Duke MEM in three words: Engaging, unique, relevant
What does your role as Kabul’s deputy mayor of administration and finance involve?
I am responsible for managing the city's budget, working toward financial sustainability, and ensuring sufficient revenue to fund development projects across Kabul. I work closely with many groups throughout the municipality – from residents and businesspeople to religious organizations and student entities – to gain support for community programs.
How has earning a Duke MEM degree influenced your career?
Considering my career growth so far, I believe I’ve benefited greatly from what I learned during my time in the Duke MEM program. That time taught me to value myself professionally and to strive for a good balance between what I want to do and the realities I am operating in. It boosted my self-confidence and taught me how to make decisions while considering the risks involved.
What was your favorite part of the program?
I really appreciated the diversity of students because it allowed for rich group discussions and exposure to very different styles of thinking. I think that one of things that makes Duke’s MEM program successful is that it invests in high-quality recruitment, ensuring students from diverse countries and cultures and varied fields of study and work backgrounds.
What advice would you give to Duke’s current MEM students?
I would tell current MEM students to challenge themselves and try to experience new things. The MEM program is designed to allow students to explore many areas, and it’s definitely worth taking advantage of that opportunity. Looking back, I wish I had participated in more courses, programs, and events involving industry experts.
I would also tell current students to be sure to camp out for Duke men’s basketball season tickets at least once! I chose not to do it, and it’s my biggest Duke regret.
What’s an important thing the program does to prepare the next generation of technical business leaders?
Duke’s MEM program creates realistic work scenarios that require students to make time-sensitive decisions that have consequences they can learn from. Working with companies and industry leaders on real-life issues allows students to test themselves, which teaches them to better gauge their abilities and improve their performances when they face such situations at work.
I remember a Marketing Software course that used software that was designed like a game. We competed against each other in teams and had to apply various marketing decisions to our products to ensure maximum global sales and profitability. My team lost, but I learned so much from that experience about my ability to make decisions and contribute in a team.
What is the best thing about being a Duke MEM alumnus?
The amazing group of friends I am still in touch with after all these years. My Duke MEM experience is a source of personal pride for me and I feel privileged to have experienced it.