The biggest problems in the area of rural Pakistan where Umair’s family once lived are education and health care. So, along with family and friends, Umair started an NGO to help residents pay for basic medical needs and procedures—to keep small illnesses from becoming large ones. To date, the organization has helped more than 800 people and continues to grow its services and reach. It’s a cooperative effort, where people pool their resources to help others.
Likewise, at Goizueta’s Career Management Center, or CMC, Umair found collaborators who have helped him at every stage of his job search, especially when an opportunity fell into his lap while he was pursuing his degree.
“Even when I was trying to refine what kind of [career] goal I should target, the CMC was helping me,” Umair says. At one point during the program, he reached out to someone on the West Coast for an informational chat and soon found himself interviewing for a job. “The Goizueta brand itself helped,” he says. “The fact that Goizueta is a top 20 school in the nation allowed me that first interview.”
Following it, Umair again contacted the CMC. They held a couple of mock interviews for him and helped him refine his resume. On the third round of interviews, he started negotiating salary. His contact at the CMC provided him with the research on competitive salaries that assisted him in that effort.
“I tell people don’t be afraid of utilizing the resources at Emory. Whether it’s our business library or the CMC, just ask for help,” he says. “I’ve never had an experience where I asked for something and someone said, ‘No, we can’t do this.’ In that way, it has truly been a great experience.”
Umair says there’s a lot to learn at business school, but most important among them is how to connect to other people and leverage your network. In his career, and with his NGO, it’s those relationships that have made all the difference.