2022 MBA To Watch: S. Jalal Rahman, University of Pittsburgh (Katz)

S. Jalal Rahman

University of Pittsburgh, Joseph M. Katz Graduate School of Business

“Self-driven, passionate about life, empathetic and relationship-builder.”

Hometown: Hazaribagh (Jharkhand), India

Fun fact about yourself: After completing approximately 30 marathons, I had the privilege to participate in the world’s highest marathon – The Ladakh Marathon (Leh, India) at a height of 3500m above the sea level.

Undergraduate School and Degree:

Bachelor of Pharmacy (Jamia Hamdard, Delhi, India)

MBA-Pharmaceuticals Management (Narsee Monjee Institute of Management Studies, Mumbai, India)

Where was the last place you worked before enrolling in business school? GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) Asia, Global Marketing Manager

Where did you intern during the summer of 2021? N/A

Where will you be working after graduation? Syneos Health, Consultant

Community Work and Leadership Roles in Business School:

Leadership:

  • President, Katz Business Healthcare Club
  • Vice President, Katz Consulting Club
  • Vice President, Katz Corporate Sustainability Club
  • Accelerated MBA (1-year) Student Ambassador

Fellowship:

  • BNY Fellow for Diversity & Inclusion

Community:

  • Participated in the 2022 Super Analytics challenge to address food insecurity and hunger in the Greater Pittsburgh area (Pennsylvania, USA)

Which academic or extracurricular achievement are you most proud of during business school? Before coming to Katz, I was passionate about joining the Business Healthcare Club (BHC). As President of BHC and with support of strong leadership team, we have been able to bring renewed energy to the club.

Today the leadership team of BHC holds diverse events including alumni panel discussions, networking sessions, and health awareness campaigns which are focused towards driving awareness and opportunities within the healthcare space for students. To be able to meet and exceed the expectations of fellow classmates has been my proudest moment at Katz.

What achievement are you most proud of in your professional career? During my first job as Project Assistant with World Health Organization (WHO), I had the opportunity to work on a project for the Indian Pharmacopoeia Commission (IPC), Ministry of Health, Government of India. The goal of the project was to build and shape the 4th edition of the National Formulary of India (NFI) document, since the previous edition was almost three decades old. In order to identify key content gaps and critical updates, I had to interact with wide range of key stakeholders (Physicians, Specialists, Pharmacists, Pharmacologists, Academicians). Feedback from these stakeholders was critical to identify and assess the needs of existing practitioners. The project was performed at the two premier healthcare institutes of India: All India Institute of Medical Science (AIIMS, Delhi, India) and Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education (PGIMER, Chandigarh, India). The opportunity to work closely with renowned clinicians, scientists and academicians made it very special and memorable.

Why did you choose this business school? Katz has one of the oldest yet robust Accelerated MBA (1-year) programs in the USA. Right from my interview day, the Katz community felt like a family to me, whether it was faculty, staff, or students. I still remember the discussions that I had with my career management counselor, Katie Bennett, from my interview day and how easy she made it look for me to choose Katz.

I think it comes naturally with every Katz student to focus on your interests and understand what you want from the program rather than force-fitting the program on you. Most importantly, Katz is well known for its collaborative culture and the whole incentive of learning from peers from diverse backgrounds inclined me further to join Katz.

On a personal front, my brother Shuja Rahman also got admitted to Katz for his MBA/MIS program, which made my decision easier and even more exciting.

Who was your favorite MBA professor? All the Professors at Katz that have taught me are special and amazing. If I had to list my favorite, it would be Professor Elise Boyas. She made the toughest of accounting concepts look simple and made me realize that it’s fine to struggle initially, but to keep moving forward and learning. She embodied the whole ‘experiential learning’ concept in her course and made us solve industry cases linked to each module along with the capstone project, which according to me was the turning point in my learning curve.

Moreover, her teaching style, jovial, and caring nature makes her special and a great human being.

What was your favorite MBA event or tradition at your business school? I love the Homecoming event that is conducted every year in which, alumni, students, and families of Pitt get together for the celebration. The Pitt Alumni Association proudly sponsors many of the events that take place during the weekend, including numerous opportunities for alumni to re-connect.

Looking back over your MBA experience, what is the one thing you’d do differently and why? I think it would be more effective use of resources that University of Pittsburgh has to offer be it academic or extra-curricular. It would have been great if I could have taken interesting courses from other schools like the School of Public Health within the University or even spent more time at the amazing Petersen Events Center.

