2020 MBAs To Watch: Anam Kaleem, Boston College (Carroll)

Anam Kaleem

Boston College, Carroll School of Management

“Ross Geller, Andy Bernard, Kelly Kapoor, Jo March, Chris Traeger. Translation: fun, nerdy, passionate, bold.”

Hometown: From New York City, but proudly consider Boston to be my hometown for the past 11 years.

Fun fact about yourself: My siblings and I were born in four different countries (India, Nigeria, Zambia, and the USA).

Undergraduate School and Degree: Simmons University, Double Major in Math and Economics

Where was the last place you worked before enrolling in business school? JP Morgan, then State Street in similar capacities as a Portfolio Performance Analyst in mutual funds.

Where did you intern during the summer of 2019? Fidelity Investments, Boston, MA

Where will you be working after graduation? Fidelity Investments, two-year rotational Finance Leadership Program rotating through their business units and then graduating as a Director of Finance.

Community Work and Leadership Roles in Business School:

  • Michael F. Price Wall Street Fellow
  • Dean’s Scholarship Recipient
  • Admissions Fellow
  • Boston College Student Ambassador
  • Equity Research Analyst for BC’s Endowment: Our team won a competition to manage $770k of BC’s $2.6B endowment
  • Team Lead Consultant for an Applied Learning project with Fidelity Investments: Consulted Fidelity on a real-world project along with four other MBA students.
  • Volunteer as a travel agent for senior citizens to help them book their travel

Which academic or extracurricular achievement are you most proud of during business school? I am most proud of my time as an Admissions Fellow working in the graduate admissions office. Through this program, not only was I able to quickly learn about and engage with everyone in my cohort by organizing events, but I was also able to meet hundreds of prospective candidates. I learned about the different journeys people take to pursue their MBAs and heard inspiring stories about their career goals. I also enjoyed relaying to them what Boston College has to offer—it was always touching to hear about candidates who decided to come to BC because of the stories I told.

What achievement are you most proud of in your professional career? My family members and I are entrepreneurs at heart. One of my brothers owns his own asset management firm. My other brother owns a used-car dealership and my father is a part-owner of a religious books company. Therefore, I was most proud when my husband (a dentist) and I were finally able to acquire a dental practice in central Massachusetts. The practice was a small family-owned office that was open for limited hours, and was designed with décor from the 80’s (yup, with wallpaper and funky curtains included)! In a few short months, we extended business hours, opened an extra day, increased the staff and patient flow, integrated with the community, upped the marketing, and are slated to finish our first year in over $1 million in sales.

What was your favorite MBA event or tradition at your business school? My favorite event at the Carroll School of Management is the BC MBA 5K race. It’s a great way to get outside and run with your friends and family around the beautiful Chestnut Hill reservoir for the purpose of giving back to the future of Boston. BC donates the funds to Youth Enrichment Services (YES), a non-profit organization that provides affordable and impactful sports-based youth development and leadership programming for Boston children and teens. As a Jesuit school, BC puts strong emphasis on giving back to the community and the MBA 5K is a great way to do so.

Why did you choose this business school? I chose Boston College for all of its resources. I like the program’s emphasis on data analytics as that skillset is increasingly important in every industry. I also like the program’s non-traditional courses that help you learn all the sides of business: the opportunity to manage BC’s endowment, consulting with real companies, and classes that simulate start-ups. Lastly, because MBA class sizes at BC are purposely small, there is so much care and recognition in the program. The admissions committee sent me so many personal messages and hand-written letters before I accepted in 2018, and the current students had such a supportive and welcoming vibe that I felt drawn to Boston College even before I began the program.

What is your best advice to an applicant hoping to get into your school’s MBA program? Be genuine about what you really want to gain out of an MBA and what you hope to do after the program. Articulate how you will leverage an MBA to achieve your aspirations. Additionally, BC admits candidates that are altruistic and can fit into a cohort and alumni network that is willing to help each other out every day. Showcase the human in you and your quest for knowledge.

