One cannot be a true leader if one cannot stick to one’s commitments, and that is why, throughout my life, I have stuck to my pledges with unfaltering passion.
Before joining one of the top business colleges in Pakistan, I lived in a shell—protected and oblivious of the outside world. However, the moment I stepped into the institute, I found myself facing a challenge I had never experienced before. Leaving my hometown and settling in a new environment was nearly devastating and I almost planned to quit and return home. The tough Karachi-life, the fear of being surrounded by strangers, and the ragging I faced during my orientation, got the better of me and I submitted an application to drop out, to my Dean. However, my Dean knocked me back into my sense by simply saying, “I could either buckle down and strive for success or become a FAILURE”. This is where I made the biggest promise to myself, to NEVER give up in life!
Having found new courage, I returned to my studies and took up new challenges every day. I became socially active and started networking for support. I volunteered to solve problems faced by students, becoming more empathetic in the process and later, landing up being a Volunteering Councilor who made new students feel at home at the institute. I also actively started managing social events, and eventually got elected in the Hostel Management Committee. My love for music, which also kept me afloat during tough times, got me elected as an Executive Council Member of the IBA Music Society. I had found a new drive in myself that helped me live to the fullest and opened up new avenues for me. The new Ali—an indomitable extrovert—started acquiring both professional and life skills by becoming a student councilor and leader.
The drive to succeed and not become a forgotten cog in the middle-class machinery, led to my first job at a tech company where I performed exceptionally well, utilizing the skills I already had and adding new ones including professional relationship building, diplomatic communication, and strategic decision making. My performance and my growing ambition eventually helped me win my current role at Reckitt where I handle strategic communication in public-private partnerships. Here, while the multiple social engagement projects nurture my naturally empathic soul, liaising with government institutions further betters my diplomacy skills, showing me the way to make an impact on a national level.
I firmly believe that joining Yale will open up new opportunities of acquiring international roles with globally-impactful institutions, for me. My experience of working as a leader in public institutions will help me add value to Yale’s Business and Politics, Global Social Enterprise, and Social Impact Consulting clubs. I want to judiciously use my time at Yale to hone my skillsets that can meet, and possibly surpass, the expectations organizations have from their leaders, breaking ground on new social enterprises that can bring a positive social improvement to the world.