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Real Humans of the UGA Terry MBA Class of 2024

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Adila Qadir, UGA Terry MBA Class of 2024

Age: 26
Hometown: Gaya, Bihar (India)
Undergraduate Institution and Major: Symbiosis Law School, Pune – Business and Law
Pre-MBA Work Experience (years, industry): 3 years at EY in Legal Consulting

Why did you make the decision to attend business school? Why now?
My passion for problem-solving and helping people led me to pursue law and later work at EY at the intersection of both law and business. As I reflected on my career trajectory, I realized that I wanted to gain a deeper understanding of business operations and analytics. So I decided to pursue an MBA to build upon my strengths and learn new skills to look at problems from an analytically rigorous business strategy perspective. I want to leverage my past experience and help organizations make data-driven decisions. 

My time at EY had been one of immense growth for me. I feel the intensity of work, leadership opportunities, and people responsibilities prepared me well for success in an MBA program and beyond. I started applying to business schools last year also because I feel this is an excellent time for me to pivot as COVID-19 has upended business models, and companies of all sizes are taking giant digital transformation leaps. I wanted to make this move sooner so that I am able to shape the transformation that’s underway globally.

Why did you choose UGA Terry? What factors figured most prominently into your decision of where to attend?
For me, the best personal growth happens when I can take what I learn in the classroom and apply it to the real world. UGA Terry offers ample opportunities for experiential learning, such as Lean Six Sigma certification and B-Corp.

I also wanted to pursue a program where I could improve my analytical skills by learning tools like SQL, Python, and Tableau so that I could add value to organizations by using large datasets to draw actionable business insights.

Most importantly, when I interacted with the current students, alums, and staff at UGA Terry, I felt very welcomed and that it seemed like the place where I can be my true self. On top of this, the return on investment and the generous scholarship offered by UGA Terry made the decision simpler.

What do you think is your most valuable or differentiating contribution to the Class of 2024?
I am able to add value and contribute to the Class of 2024 by sharing my lived experiences as a minority woman from semi-rural India, and my perspectives from my professional experience in corporate law and understanding of risks.

Tell us a fun fact about yourself that didn’t get included on your application:
I love vegetable gardening. During the Covid lockdown, with my dad’s help, I built a terrace garden where we cultivated our vegetables organically. Within a year, we had eggplant, capsicum, and okra plants. I love cooking and making Litti Chokha (traditional Bihari food) with homegrown eggplants made it all the more delicious.

Post-MBA career interests:
I am passionate about problem-solving and helping organizations make data-driven strategic decisions so I am looking for consulting and technology-driven roles.

Advice for Current Prospective Applicants:
–What is one thing you would absolutely do again as part of your application process?
Talk to current students, alums, and admissions staff from the schools you are targeting. You will get candid insights about the program and the culture. It also helps in getting to know the school better and deciding whether it’s the right fit for you. I would highly recommend attending the admission events that the schools host – most of them are virtual so you can attend and interact even if you are not in the same country. 

–What is one thing you would change or do differently?
I would take the GRE or GMAT early. Getting done with the test for the application process would help you as you can then focus on the other aspects such as your narrative and essays which are equally important. Moreover, since these test scores are valid for a couple of years, if you are planning to apply to business schools in the next year or two, you should take the exam as early as you can so that you can retake it if you want to improve your scores.

–What is one part you would have skipped if you could—and what helped you get through it?
I wasn’t sure how best to present my accomplishments and experiences. I was struggling with learning to quantify my impact. Speaking to a diverse mix of people including a few from a similar background and getting my resume reviewed by them, family and friends helped me through it. 

What is your initial impression of the UGA Terry students/culture/community?
We have a strong sense of community here at UGA Terry. As the class size is small, you get to know your peers well. Everyone around is collaborative, responsive, and helpful. As a first-year MBA, we have second-year mentors who are there for answering any questions. We also have a stellar student engagement team who ensure that we all have a smooth experience in navigating through the program.  

What is one thing you have learned about UGA Terry that has surprised you?
I am surprised by how relevant the classes are to real-world experiences. This semester I am taking the core courses and for most of them, we spend a few minutes at the beginning of each class talking about what’s going around us, how it ties to what we are learning, and why organizations are doing what they are doing. It gives you lenses to think about problems and decisions that we will be making as future leaders. 

What is one thing you are most anxious about in your first year?
In this first year, I am a little anxious about making the most of my time – striking a good balance between coursework, socializing with my peers, recruiting, and exploring all the amazing things UGA has to offer.

What is one thing you are most excited about in your first year?
I am excited about being back in the classroom and witnessing American college football for the first time in my life. UGA Football team were the National Champions last year and I am thrilled to cheer for them this football season.

Christina Griffith
Christina Griffith is a writer and editor based in Philadelphia. She specializes in covering education, science, and history, and has experience in research and interviews, magazine content, and web content writing.