“Traveler, marketer, data nerd… passionate about digital innovation, consumer insight, and football!”
Hometown: Karachi, Pakistan
Fun Fact About Yourself: When I want to take a break from a task, I do so by watching air crash investigation documentaries. The storytelling is great and the level of detail in the investigation is just the thing to get my mind going again. I’d recommend the Mayday series on National Geographic to everyone! And yes, I still have a love of flying.
Undergraduate School and Major: Lahore University of Management Sciences (LUMS), Pakistan, BA(Hons.) in Humanities & Social Sciences
Most Recent Employer and Job Title: Media Marketing Manager at Delivery Hero (foodpanda). I was part of the Growth Marketing team responsible for app acquisitions and retention. Before that, my experience included brand strategy and media planning for multiple clients (FMCG, fintech, food and beverage, to name a few) across marketing agencies.
What word best describes your classmates and give an example of why? Curious. That is one word that covers so many aspects of what makes this cohort interesting. We’re an extremely diverse group of people (which is the other word I would’ve chosen to describe my classmates). Since day one, there has been a general curiosity to know more about people’s backgrounds, work history, and experiences. I think for a course like this, a lot of the learning takes place outside the classroom and it’s always interesting to ask and engage in people’s different perspectives on any topic, be it group work or just a general discussion. Not to say it doesn’t make classes engaging; the fact that we’re always asking more questions is what makes classes quite fun!
Aside from your classmates and location, what was the key part of Warwick Business School’s MBA programming that led you to choose this business school and why was it so important to you? The LeadershipPlus module! There are a lot of conversations around soft skills development in today’s business world, but not an equal amount of focus on developing it. It’s an area I personally want to develop in as well. Having it integrated as part of the core modules just showed the importance that was placed on learning and development beyond technical expertise.
I’ve never worked in UK before, and I think the module also helps me understand a bit more about myself and how I would approach situations in the workplace in a country that I am unfamiliar with. I also didn’t realise how much there was to know in this space and to work on before I sat in these module workshops. And the learning doesn’t end in the classroom. We undertake projects as part of the module where we apply what we’ve learnt by working with actual clients in the industry. We’ve all come to this programme with so much experience behind us and there definitely isn’t any question on our technical understanding, but I think what makes us better suited to be leaders are the interpersonal skills we will develop.
What course, club or activity have you enjoyed the most so far at Warwick Business School? That’s an easy answer – it’s the Women in Business Club. It’s the one club I knew I wanted to be a part of the moment I had heard about it, and I’m both grateful and excited to be the Co-President of it for this year. I believe the idea behind the club – to have a support system for women and ultimately help increase representation of women in the workplace – is great and one that I can personally relate to. I’ve had the opportunity to network with powerhouse women who’ve made their mark in extremely unconventional industries. It hasn’t just been an inspiring journey but also very practical one, because most of these anecdotes are accompanied with very real advice on how to navigate the workplace.
What has been your best memory at the Warwick Business School so far? Why? I would say I’m still in the process of making memories. I’ve made a lot of new friends here and the smallest things will probably be the memories we look back at, be it something as small as hanging out in the MBA lounge after class or watching a football game together on campus (which I loved!). If I were to pinpoint it down to one event though, I’d go back to induction day on 27th September 2021. We were all meeting each other for the first time that day and yet it felt so easy to engage in conversation with everyone. It’s where this whole experience began collectively for all of us, and I just look back at it so fondly. It’s also quite amusing now for us to reflect on it from time-to-time and have a good laugh at all the first impressions we made of each other that day.
Describe your biggest accomplishment in your career so far: It was taking up my first regional role four years into my career. I got the opportunity to manage the advertising portfolio as a regional manager for APAC markets, which also required me to relocate to Singapore. It was big step up in my career because, before this, I had been working for four years in the marketing and advertising agency space with the same company and the same country (Pakistan). The relocation spurred my passion for travel even further. It led to further moves to Australia and the UK, but also gave me good perspective on how to best use my skills.
Navigating the Singapore market and the APAC region was uncharted territory, but I learnt how to make use of transferable skills learnt within my career so far. It was also my first experience of working with colleagues across different countries and with different first languages, and really required me to work actively on my communication skills. My biggest learning with this experience though was to understand the importance of risk-taking and getting out of my comfort zone. Everything I did later in my career was centered around this one move since it gave me the skills and the insight to be a better professional.
What do you hope to do after graduation? I want to use my experience of client servicing within advertising agencies and apply those to marketing consultancies. I believe I can make use of transferable skills (such as project management and stakeholder management), but apply them to a broader business context, working on an overall marketing and business strategy. In the long-term, I would really love to work in a business strategy role with Manchester United football club, my one true passion! On a personal front, I hope to set up a support fund for women as a means to help them independently walk out of abusive or toxic situations.
What advice would you give to help potential applicants gain admission into Warwick Business School’s MBA program? Unlearn what you know. The MBA is a great opportunity to hear and learn from diverse peers. No matter how much experience we come in with, there will always be new perspectives to be gained from people in the cohort. I would also suggest asking a lot of questions. During the admissions process, reach out to current and former students at WBS – some of the first-hand accounts are truly inspirational! But it doesn’t stop there; curiosity continues even as we navigate the program with our cohort.
DON’T MISS: MEET WARWICK BUSINESS SCHOOL’S MBA CLASS OF 2022