Mona Ahmadi, Part-Time MBA '15
Change Your Career from Here
"I’ve noticed a real change professionally since joining the MBA program. I get to apply the skills learned at USF to my work directly.”
Mona Ahmadi Part-Time MBA ’15 is Working From Finance Manager Toward Chief Financial Officer.
Born and raised in Iran, Mona’s dreams of business education brought her and her family to California.
"I was born and raised in Iran,” explains Mona Ahmadi, Part-Time MBA ‘15. “It's a country where restrictive Islamic laws target women, ethnic and religious minorities. This can make it very difficult to pursue your dreams." Fortunately, Ahmadi’s drive towards education was supported in her home life. “Growing up, I was in a loving home full of hope and energy from my family,” Ahmadi said. Her family was so supportive of her goals and dreams, they moved from Iran to Turkey and after a nine-month wait settled in California.
Ahmadi arrived in the U.S. when she was 18 years old and pursued her undergraduate degree in San Francisco. When it was time to pursue her Master’s degree she found what she was looking for at the University of San Francisco Part-Time MBA program.
“One of my best friends graduated from the program and encouraged me to apply. I knew I made the right decision in my first semester,” Ahmadi said.
When Ahmadi entered the program, she was working as a full-time financial analyst at Cost Plus World Market. While learning the language of business at USF, she discovered a passion for sustainability as a business practice. She credits her courses for building her professional confidence. This allowed her to the become the Finance and Operations Manager at Sustainability Accounting Standards Board, a non-profit company developing and disseminating sustainability accounting standards.
“I’ve noticed a real change in my work since joining the MBA program,” Ahmadi said. “I get to apply the skills learned at USF to my work directly, which is great for when I meet with the CEO and COO to go over financials of our organization, conduct job interviews, and just work on our day-to-day operations.”
Ahmadi has found her stride as a Finance Manager and is working towards her long-term goal of becoming a Chief Financial Officer.
In this program, I have gained a better understanding of people, different personalities, why people behave the way they do and how to interact with them, which helps me work toward my ultimate goal.
Ahmadi said the unique atmosphere at USF has been instrumental in both her professional and personal growth. “People are willing to share their knowledge and networking opportunities with you here, and you really get to learn from all types of people from all backgrounds, from all over the world,” she said. “My mentors at USF have empowered me and helped me with my leadership skills, which has not only impacted my professional life but also in many aspects of my personal life. Now, the people in my cohort have become like a family. I’m sure the relationships I’ve built since I came here will last a very long time.”
Last year The Financial Women of San Francisco, an organization helping young women in the Bay Area pursue careers in finance and financial services, awarded Ahmadi 2014 Graduate Scholarships. As she adds to her growing list of achievements it’s clear Ahmadi, who once lived in a country that made her feel restricted by her gender, has become an international role model for women in finance. “The key is to always keep learning, and USF helps you do that,” Ahmadi said.