“Even though many of my peers were more seasoned than I was, I had an edge because I had the program behind me.”
Ali Qureshi, EMTM’06
Director, CAO Advanced Business Solutions, Office of the Chief Administrative Officer
U.S. House of Representatives
Ali Qureshi, EMTM’06
Ali was on sabbatical from a global consulting position at Accenture when he decided to pursue the advanced degree he'd always wanted. Though his consulting work had exposed him to a number of different industries with a focus on technology, he saw that his understanding of business as it related to technology was incomplete — a crucial challenge for someone who aspired to one day "move into the internet space" and become a CIO of a company. "The identifiable gap between business and technology can be hard to overcome, but in this era of shrinking budgets you have to find a way to bridge it — whether you work in the public or private sector."
When he came across EMTM online, Ali saw that this program addressed the particular challenges he was facing in his career and would allow him to "close the gap." On a campus visit he was impressed with the students he met, and he was drawn in by their enthusiasm for the program. He also appreciated the flexibility of EMTM's scheduling structure, which would allow him to manage school in addition to a full-time job and a young family at home. Ali was on a business trip in Durban, South Africa, when his wife called to tell him he was accepted into the program. He accepted the offer to enroll immediately. "From the outset I knew EMTM would give me the business technology orientation I needed, in addition to invaluable insights from faculty and fellow students. And I was right: It was indeed transformational."
"I had no idea what EMTM had in store for me," Ali says. For one thing, he discovered an unanticipated love for accounting and finance, and both disciplines have served him well on the job. "Being able to sift through financial statements and examine key variables allows me to make better decisions." With his classmates he turned an end-of-term paper into an independent study project on private equity markets in the Middle East. "It was an incredible experience to substantiate our research by interviews with government figures and banking professionals."
In his fourth year of the program, Ali accepted a position as Director, CAO Advanced Business Solutions, Office of the Chief Administrative Officer, U.S. House of Representatives. The position involved restructuring and consolidating what had previously been a decentralized organization. "Even though many of my peers were more seasoned than I was, I had an edge because I had the program behind me."
Before starting at his new job, Ali was able to test out different approaches to rebuilding Advanced Business Solutions in the classroom, in his IT Strategy course with Tom Oser. "It was a true intrapreneurship opportunity, and the class became a living laboratory. We discussed staffing, crafted the budget and created a long-term strategic plan. That gave me a rolling start when I came into my job." Ultimately, Ali accomplished his goals within three months of hiring and ended up managing a team of 60 people. "I still reference my Organizational Behavior & Design text to keep staff motivated. It's just one of the many important things I learned at EMTM."
Ali paid for the program himself, and it's been an investment with rich rewards. "I knew EMTM would pay for itself, and the sky's pretty much the limit. If you want to take ownership of your career path, EMTM is the place to do it."