Meet Shakira Ali, Member of the First Graduating MBA Class
Shakira Ali, a resident of Palisades Park, NJ, is on her way to achieving the Berkeley College trifecta. Ms. Ali, 29, earned an AAS in Business Administration – Management in 2009, a BS in Business Administration in 2014, and will become a member of the first graduating MBA in Management class this year.
She serves as Coordinator of Demonstration/Co-Op Advertising for Shiseido Americas Corporations in Oakland, NJ, a Japanese-based cosmetics company with sales in 89 countries.
Ms. Ali recently shared her experience in the MBA program:
Q: What initially inspired you to pursue an MBA? What challenges did you overcome to reach this achievement?
A: There were several reasons I decided to pursue an MBA. One reason was the competitive job market. An MBA will give me more opportunities in the future. Another reason was how accomplished my professors are here at Berkeley. They had their own businesses at one point, and they have real-world business experience. I want to accomplish so much in my professional and personal life. An MBA will allow me to accomplish whatever I choose to do with my career.
For me, maintaining a work/school balance took drive and determination. Without my support team, I would not have made it through. I have made many sacrifices, but I do not regret the decisions I made. Completing my MBA is a great accomplishment.
Q: You are a member of the first graduating MBA class at Berkeley College. Describe the feeling and the camaraderie among this inaugural group of MBA graduates.
A: After the completion of my Bachelor’s degree, I looked around at other graduate schools, but my heart was set on waiting for Berkeley to offer an MBA. Berkeley was a perfect fit for me for my undergraduate degree and fortunately, I only had to wait a year to enroll. I feel like I have achieved a lot here.
It is an amazing feeling to be part of the first graduating MBA class at Berkeley College. Being part of the first class was a learning process in and out of the class. My classmates and I have been a great support team for each other.
Q: How are you applying the MBA curriculum in your career at Shiseido Americas Corporations? What are your long-term career goals?
A: My current job at Shiseido is within the Accounting department. The MBA curriculum has allowed me to think more analytically, to be more forward-thinking, and to think outside of the box. All the classes offered were interesting and valuable in their own way. The program offered a new way of thinking and making business decisions.
My long-term career goals are to excel at my current company with my MBA degree. Eventually, I would like to own my own business, however I feel that I am not ready for that yet. Entrepreneurship is a normal business practice right now. If I eventually start a company, I want to open the business with the right people and the right product.