Omar Najeed, a BHP/MIS senior, came to McCombs as a Science & Technology Management major because he was torn between business and engineering. However, after taking MIS 301H with Professor Konana, he decided to switch to MIS. “I love how relaxed and quirky the MIS department is. From the professors, to the students and companies, I think it has its own feel,” he said.
When he was applying to UT, he originally applied to the engineering school, because of his love of quantitative work, but he ended up changing his major to business so he could work on his communication skills, an area of struggle for him. Omar was diagnosed with a stutter and clutter in elementary school, and struggled with communications from elementary through high school. He went to speech therapy most of his childhood, which never seemed to help.
Omar graduates this month, and says he will take away from McCombs lifelong friends, a stellar education, a better worldview, but also the ability to communicate clearly. “Ever since coming to McCombs, I was forced to speak up and work on communicating much more, and for longer durations of time,” he said. “It started back in BA324 freshman year, but the constant requirement of speaking in both large and small group settings has been immensely helpful, including the multiple presentations I’ve had to give.”
He credits some specific BHP classes, BA 324H, MAN 336H, MAN 374H, and LEB 323H, with being the most helpful, but he also says his involvement in the Business Honors Program Steering really helped him. As chairman, Omar was put in a position to speak on behalf of others in the program, and that responsibility made him willing to be less self-conscious. “Being on the McCombs Career Expo Board also helped since I was forced to speak to recruiters on a regular basis and had to learn how to systematically approach important conversations,” he said.
Last year, Omar learned about UT’s Stuttering Institute in the Communications School, and started going to weekly speech therapy sessions again. This time it was easier for him to learn and take lessons away from those sessions. He had finally overcome the speech impediments he had struggled with his whole life.
In addition to his involvement on campus, Omar was able to find opportunities for growth around the world. In the summer of 2014, he studied supply chain management at the Chinese University of Hong Kong. In the program, he was able to witness the production and distribution of different consumer goods and gain first-hand knowledge of worldwide logistics. The following summer, he interned abroad at a startup in Barcelona and learned to work in a culture completely different from the one back home.
Omar will be working as a consultant at Oliver Wyman starting in January, where he hopes to be staffed on non-profit projects. In the interim, he will be spending his summer solo backpacking through South America, and next fall on a service trip in Asia. He is so grateful for all BHP and McCombs have given him.