Syed Amir Ali
MBA'18, Entrepreneurship Track
"I have developed a confidence to trust my inner voice in a room of other business-minded individuals – not just as a mark of my own thoughts, but also as a way to hone my own thinking by allowing my ideas to interact comfortably with the thought processes of others."
Q:Where is your hometown?
A:My family lives in North Andover, MA – However, I was born in Lawrence, KS and lived for 6 years in Solon, Ohio, which I consider always close to my heart. I attended high school in Dorchester, MA at Boston College High School, a private Jesuit institution on the harbor of South Boston.
Q:What are you studying at the D’Amore-McKim School of Business and what is your graduation year?
A:I am pursuing an MBA on the entrepreneurship track graduating in 2018.
Q:What do/did you do in your corporate residency? What are/were your responsibilities? How did you impact the business?
A:I am currently a healthcare consultant at MedPanel Inc., a company and group of people I have learned a lot from. The ambitious, focused environment encourages my own entrepreneurial ethos, in that, I am always looking to grow and become more. The never-stop attitude is quite contagious. During residency, I have been fortunate enough to consult with some of the leading global pharmaceutical and biotech companies, as well first-class hospitals, in order to help them get a late-stage drug to market effectively, or glean key insights to improve therapies for very serious medical conditions. Through this, I have learned so much about the medical field, and have been able to experience how rewarding it is to help improve the lives of others through business. This experience has also exposed me to the tools required to manage the operations of a company.
Q:What skills are you building at D’Amore-McKim that you are using in your corporate residency or will use in your future career?
A:In my first year at D’Amore-McKim, I have experienced myself grow tremendously into the individual and professional that I am seeking to evolve into in the future. Firstly, I have developed a confidence to trust my inner voice in a room of other business-minded individuals – not just as a mark of my own thoughts, but also as a way to hone my own thinking by allowing my ideas to interact comfortably with the thought processes of others. Secondly, I have kindled a fire to embrace the fun within a challenge. I have found myself spun into a multitude of very difficult academic and interpersonal challenges during the MBA program. Yet, the beauty of encountering these has been the fact that I now not only enjoy the taste of a large challenge, I have learned that I perform my best under such pressure, expectation and adversity. It has shown me my true potential, a revelation that has been wonderful.
Q:What has been the biggest take-away from working toward your MBA at Northeastern? What can you do today that you couldn't do before you started your MBA?
A:My biggest take-away from working towards an MBA at Northeastern is that the possibilities are endless – both a liberating and a confusing thing. People always ask me, "what is business?" There is no concrete way that I have figured out how to answer that question, but I have found that I am able to mold my explanation of ‘business’ to fit the background of those asking. Business really is that ball of energy that can be used to create quite literally anything you want, and it is this breadth of imagination deeply rooted in the fundamentals we are taught that I have learned most valuably.
Q:What has been your most valuable experience so far?
A:My most valuable experience thus far has been working in the learning teams in my classes each semester. In the fall and spring, the dynamics of my teams varied from one another – but collectively taught me how to work fluidly with different types of people, personalities, mannerisms and strengths. Everyone in D’Amore-McKim’s MBA program is here for a reason. Uncovering these individual strengths, and creating a comfortable environment that allows them all to sprout and flourish has been the strength I have gained a lot of value from this year.
Q:Why did you choose D'Amore-McKim?
A:I chose D’Amore-McKim because I saw it as a gateway to business activity in the city of Boston, due to its established connections and the invaluable experience the corporate residency would provide. As an MBA candidate who matriculated right after finishing my bachelor’s, an MBA here was perfect to give me full-time working experience before entering the world of management after my MBA, teaching me so much in such an important time span.
Q:What would you say to a prospective student considering D’Amore-McKim for their business degree?
A:Embrace failure and embrace change.
Q:Where do you see yourself in 5 - 10 years?
A:In 5-10 years I see myself in the midst of starting my own company or organization to empower the third world – especially through the outlets of education and business development. I hope to be working closely, and perhaps living, in the Middle East, North Africa or Southeast Asia and establishing sustainable standards and methods by which children and professionals are educated to put their countries on trajectories of substantial economic and social growth. I also want create an incubator that makes it feasible for the bright minds in these nations, perhaps some of the brightest in the world, to take their ideas and see it come to a reality. Their experiences in the third world have revealed such a wisdom that needs to be tapped into, and I see myself as a lever connecting them to the endless possibilities existing within the world today.
Q:How has D’Amore-McKim helped you to become more?
A:The professors that I have had at D’Amore-McKim are simply outstanding, there is no other way to put it. It is one thing to learn from professors, and it is another thing to want to dig so much deeper into the minds of your professors because they are simply that brilliant and unique. This is what I have felt. My innovation professor has transformed the process by which I logically think – understanding how value is created and to whom this directly impacts at a specific level. My supply chain management professor has illustrated through a variety of guest lectures, personal narratives, and company cases how to optimize business efficiency through a global mindset. My finance professor has intricately explained lenses on how to follow the stock market, and also how to carefully manage ones personal financial decisions in life – because no matter how much money you have, it will never be enough. I could go on – but the essence is that each of my professors has touched my expertise in business and life in a special way, and it is not something I could have seen myself gaining anywhere else.
More Student Voices
"D’Amore-McKim has given me the skills and resources I need to confidently and competently tackle any business or managerial challenge in my future with a calm and positive attitude." — Hannah Barresi, MBA'18
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