Tasnuva Chaudhury - Business Administration
A few years ago, I was working on a project called the 'Kafe Mukti.’ 'Kafe' is of course short for cafeteria and 'Mukti' is a Bengali word which means freedom. It was a project initiated for creating employment, generating income and self reliance for vulnerable women and victims of human trafficking. We worked for months on the various facets of the project. We started with collaborating with donors and getting the proposal approved. Our team communicated with the vulnerable women and assisted in training them to sell coffee, snacks and groceries to the public. Many of the women were apprehensive of social stigmatization but they eventually felt this opportunity to be their freedom and means of self independence. We worked on the design and logo of the 'Kafe,' and it was designed to be like a small cubicle store from where two women will sell the goods. As for the location of the store, we partnered with my college! After months of hard work, we finally launched the first 'Kafe Mukti' in the library of North South University (NSU), Bangladesh. It felt unbelievably good when I bought my first cup of coffee from the girl nearly my age and see her smile. To me, a job is just more than just a job if you are rewarded to see someone smile. After graduating with a Bachelor’s degree in business with a Marketing concentration from NSU, I was privileged to get more of such great opportunities to work on various socio-economic causes of Bangladesh. One of those was when I worked as a free lance consultant and monitored three most food insecure district of Bangladesh to assess whether communities and poor households in the target areas are better able to protect children from harmful work. It was a moving experience to learn and see children working in factories under hazardous work condition but still striving to get education. Working with various non-profit and international organizations proved to be tremendous learning experience but for a business major, working in a publication company as a portfolio manager was what tested my theoretical knowledge from the classroom. It was a challenging experience preparing marketing plan for my portfolio, analyzing product life cycle, coordinating export-import with foreign publications and working in collaboration with non-profit organizations to provide more teaching materials accessible in classrooms for the underprivileged children and suburban schools. Working with different layers of society and getting to know people from all walks of life and their struggles, taught me to rise against difficult challenges and never give up in times of hardships. It was a daunting idea to leave my family and friends behind in Bangladesh and pursue my master’s abroad but I just felt it was time to challenge my horizons. I realized that an MBA will help me tremendously to pursue my career goal. It would broaden my knowledge and present me with challenges which will give me the opportunity to develop myself as a better leader. It has been an amazing experience so far at Texas Tech. I am currently doing my MBA with a concentration on Management and Leadership Skills and was privileged to receive the prestigious Rawls Scholarship based on academic merit. I participated in the Big 12 MBA case competition and was endowed a scholarship for it. Most recently, I completed my summer internship with Wal-Mart Stores Inc. My main project was on improving company profitability and suggesting ways to be more cost efficient. In addition to learning day to day operations and inventory management, I also worked on a project on improving associate health and wellness with the Vision Center team. Working with the biggest retailer was one of the most significant and learning experiences. Currently, I am working as a graduate assistant in the Graduate Services Center in the Rawls College of Business. The past few semesters at Tech has taught me to think strategically and solve business and social problems which I can relate to with my work experience. It also provided me a big platform to spread my ideas and network with young business professionals with a thirst to contribute to society. In the short-run, I intend to work in the non-profit organization. Apart from my work experience and voluntary work, the various workshops on non-profit organizations and the courses taught at class gave me a better understanding to work in such an environment. In the long-run, I believe I can start my own non-profit organization in Bangladesh dedicated to improve the lives of the underprivileged women and children by generating employment and improving their level of education. As Texas Tech students we like to say, “From here, it’s possible.” Yes! I believe it is possible to see another girl smile as I was able to make a difference.