January 26, 2021
Name: Mohammed Ali
School: York University – Schulich School of Business
Year graduated: 2021
Industry: Management Consulting
Company: Bain & Company
I joined EDGE because I’m a huge advocate for diversity and inclusion. As a black student in business school, I didn’t come across a lot of individuals that looked like me in class or in the corporate world. I believe there should be more representation of marginalized students in the corporate world, specifically at the C-suite level. However, to get students to that point, we need to instill motivation and provide guidance to them beginning at the high school level, which is exactly what we do on the Pivot team.
When I joined the team, I wanted to have an impact on students living in low-income, high-crime areas of Toronto. I wanted to see our services help students that were in a tough situation move on to programs at top-tier post-secondary institutions.
A critical step in breaking into tough positions in the corporate world is getting an education at a recognized institution, and I wanted to be one of the individuals guiding them to get to that spot.
My experience at EDGE has shown me the importance of mentorship. While attending EDGE events (mixers, conferences etc.), I’ve met a lot of students that felt like they were on their journey all alone. Just by reaching out to them and seeing how they’re doing, offering your help (mock interviews, resumes, cover letters etc.), and advocating for them behind closed doors, it can take them a whole lot further. Now, whenever I see a shy freshman, or someone who’s looking to break into the consulting industry, I take it upon myself to offer assistance. We have all received some form of help from someone in our lives, and it’s only right to pay it forward.
My favourite EDGE memory was at our first ever annual conference at The Globe and Mail Centre. Just walking into the venue that day, it felt so satisfying seeing all of the engaged students, our speakers, as well as our executive team working so hard to ensure the day went great (which it did)! It was just so inspiring to see what a group of dedicated students could accomplish!
Be open minded and don’t be afraid to try new things! Get rid of any biases that you may have, attend events if you have the time, speak to different clubs/associations on campus, and participate in any competitions that may be running. You may find a new passion or a new goal!
Don’t just apply to all of the positions on the job board. Figure out where you want to be once you graduate, and then find the skills/experiences you need to get there. Once you’ve done that, look for the internships that will help you get to that long-term position. Another piece of advice that I feel is often overlooked is the importance of coffee chats. Before applying to the internship, do a quick LinkedIn search to find an individual that has previously completed that internship, or someone who is currently working on the respective team at that company. Ask them about their experience, the culture at the company, and any other questions that you feel might be insightful!
I’d like to see schools place a heavier emphasis on “life skills”, as well as prepare students for the future of work. While this is already happening in some form, I think all schools should teach students about taxes, personal finance, as well as coding.
Given that I haven’t started full-time yet, I can speak to what I did during my summer internship. As an Associate Consultant Intern, I worked in a team of 7 to help a Fortune 100 company work on an integrated plan. I played a part in this engagement by identifying risk for delays from unaccounted dependencies, identifying opportunities to accelerate value capture, analyzing low level regional data and creating consolidated views with insights for senior client executives, as well leveraging previous phase work from multiple Bain teams.
I love to listen to music, play basketball (which I’ve done less of during COVID), as well as play video games.