students to determine the cultural fit. Simon schedules scholarship weekend and pre-orientation programs to visit the school and mingle with admission staff and students, which is also a great opportunity to learn more about Simon and the different career paths that students pursue.

What was your defining moment and how did it shape who you are? I will not point out to a single event, rather an accumulation of events that has shaped me over time. I love to travel, experience diverse cultures and foods, take part in adventurous sports and enjoy nature. Coming from a small country such as Bangladesh, every step I am taking is an adventure. I am grateful for all the opportunities that I have had to travel and experience the world as this curious mindset remains a constant the driving force behind me.

Where do you see yourself in ten years? I see myself as an investment banking professional carving out instrumental deals for the largest corporations in the world.

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