Hassan Accepted to International MBA Program
Growing up in a Pakistani household in the conservative bedroom community of Katy as a practicing Muslim, UST honors senior Muniza Hassan believes her voracious interest in International Studies was naturally bound to flower.
“At a young age, I learned to embrace my culture, and I was always open to other cultures and religions,” says the 22-year-old joint major in International Studies and Business Administration, whose parents moved from Pakistan to the Houston area in 1981. Hassan said she felt right at home at a Catholic university, despite the fact that she is an observant Muslim.
“I appreciated the religious environment, and I learned the two religions are actually very similar and both beautiful,” she said. “It just added to my overall educational experience.”
Hassan kept to a strict course schedule of 18 hours per semester for the past two years, while working 20 hours a week as an executive assistant and teaching English as a Second Language course on Saturdays. She’s “taking it easy” her final semester with only a 15-hour course load, because she’s completing two theses.
As strenuous as that may sound, it’s merely Hassan’s chosen lifestyle, pouring all her energy into whatever she decides to do, setting lofty goals and pursuing them with a methodical fervor.
She will no doubt take her determination and her boundless energy with her to the elite Thunderbird School of Global Management in Glendale, Ariz., where she will begin classes this fall. Founded on the site of the historic Thunderbird Field, where U.S., Canadian and British pilots trained during World War II, it is the first graduate management school focused exclusively on global management.
Thunderbird holds the No. 1 ranking in international MBA programs by US News and World Report in its 2007 assessment of the best universities in the United States. Another UST graduate in International Studies, Christopher Muniz, is also attending Thunderbird. Worldwide, 35,500 Thunderbird alumni live and work in more than 140 countries.
Throughout high school, Hassan devoted her spare time trying to determine what her career would eventually be, taking internships – one in education, one in the medical field and a year-long internship in accounting -- that helped pinpoint her interest in venture capital. She viewed the internships as a way to enrich her life and her personal education, but when it came time for her to make her final decision, she had no doubt it could be anything but venture capital.
“Venture capital, especially in emerging markets, can be powerful, and it has the ability to get things done by empowering developing countries with local businesses and the opportunity to develop skilled employees,” Hassan said. “I would like to target the health industry or technologies. It’s a way to make a difference, and that is my goal.”
Hassan’s friends know that a jam-packed, mentally challenging schedule is just part of her personality, but people who don’t know her just shake their heads in disbelief and ask her how she does it all.
“I have always been the kind of person who is very driven – I want to be an accomplished person,” she said. “I love being busy and having my plate full. That’s how I function the best.”