What is the biggest myth about your school? One of the biggest myths about BC is that because of the small class sizes there may not be as big or strong of an alumni network and fewer resources to get a job. That couldn’t be further from the truth. I chose this school because of the small class size. Plus, the alumni network is large and so valuable. BC MBA alums are found in leadership positions all over the world and in the most coveted companies and roles. Not only that, because we admit genuine and supportive individuals to the program and cultivate a tight-knit community every year, but we also ensure a consistently strong alumni network.

Looking back over your MBA experience, what is the one thing you’d do differently and why? bI wish I had taken the time to get to know each person in the program on a deeper level. Each time I took a new elective, I had the opportunity to work with a different classmate in a group project and I am impressed at their skillsets, journeys, and perspectives. There is so much you can learn from a different perspective than yours, and this can open new opportunities as well. I just wish I had more time to get to know each person’s story.

Which MBA classmate do you most admire? Kathrin Barringer is relentless in the best possible version of the word. During this program, she’s had many ups-and-downs, and yet she persevered. Already a mom to a toddler, Kathrin started the first year ready to tackle school, pregnant with baby #2. With half our spring semester left, Kathrin went into labor on campus. She took only two weeks of maternity leave and returned to finish the year with baby in tow, nursing in class with the full support of our professors and cohort. At the start of the second year, her younger sister unexpectedly passed away and Kathrin came back in a similar timeframe with a strong and valuable presence in all her work. Lastly, her husband, an active-duty army officer, was reassigned to West Point, NY earlier than anticipated. Kathrin and her husband moved their family to New York for our final semester. She scheduled all her full-time classes in a way that she can commute to Boston every week and stay part-time in both cities while continuing to nurse. Kathrin is admirably relentless about completing her MBA and therefore extremely successful!

Who most influenced your decision to pursue business in college? In undergrad, I was initially an Education and Math major. I wanted to be a high school math teacher. My older brother, Bilal, insisted I take Macro- and Micro-economics classes as he believed every student, no matter who, needed to take those classes. I begrudgingly took these classes, but never looked back since then. I loved learning about every part of the macro-environment, the dynamics of the markets, and everything in-between. He slowly introduced me to Finance, Investments, and Business. I quickly fell into the financial services world. A few years ago, he opened his own asset management business and I was so intrigued. I strongly desired to formally learn more about finance and business. Thus, I enrolled in business school.

What are the top two items on your professional bucket list?

Being part of senior management in finance, making key decisions at large cooperation—as an Indian-American, Muslim, head-scarf wearing woman.

Growing our dental practice into a multi-million-dollar business with multiple locations that provide a one-stop-shop in general, cosmetic, and restorative dentistry while providing warm, fun, and educational care.

In one sentence, how would you like your peers to remember you? As a friendly and smiley person who is genuinely interested in and gives importance to your ideas and thoughts, and someone who takes their commitments with you very seriously.

Hobbies? Teaching anything to anyone (would love to be a professor one day), adventure sports (white water rafting, skydiving, cliff jumping), cooking Indian food, and playing games with family and friends at night.

What made Anam such an invaluable addition to the Class of 2020?

“Anam has been an exemplary Carroll School MBA student. Coming to Boston College from a progressive career in financial services, beginning with Morgan Stanley, built upon at JP Morgan, and most recently at State Street prior to beginning her MBA studies at Boston College, Anam has brought a unique mix of work experience and professionalism to the program. She has effectively leveraged these experiences in her role as an MBA Fellow in the Carrol School’s graduate admissions office for two years, where she has been a frequent contributor to admissions events and panels. Anam has consistently and authentically spoken to the positive impact that the BC MBA has had on her career and life—and the BC MBA program is better for it.

Anam arrived at Boston College with the goal of wanting to be more active in a strategic finance role and after a successful internship at Fidelity last summer, she will soon enter the Financial Leadership Program at the firm, where I am confident that she will continue to contribute at the highest levels, meet her career goals, and do it all with dedication and conscientiousness.”

Marilyn Eckelman
Associate Dean, Graduate Programs
Carroll School of Management


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