What is the biggest myth about your school? Before joining Katz, I had heard that the school was short of good alumni connections. On the contrary, the whole idea of helping and giving back is so strong at Katz that we have a very rich alumni network spread across the globe, who extend their guidance and support to the current students whenever required.

What surprised you the most about business school? I was surprised to see how the faculty remembered names within the first few weeks and genuinely cared about us. They not only wanted to see us get good grades, but also on a personal front to know more about us and help us as needed.

Which MBA classmate do you most admire? It is really difficulty to mention one name, as I had amazing peers at Katz and have learned a lot from them.

However, it will be David Herlich (I hope you are reading this!). I always admired David’s intellect, humility, and work ethic. We worked closely on a lot of group assignments and shared the leadership position in the Katz Corporate Sustainability Club.

Besides, I was in awe how he managed his curriculum along with holding a management position in his organization. I have truly enjoyed the conversations with him and the peer-to-peer learning that we had during our classes.

Who most influenced your decision to pursue business in college? Naming one person here would be truly unfair. The driving force behind my decision to pursue an MBA was my family. It all started with a dream of my late father, who worked as a surgeon in Saudi Arabia and always wanted his sons to get a graduate degree from the U.S. Further, building up on the incredible and unimaginable support and guidance that I have received over the years from my mother and both my brothers. I lost my father at an early age, and it is my mother who raised her sons with her perseverance which has helped us realize our dreams. Not to forget, my eldest brother – Saifur Rahman, who has been the constant source of motivation and inspiration throughout my career.

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

  • To work in a senior management position of a healthcare organization where I could take the responsibility of growing the business, yet at the same time thrive to work around sustainability and climate change.
  • To give back to the communities that I have been a part of, to teach some day or become a mentor, and possibly impact other individual’s lives and careers

How has the pandemic changed your view of a career? First, I feel fortunate that I managed to have in-person classes. I never had imagined a life completely virtual before the pandemic. And yes, my perspective of a career has changed. I feel it has reminded us to be grateful for every second and the importance of in-person interactions and bonding.

At the same time, it has slowed our lives down, just to maybe relax at times and spend quality time with our family members. I believe the future holds to respect the hybrid model and focus on the importance of maintaining balance between the same.

What made S. Jalal Rhaman  such an invaluable addition to the Class of 2022?

“S. Jalal Rahman has exceeded the University of Pittsburgh Joseph M. Katz Graduate School of Business’s expectations for the ideal 12-month Accelerated MBA student in every way. In his brief time with us, Jalal has left a lasting impact on the Katz community. He spearheaded the reinvigoration of our Business Healthcare Club (BHC) by completing activities ranging from confirming an executive board to event management to a mental health campaign, and has set the foundation for a community of students who will transform the face of the healthcare industry for years to come. Jalal’s leadership capability is also exhibited by his involvement as Vice President in the Consulting and Sustainability clubs. If there is an integrated learning opportunity at Katz, Jalal is almost certainly involved in it. He has participated in our BNY Mellon Fellowship to better understand diversity initiatives in the corporate world while also participating as a team member in the Katz 2022 Super Analytics Challenge, where he leveraged data to develop solutions that address food insecurity and hunger. Jalal also maintains an impressive 3.83 GPA while taking more credits than a traditional MBA candidate due to the accelerated nature of his program.

Beyond Katz, Jalal is involved in the greater Pittsburgh Community by serving as a member of the Muslim Student Association and a volunteer at the Islamic Center of Pittsburgh. This passion for service stems from his involvement in TEDxDharavi, where he is a co-organizer who champions unheard and inspirational stories in India. Jalal continues to give back to his home community by serving as a mentor to students and providing professional development guidance. Jalal is well qualified to share his advice, as his impressive decade-long career in healthcare will continue in August 2022 as he joins Syneos Health in New York City as a consultant. He secured this position in October, which is quite early for a one-year candidate to receive a full-time offer. This success is deserved, as Jalal is genuinely caring and works to ensure that our community is a place where both students and staff thrive. He sincerely cares about the well-being of his advisors and faculty, and it has been a true pleasure to get to work with him. Katz is a much better place for having had Jalal leave his fingerprints on it.

Jalal’s drive and intelligence, in combination with his sincere compassion and empathy, are a formidable combination.”

Katie Bennett, M.Ed. 
Assistant Director, Career Management & Corporate Engagement Center 
Joseph M. Katz Graduate School of Business 

DON’T MISS: MBAS TO WATCH: CLASS OF 2022

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