Meet the MBA Class of 2024: Hamid Baraywal, Columbia Business School

Hamid Baraywal

Columbia Business School

“I am curious and enjoy discussing any new topics.”

Hometown: Kandahar, Afghanistan

Fun Fact About Yourself: I am superstitious about dreams and believe they mean something, but I am trying to get over this habit. If I have a dream, the next morning I google it until I find the meaning that makes me happy.

Undergraduate School and Major: American University of Afghanistan, BBA – Finance

Most Recent Employer and Job Title: NELSON Worldwide, Business Analyst

Aside from your classmates and location, what was the key part of Columbia Business School’s MBA curriculum programming that led you to choose this business school and why was it so important to you? The key parts that made me choose Columbia Business School was its location, network, and the resources the school provides to both current students and alumni. I believe I will not only benefit from school during my academic years, but even after I graduate, the school will provide me with resources. For example, Executive in Residence is one great example that both students and alumni have access.

What has been your first impression of the Columbia Business School MBA students and alumni you’ve met so far. Tell us your best CBS story so far. As I always say, CBS has picked the best of the best from all around the world. It is very amazing that one meets people from different countries with almost every single background one can think of. These classmates have great leadership skills and bring a diverse set of skills and experience that they received from developed, developing, and underdeveloped societies.

What course, club or activity excites you the most at Columbia Business School? As I am focusing on private equity in the energy industry, I will be part of the PE and Investment Banking clubs. These clubs are another great source of knowledge and networking as well as preparing students for their internship and full-time employment after they graduate.

Describe your biggest accomplishment in your career so far: I strongly believe being part of CBS is my greatest accomplishments. For me, going to CBS was a dream, and so I filled and submitted my CBS application in a chaotic situation as the government of Afghanistan collapsed in August 2021.

What led you to pursue an MBA at this point and what do you hope to do after graduation? I worked in the energy and renewables throughout my career, but my experience mostly comes from government institutions. As a result, I wanted to return to private sector where I can utilize my knowledge and experience with private equity companies. Therefore, I could not find any other school that could better prepare me for my career goal other than CBS.

What is one thing you have recently read, watched, or listened to that you would highly recommend to prospective MBAs? Why? I read Think Big, Act Small: How America’s Best Performing Companies Keep the Start-up Spirit Alive and highly recommend this book for those interested in knowing how companies make profit and the strategies streamlined by more than 100,000 American companies. The book also shares first-hand information which is a key point to this book.

What other MBA programs did you apply to? I applied only to CBS because it is my dream school, and I did not want to go to any other school if it was not CBS.

What advice would you give to help potential applicants gain admission into Columbia Business School’s MBA program? I believe it’s very important for potential applicants to know their goal and what they want to do in their career. The more one understands what their career goals look like, it will be easier for them to choose a school and write their essays. Second, it is very important to know where they would love to stay for two years of graduate school. If one does not like New York, it will be hard to spend two years for school in NY which will affect their activities during the two years.


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