Kellogg serial, day five: Sultan

Over the course of the week, Which MBA? will be following the fortunes of five MBA students from Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management, as they graduate into one of the toughest jobs markets in memory.

After nearly five years at a Fortune 100 technology company, I left for Kellogg in order to take a big leap forward in my career. My goal was to get a top-class education, work for a few more years in the US and then return home to the Middle East to join the family business.

Despite the subsequent drop in the Dow, my goals remain the same, though the execution has changed. Now, instead of spending a few years here to gain more work experience, I will head home soon after graduation this summer. Opportunities for international students have diminished dramatically in the US, especially for those seeking work in the financial services after conditions attached to the bank bailouts altered the rules for hiring foreign workers.

I spent last summer working as an intern at a venture capital firm. This too was not in my original plan—I focused much of my energy on getting an investment banking position on Wall Street. That didn’t work out, but I picked up the venture-capital offer along the way. It ended up being a great experience, and the guidance I received from mentors at the firm was priceless. I wasn’t sure banking was for me, but I gave it shot. The summer internship convinced me, heading into my second year at school, to pursue what I’m truly passionate about.

In June, I will leave Kellogg smarter, better connected and eager to make a difference in the world. The recession may have delayed some of my fellow students’ dreams, but these are only temporary setbacks. If there is one thing that classes have taught me, it’s to learn from adversity and always remain focused on the long term. I will re-enter the work force more confident, knowledgeable and—in these turbulent times—humble.

Kellogg serial:
Day one: Daianna
Day two: Reeves
Day three: Eddie
Day four: Jorge

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