The Leading Independent
Resource for Top-tier MBA
Home » Blog » Real Humans - Alumni » Real Humans of Citi: Sania Mohammed, Georgetown McDonough MBA ’20, Business Management & Strategy VP

Real Humans of Citi: Sania Mohammed, Georgetown McDonough MBA ’20, Business Management & Strategy VP

Image for Real Humans of Citi: Sania Mohammed, Georgetown McDonough MBA ’20, Business Management & Strategy VP

Many of the skills learned in an MBA program do not come from textbooks or case studies, but are gleaned from the dynamic and supportive community. In this edition of Real Humans: Alumni, meet Sania Mohammed, whose time at Georgetown McDonough was invaluable both inside and outside the classroom in preparation for her transition from public relations to global finance at Citi.

Sania Mohammed, Georgetown McDonough MBA ’20, Vice President, Business Management & Strategy 

Hometown: Kuwait City, Kuwait 
Undergraduate Institution and Major: Northeastern University, BA in Economics and International Affairs
Graduate Business School, Graduation Year and Concentration (if applicable): Georgetown University McDonough School of Business, Class of 2020
Pre-MBA Work Experience (years, industry): 4 years, Public Relations
Post-MBA Work Experience (years, industry): 3 Years, Financial Services 

Why did you choose to attend business school?
I was looking for a career change. I had worked in Public Relations at an agency for nearly four years, but it left me wanting more. I was looking to transition into a role that was more strategic, allowed me to leverage a mix of both quantitative and qualitative skills, and had stronger ties to financial performance of a product/ business. 

Why McDonough? What factors figured most prominently into your decision of where to attend?
There were three main factors in my decision-making process: 

  • Global Mindset: I knew I wanted to attend a program with a global lens and was immediately attracted to MSB’s Global Business Experience – a core part of the second-year curriculum which would allow me to gain hands-on experience consulting on an international project.
  • Location/ Recruiting Opportunities: I always planned to remain on the east coast following graduation and knew that McDonough had a strong recruiting network with organizations across various sectors in the region.
  • Community: As a career switcher searching for my next move, I wanted access to a strong network for guidance – in terms of my peers, alumni and faculty. Through my interaction with the school’s alumni at MBA job fairs and coffee chats, I learned about McDonough’s strong sense of community, which really sold me on the program. The sense of welcome and support I received even prior to beginning the program was unparalleled.

What about your MBA experience prepared you for your current career?
I cannot even begin to explain how much I learned during my two years at MSB, both in and out of the classroom. I apply many of the skills I learned in my current role – designing and presenting business cases, interpreting data and providing recommendations, and most importantly, effective communication. MSB offers an amazing Leadership Communication course which helped me gain confidence, develop my presentation skills, and learn how to tactfully articulate my perspective to various audiences. In fact, senior leaders at my organization have commented on this strength of mine, and I owe it all to MSB!

What was your internship during business school?  How did that inform your post-MBA career choice?
My summer internship was with Citi as a Summer Leadership Associate in Personal Banking and Wealth Management. It turned out to be a perfect fit – I learned so much about the organization and what it means to work in Financial Services. I was honestly amazed by how much I could accomplish as someone new to the industry in just 10 short weeks, and so I did not hesitate to resign my offer to return full-time following graduation!

Why did you choose your current company? What factors figured most prominently into your decision of where to work?
I liked the structure of the Citi Leadership Associate Rotational Program. It was a great way for me to build my skills in Financial Services and explore what specific business area or function within banking I wanted to focus on for my career long-term. Plus, Citi has an inclusive, welcoming culture which makes it a great environment for learning and development. I was blown away by the level of support I received from the team and my peers at Citi during my summer experience and continue to feel that way at the company three years later!

How has COVID impacted your industry/career plans? 
Personally, COVID did not have any impact on my decision to join/remain with Citi. 

Advice to current MBA students:
–One thing you would absolutely do again as part of the job search?
Maintain a focused approach – when I decided I wanted to pursue Financial Services, I narrowed my search and directed all my energy into learning about the industry, networking, and ensuring I was submitting tailored applications to relevant organizations.

–One thing you would change or do differently?
I would remind myself to be patient with the process – waiting was always the hardest part for me, and I wish I managed that stress better!

–Were there any surprises regarding your current employer’s recruiting process?
Not really – I felt well prepared after attending the Citi on-campus presentation and networking with MSB/Citi alumni.

 –What piece of advice do you wish you had been given during your MBA
Never be afraid to speak up and voice your opinion! When I first started in the program, I was intimidated by my classmates, who had so much more experience than myself. It took me far too long to realize that we’ve all earned our spots in the program and that our unique experiences are truly what add to everyone’s collective learning 😊

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.