Mahssa Mostajabi is an MBA2, who spent her summer internship on the US Consumer Digital team at Citi. Mahssa serves as the VP of Admissions for AHBBS, President of InSITE, and a host of Stern Chats. She is specializing in Business Analytics, Luxury Marketing, and Sustainable Business and Innovation.
As an MBA2, or second year, many students are heavily involved on campus in various professional, affinity, and social clubs and organizations. Personally, I have chosen to divvy up my time amongst: (1) Stern Chats, Stern’s podcast, in which I’m a host, (2) InSITE, an unofficial club that pairs graduate students across NYC with semester-long, startup consulting projects, in which I’m a president, and (3) Association of Hispanic and Black Business Students (AHBBS), an affinity club for hispanic and black students at Stern, in which I’m a VP of Admissions and ally.
All of these organizations have been important to me and my time at Stern. InSITE has been important professionally. Many of the organization’s alumni went onto jobs and careers that mirror my own interests and have served as a great support, sounding board, and network as I try to recruit for product management roles at startups this year. I’ve also made valuable connections with founders and VCs through our consulting work with startups that I hope will be helpful to me during my recruiting process in the spring.
The most impactful experience, however, has undoubtedly been my involvement with and role on the board of AHBBS. I applied to Stern through the Consortium for Graduate Study in Management, an organization that promotes the advancement of hispanic, black, and native students in business. In addition, I attended Stern’s annual Discover Stern Fall Diversity Weekend, which provides a preview of Stern’s culture and curriculum, and Stern Perspectives Day, which presents prospective students with an opportunity to do your admissions interview with an AHBBS alum. All of these experiences were incredibly important during my application process. They gave me a chance to get to know Stern’s student body, determine if their values aligned with my own, and get a feel for what the next two years may be like for me. Consistently, I found incredible community from AHBBS’ members. One student in particular went out of her way to help me with the admissions process, answer my questions, and quell my fears. Ultimately, I decided that this was the differentiating factor for me and I chose to attend Stern as a result.
Coming onto campus, I knew that I wanted to pay back all that was given to me by AHBBS. As a first year student, I applied to AVP roles with both AHBBS and numerous other clubs and, while I received interviews, was ultimately not chosen for the roles. I decided to move forward with my involvement nonetheless and volunteered at the AHBBS events from which I had benefited greatly and continued to be an active member of the community. As a second year, there was an opportunity to become a VP of Admissions for AHBBS and I eagerly accepted the role. I’ve now had the honor of helping to plan the very same events I enjoyed and valued so much. I’m also further involved in admissions as a Graduate Ambassador within Stern’s MBA Admissions office and I’m incredibly thankful that I have the opportunity to give back so directly to the organizations and events that helped me get to Stern.
Coming into Stern and an MBA in general can be overwhelming and there is always a scramble for the multitude of opportunities. However, in my experience, the right opportunities come to you if you stay engaged and pursue the things you value. All of my roles on campus are incredibly important to me and have been critical to my time at Stern. I am now thankful for the lesson that, while it may initially seem like an opportunity hasn’t worked out in the way you imagined, time has the ability to change your perspective and even reality.