Sairah Mahmud, BC MBA ’18: Classics Major Goes Rogue
By Sairah Mahmud, MBA ’18
It’s fair to say that until fairly recently I never thought I would pursue an MBA. First of all, I was a Classics Major at Tufts – not exactly a natural segue to business. One could argue there’s a lot to learn by reading the poetry of Catullus, but it isn’t finance or marketing.
After graduating from college I wanted to do something meaningful, something to help others. So I worked at Dana Farber Cancer Institute (DCFI) conducting studies with metastatic breast cancer patients. Interestingly at DFCI I observed how businesses – specifically non profit and healthcare companies – work or don’t work well. I wanted to understand how these companies, which in many cases were producing medicines or providing services that saved lives, could be more efficient and productive.
My search for a program that would teach me what I needed to know ended with Boston College’s Carroll School of Management. First, the strength of the academic program at BC was extremely impressive. But equally important to me was the school philosophy of giving back including the community service requirement. Here at BC studying business is not about making the most for oneself. Rather, students are motivated by the objective of improving lives through businesses that are more productive and responsible.
I’m currently involved in a group called Net Impact which focuses on driving social and environmental change in business. My team is working with the organization Big Sisters Boston which works to provide girls with positive mentoring relationships with women. Our task is to help them grow programs such as Workplace Mentoring and help them assess need for new services and develop strategies so they can be implemented. It is very valuable to be working with an actual organization that makes an impact in girls lives and I hope my team will be able to see the result of our hard work.
What I have discovered at BC is that the reputation of a community that cares for each other and the larger community is true. My fellow students are good people, good friends, and good citizens. I made the right choice coming to BC for my MBA. It’s a place where even a Classics Major feels at home.