Fayez Ahmed


How I got in: Q&A with current MBA student Fayez Ahmed ’24

Why it matters:

Nonprofit founder and MBA student Fayez Ahmed ’24 shares his biggest tips for prospective students.

Full-time MBA program:
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Crafting the perfect business school application isn’t for the faint of heart. While we know applying can be a daunting task, we’ve created a process that gives our Admissions team a chance to get to know you beyond the academics.

Before coming to the United States to pursue a full-time MBA at Carey, Fayez Ahmed ’24 helped found a nonprofit organization to serve his local community in Bangladesh. How did he leverage his professional experience in his MBA application? Read on to find out.

Why pursue a full-time MBA program at Carey?

Ahmed: When I began my search for MBA programs, I was using my network to find recommendations. I found an alum from Carey and reached out to him. He gave me great perspective into the classes at Carey and how the smaller sizes allow you to interact with classmates and teachers more intensely. This was something I was looking for.

I was also impressed with Carey’s experiential learning opportunities. Learning outside the classroom is impactful for your career – especially mine – since I am building a startup. I knew that it would be a great opportunity for me to gain the skills and practical knowledge through learning by doing.

I have worked for nonprofit organizations throughout my career. In 2020, I was given the opportunity to join a venture capital fund sponsored by the Bangladesh government working with stakeholders and nonprofits. And most recently, I’m one of five founders of a nonprofit organization in Bangladesh, so an MBA would really help me bring the foundations of sustainability and growth to my organization.

While part-time programs work for some, I did not think it was the best option for me. I knew I wanted to focus on my studies full-time to gain a better understanding of the work I had been doing so I could make a bigger impact in my future endeavors.

Tell us about your nonprofit in Bangladesh.

Ahmed: Our organization is named Asun Kichu Kori, which means “Lets’ Do Something.” It started a few years ago after celebrating Eid al-Fitr. After the celebration, there is lots of waste on the streets. We decided to distribute black bags to community members so they could pick up the garbage and then place the bags on their curb to be picked up. It received a positive response. From there, we applied for a nonprofit organization license and now focus on helping the 100,000 habitants in the community.

We’ve gradually adopted new initiatives based on the needs of our community, including helping set up small shops run by the locals to help them bring in earnings, and we’ve created an emergency blood bank with a database of over 5,000 people. We have volunteers from ages 14 to 60, so this not only helps provide an income but also teaches the younger generations about leadership and business. And if there is ever an emergency in our community, we are there to provide supply through the blood bank 24/7. We also have health campaigns every month in underrepresented areas and provide doctor consultations for non-communicable diseases for free.

Since I am currently studying at Carey, my role has shifted from being hands-on in investments and development to now acting as an advisor. I still provide investment guidance – especially since our organization runs on donations – just in a different way. Our team meets twice a week to discuss logistics, further plans, and how to fundraise.

What was your experience during the application process, and how were you able to leverage your professional background when applying?

Ahmed: As an international student, there are a few steps you must take to ensure your application and transcripts are processed correctly. I started that process early so I could submit for the round 1 deadline for the MBA program.

Carey Business School also offers a GMAT/GRE waiver. And since I had already been working professionally for more than three years, I took advantage of it and did not have to take the GMAT or GRE tests.

After submitting my application, I was interviewed by an Admissions recruiter. He asked a lot about my personal story and seemed to really want to get to know my experiences outside the classroom.

Writing about my professional experience, I was able to give the admissions team at Carey a sense of who I am and what I want to do in the future. It felt like Carey was digging deeper than just asking for a Statement of Purpose. The second essay option gives you the opportunity to speak about yourself authentically. I was able to identify what’s next in my career for the future and how Carey can help me achieve that, while also showing them who I am outside the classroom.

You’ve been at Carey’s Harbor East location for a few months now. What is the culture like?

Ahmed: The culture at Carey is great. It really brings together so many people from different countries, all with different experiences. It’s fascinating working in groups because you’re able to hear from diverse people with diverse perspectives on how to complete a task.

I’m currently working as a graduate assistant with FastForward U, which supports students in their entrepreneurial pursuits. I’m helping other startups in the Johns Hopkins community, and also gaining first-hand exposure to the best practices for my own venture.

What is something you would tell a prospective student wanting to apply to Carey Business School?

Ahmed: Carey is a really great opportunity for any student to learn and explore. There are so many opportunities, diverse classroom settings, and experiential learning activities to help you achieve your goals and get involved.

I would also tell a prospective student to not rush the application process. Do not submit an application just to meet a certain deadline date; make sure it is thorough. And explore what makes the most sense for your future. Whether it’s an MBA or an MS, do your research.

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