Meet the MBA Class of 2024: Salar Malik, University of Rochester (Simon)

Salar Malik

University of Rochester, Simon Business School

“Driven to greatness, curious by design, indebted to community, and fueled by adrenaline.”

Hometown: Lahore, Pakistan

Fun Fact About Yourself: I own a textile trading business with my father in Lahore, Pakistan. We export loom state fabrics throughout Europe and service clients across the healthcare, hospitality, and retail industries.

Undergraduate School and Major: Knox College – BA in Econometrics & Integrative Business

Most Recent Employer and Job Title: BMO Wealth Management – Associate Portfolio Manager

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? Spending the bulk of my pre-MBA career as a front office banker, I was heavily focused on the relationship side of the business. To round out my banking acumen and be a sound fiduciary, I sought out a program that placed analytical reasoning front and center. Even prior to classes, our orientation sessions featured various valuation methodologies to facilitate discussion—a testament to the analytical prowess of this program. Professionally, I aim to continue finding the best outcomes for my clients, take a stand for worthwhile causes, and prepare for the rigors of investment banking by leaning on the program’s analytical framework.

Aside from your classmates, what was the key part of Rochester Simon’s MBA curriculum or programming that led you to choose this business school and why was it so important to you? Unlike most MBA programs, Simon boasts programming geared to engage candidates as early as six months ahead of the program. My personal favorite was Scholarship Weekend, an invite-only, three-day event, featuring a group case study and over 50 admitted students competing for merit scholarships and named awards. Between the mesmerizing display of team talent and the collective thought that went into organizing, it became clear that Simon takes investing in their students very seriously. As someone who is big on self-development and professional growth, it was important for me to find a program that offered avenues for both, and I could not be happier with my decision.

What course, club or activity excites you the most at Rochester Simon? Looking to build on my experience of overseeing $1.3 billion in discretionary assets, I am excited about the Simon School Venture Fund—a student-led, early-stage seed fund that operates under the guidance of seasoned venture capitalists and entrepreneurs.

Describe your biggest accomplishment in your career so far. I created an Excel model that helped isolate dated fee discounts and allowed my colleagues to re-price portfolios, unlocking an overlooked revenue stream. Over the time span of three months, I hosted training sessions to spur internal adoption and implemented changes, which led to the bank collecting an additional $100M in recurring revenue. Following my pitch to the director of investments, the spreadsheet was published on our intranet site and is used to taper inflated discounts to this day, enabling the bank to benefit in perpetuity.

What is one thing you have recently read, watched, or listened to that you would highly recommend to prospective MBAs? Why? While I did not seek out an admissions consultant, I found Stacy Blackman’s free content to be particularly helpful when navigating the admissions process. Comprised of former MBA admissions advisors turned consultants, the practice offers essay writing and interview tips through blogs and Spotify podcasts. Their discovery guide, ripe with well-structured insights and highly-relevant material, made the introspection journey a lot easier in my case.

Looking ahead two years, what would make your MBA experience successful? Outside of landing a job in my intended field, investment banking, it is the number of people who rely on you and the caliber of your interpersonal dealings that define success for me. Hailing from a family of teachers who relegated their interests for the sake of community, I place a steep premium on fostering relationships built around a sense of purpose, playfulness, and vulnerability. Two years down the road, I aspire to have paid it forward to my campus in this way and be well-positioned to do the same across the communities I frequent thereafter.

What advice would you give to help potential applicants gain admission into Simon’s MBA program? Beyond the academic class profile, ask yourself what kind of experience, community, and impact do you want to have? At Simon, our class is not afraid to rip the Band-Aid off and be their authentic selves. I encourage you to do the same should you consider Simon. Yes, a part of why you’re coming here is to have a successful career, but what else? We would love to hear what makes you tick, what you overcame, and what kind of leader you want to be.


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