#MBAchicTakeover – MBA Zeinab Alliji shows us a day in the life at UNSW

Zeinab Alliji

This week, we traveled to Sydney, Australia for our latest #MBAchicTakeover with Zeinab Alliji of UNSW Business School! She brought us along with her to experience a day in the life at UNSW; we joined for an econ lecture, a midday workout, career workshops and pitch competition practice, before heading to a networking event at Accenture.

She also offered valuable insights in describing her own career and MBA journey, and made the very compelling case for the importance of finding a program that is the right fit for you. It was great to see how ambitious and focused her program is, all while being supportive and truly invested in the development of each of their students (the program boasts a cohort that is 51% female, and is committed to maintaining a healthy balance of work and wellness).

Some of the comments we’ve received since her takeover were about how informative it was, and how much you truly valued the heart-to-heart she offered at the end – some of you even described your own issues dealing with burnout. You do not want to miss this takeover. Take a look and consider hosting your own!

#MBAchicTakeover – MBA Zeinab Alliji shows us a day in the life at UNSW
#MBAchicTakeover – MBA Zeinab Alliji shows us a day in the life at UNSW

After hosting her takeover, we caught up with Zeinab to get her thoughts on the experience…

What did you enjoy most about sharing your experiences through the takeover? What was challenging?

I enjoyed answering all the questions from those interested in pursuing an MBA, it’s a great experience and I would encourage as many people to embark on the journey as possible! It was pretty challenging finding the time to film whilst going through my “day in the life at UNSW” but it worked out well in the end!

You offered great advice on making sure the program you chose is the right “fit” – what would be your advice to helping people identify what’s most important in a program?

It’s not necessarily where you want to go (even if you think you know that, it will most likely change) its more about recognising who you are today. Are you driven by a community, or do you prefer to build your own network? Do you have a family, and would appreciate flexibility in your program? Are you all for diversity or do you prefer being around like-minded individuals? What are you passionate about?

What surprised you the most about the UNSW experience that you haven’t yet shared in your day in the life at UNSW?

The amount of time it takes up! The full-time program is jam-packed with various courses and networking events; a lot of the experience requires being strategic and investing your time wisely

Accenture discussion in Australia MBA Zeinab Alliji
Zeinab with CIO of Real Pet Food Company,
Ursula Phillips
You mentioned diversity & inclusion is hugely important to you – what kind of work have you done in your academic and professional life to advance the progress of women diverse communities?

During my undergraduate degree, my research project was an exploration of young women in finance. I then joined Aviva, a large insurance company and started an initiative to build a network of women in the firm. This went global and ended up creating a female agenda (this was in 2013) and now a third of their board is female. I went on to support similar activities at Accenture and have mentored young leaders throughout my career.

What advice for school, work, life… would you like to share with our community?

Be authentic and find companies that support that side of you! Push hard to get what you deserve and always do your research to make sure you’re able to ask for the right things at the right time! Lastly, supporting other women should be an ambition for every female, because we are the building blocks for the next generation and we deserve to give ourselves the chance to achieve our potential by lifting each other up.

Thanks so much to Zeinab for hosting our latest #MBAchicTakeover and for giving us such a great inside look at a day in the life at UNSW!

Join us and tell your story

Are you interested in hosting a takeover, or writing a guest post for MBAchic?

Whether you’re an MBA student, applicant, grad, or someone who has a story / content that can relate to our community, we’d love to have you share with us. Share a day in your life, take us along for a conference or job trek, tell your personal MBA journey or challenges you’ve overcome, educate our audience on how to approach interviews with your company, and more – we are happy to collaborate and brainstorm, especially as we launch and try different things.

Let us know you’re interested! Visit MBAchic.com/write and shoot us a note so we can get the ball rolling. Also FYI… guest posters have included their features within their resumes/CVs, and no guarantees, but… they went on to secure their top jobs in their industry post-MBA or in their next role post-publishing so… ????

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