Thinking back to your adolescence was there a particular job you dreamed of doing when you grew up?
I wanted to be on stage with Michael Jackson! I knew all the Michael Jackson songs before I was even five years old; I had even memorized every single dance move, the most impressive of which was my now-perfected Moonwalk. I remember putting on a variety of shows (or what I called concerts) for the other kids in our Kindergarten class, recalling every dance step perfectly from all those music videos I had watched over and over again. During these concerts I would meticulously imitate Michael Jackson while imagining myself on stage right there beside the famous King of Pop, and we both loved it when the crowd went wild.
My favourite choreography was his song “Billie Jean” because of the way MJ would skillfully maneuver his sliding feet by combining a Moonwalk slide with a heel and toe pivot. He then did a few of his trademark pelvic thrusts followed by a quick grab of his fedora right before he Moonwalked to center stage again. For me at that age, it was as if somehow, MJ was emulsifying the lyrics to create his very own idiosyncratic movement vocabulary. Even when I was alone, MJ and I would dance out of sheer ecstatic release; and the best part of my lyrical hero was that when Michael Jackson danced, he did so with fierceness and immense visceral thrill. He sang and danced with such passion, as if his life depended on it.
I felt a little saddened that MJ still had not replied to the glitter-encrusted letter I sent him telling him how much I loved him and asking him to hire me as one of his backup dancers/singers. In hindsight, however, singing backup for MJ would have been a terrible idea because I had serious limitations of talent when it came to singing anything. It was not long when my parents got tired of my imitations of Michael Jackson’s eccentric iconography: I wore my father’s aviator sunglasses in the house; my socks had to be bleached white; I would Moonwalk in and out of the kitchen; and even made myself a jewel encrusted white glove that I wore at all times. My parents wanted me to focus on a “real job”; and so considering that Michael Jackson was probably very busy with recording and tours, he must not have had time to read my letter. It was then that I decided that when I grow up, I want to become a lawyer instead.
There are many compelling reasons to undertake an Executive MBA Program. What is your goal for the Telfer Executive MBA Program?
My most sincere wish is to have the opportunity to face the challenge of the Telfer Executive MBA, and to be able to contribute to not only the Executive MBA academic program itself, but also to the learning experience of my fellow classmates and by sharing with them my own core values of sacrifice, purpose and perseverance. In turn, I wish to learn from the diversity of experiences and achievements from my team members and I also want to be challenged by them so that I can experience what it means to be tested, to experience the drive for success, and to be better equipped for my personal and professional endeavours.
Today we face a global economy with worldwide exchanges and extraordinary outbursts of free trade, which brings with it immense opportunities to innovate new tools and requires one to possess a renewed mindset in the field of finance. My expectations for the Telfer Executive MBA Program is to be a part of this challenging environment to which I intend to contribute by evolving meaningful and optimal solutions to various problems of the business world.
What qualities do you admire in a mentor? Do you have someone you consider a strong mentor in your own life?
I am indeed blessed. I have met many mentors in my lifetime who have inspired me, challenged me, saw the potential in me, and believed in me. However, ONE person who encouraged me when the rest of the world had forgotten me, was my mother.
The reason for my lady leader of choice begins on the day I was born. You see, my parents lived in Dhaka, Bangladesh; one of the poorest countries one can ever set foot in. It is therefore not a surprise that my parents had little to no money and that anything saved went towards taking care of my father’s parents and their nine children, as it is often the duty of the eldest to finance his father’s family in that culture. On February 26th, twenty-something years ago when my mother was only seventeen years old, married, a child in her own right, and about to give birth for the first time.
My father was at work that day; she was home alone when her contractions began. They did not own a phone and the neighbours were not at home. All she could do is lay in tears and pain until a few hours later my father came home to find her in her agonizing state. They headed for the hospital, but you see, the money for a rickshaw fare (which must have been less than a Canadian dollar) was not available for them to take her there. They therefore walked to the hospital, my mother in excruciating pain, to bring me into this world.
When I think of what she may have been like on that day, I cannot fathom the depth of all that she must have been feeling; her small frail body barely able to support the child within her, having to walk all the way to the hospital while in labour. She must have been so scared, so confused and weak. I am forever indebted to her, as I am sure, I would not be able to do what she did even if it were for my own child. It is this selflessness, sacrifice, and patience that I most value about her, and I have only come to grasp the magnitude of her altruism in the recent years of my life.
My mother taught me to work hard, be truthful, be faithful, and to have patience. She has believed in me, lifted me, pushed and challenged me, and I owe my life to her. She is no doubt, altruism, personified. I am indeed blessed to have my mother, and can only hope that I can accumulate the wonderful qualities about her in my lifetime. I will forever be on a continuous quest to emulate her amazing traits, character, and nature.