2022 MBA To Watch: Aysan Rafiei, Boston College (Carroll)

Aysan Rafiei

Boston College, Carroll School of Management

“A curious, worldly, tenacious, and caring person who always tries to make a difference for those who will be impacted.”

Hometown: I was born and raised in Tehran, Iran. Boston has been my hometown for the past seven years.

Fun fact about yourself: According to my friends, I have a good singing voice.

Undergraduate School and Degree: I have an undergraduate degree in Industrial Engineering from University of Tehran, as well as a Master’s in the same field from Northeastern University.

Where was the last place you worked before enrolling in business school? Trans-Solutions Consulting

Where did you intern during the summer of 2021? PwC – Boston

Where will you be working after graduation? Mergers and Acquisitions Advisory at PwC

Community Work and Leadership Roles in Business School: I helped at a COVID vaccination center.

Which academic or extracurricular achievement are you most proud of during business school? I am most proud of having had the opportunity to work in the graduate admissions office to interview incoming MBA applicants. It was a great opportunity to give back to the BC community and share my experience with potential future alumni. I very much enjoyed learning about the diverse professional and cultural backgrounds of the prospective students. I could not imagine a better way to share my experience and make an impact.

What achievement are you most proud of in your professional career? My biggest achievement is where I am now. I am proud that I designed a plan and have followed it accordingly to reach my ultimate goals.

Why did you choose this business school? I always wanted to go to BC! Before applying, I had only heard great things about the University, especially its community and alumni network, as well as the strong academic curricula. Being at BC now, my favorite thing about it is the people. I enjoy and appreciate how the students, the career advisors, the professors, and the alumni are only an email away. It’s effortless to communicate with one another and contribute to building a stronger BC network.

Who was your favorite MBA professor? I have a list of favorite professors but if I must name only one professor, I will say Robert Cramer. In teaching Investment Banking, Professor Cramer conducts classes in a conversational format and provides students with many real-life IB-related examples from the past and the present. I found his class to be intriguing.

What was your favorite MBA event or tradition at your business school? I liked the BC Business Day event for accepted students. I got to meet my soon to-be classmates and friends, as well as my career advisor and the admissions team. The event planted that “BC feeling” in me, the feeling of being part of a great community that is truly inclusive and welcoming. I very much appreciated and enjoyed my first conversation about career opportunities with my career advisor and Associate Dean of Graduate Programs Marilyn Eckelman. Even though my classes would only start five months later, it was during that event that I really felt like my MBA journey had begun.

Looking back over your MBA experience, what is the one thing you’d do differently and why? At BC, during the second year all students – including those in the full-time MBA, part-time MBA, MSA, and MSF programs – take the same classes. It would have been an awesome chance to actively make connections. I still made a fair number of connections, but did not completely take advantage of the opportunity.

What is the biggest myth about your school? Many students interested in BC take the strong BC network as a given resource ready to be utilized. However, I have realized that all students need to leverage their strengths, create their own position within the BC network, and take it upon themselves to actively contribute to it.

What surprised you the most about business school? That business school is just a beginning of the path into the business world.

What is one thing you did during the application process that gave you an edge at the school you chose? I attended almost all of the informational sessions held by the admissions office and tried to talk to as many students as I could. After speaking to a good number of students in the program, I had a decent idea of what it takes to be successful during the application process, the program itself, and post-graduation.

Which MBA classmate do you most admire? This is the hardest question of this series. I admire so many of my classmates. If I must narrow down to one person, I will say Rudy Klein. In addition to being a great friend, Rudy is very resourceful and always makes sure to contribute to his peers and class discussions in the most comprehensive way. He takes the time to give the most well-thought out and accurate answers.

Who most influenced your decision to pursue business in college? Because I knew that I wanted to become a consultant, from early on I tried to approach a role model who had already been through a similar path, someone who had a vision and could coach me as I navigated my way through this journey. I’ve been fortunate to have my coach all along who has had a great influence on me and has helped me keep on track.

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

1) Becoming a partner in one of the top consulting companies.

2) Helping bright and talented individuals to venture out on their business ideas.

How has the pandemic changed your view of a career? The fact that most people can work out of their homes shows that workplaces could have, in fact, offered great flexibility all along. While remote work is not my preferred choice, I believe that, wherever possible, workers should continue have the flexibility to either work remotely or in the office.

What made Aysan such an invaluable addition to the Class of 2022?

“It’s been a privilege to have Aysan in the MBA program at Boston College. With a bachelor’s and master’s degree in industry engineering, traditionally a male-dominated field, Aysan came to BC equipped with a methodical and determined—and gracious—way of doing things. She also came here with an open mind. I recall Aysan’s attendance at many of our admissions events during her application process, where she would take the time to get to know admissions staff and other attendees, and truly observe and absorb all that BC has to offer.

It goes without saying that Aysan has found success at BC. She performs at the highest academic levels, and despite her many academic and professional commitments, continues to generously give her time and energy to support her fellow students. This aspect of Aysan’s ability to naturally connect with others has allowed her to immerse herself in the BC MBA community, as well as thrive in her role as an MBA student interviewer in the Admissions Office.

I’m excited that Aysan’s future is just beginning, and look forward to seeing all that she will achieve. For now, she will be joining a mergers and acquisitions team PwC this May, after having interned in the firm last summer.”

Marilyn Eckelman
Associate Dean, Graduate Programs, Carroll School of Management


Questions about this article? Email us or leave a comment below.