The Harbus profiles 12 students who have spent their summers testing new uncharted professional terrains for the first time in their lives, from the conflict zones of Afghanistan to the US treasury department to just traveling around the world and soaking up different cultures, these students have chosen to go beyond brand names, money and indeed the job bank and truly pursue their passions.
What did you do this summer?
I spent my summer in Kabul working for Roshan, Afghanistan’s largest telecom provider. Working alongside the CEO as a Strategic Intern, I helped redesign the strategy for M-Paisa, the country’s first mobile money mechanism. Given that 97% of Afghanistan’s population is unbanked, M-Paisa represented a unique mechanism by which to bring financial access to the masses.
What was your background prior to HBS?
Prior to HBS, I worked with the Boston Consulting Group for three years. Subsequently, I joined the Aga Khan Academies (AKA), an arm of the Aga Khan Development Network. Here, I spent time understanding the conditions across 18 developing countries for a proposed IB-school network.
Why did you choose to spend your internship in Roshan?
Building capacity in (post) conflict- development zones is an area of particular interest to me. Upon meeting the CEO of Roshan at the HBS Social Enterprise Conference, I quickly grew interested in the company and came to understand how the company contributes the livelihood of local Afghans (not only is Roshan the country’s largest taxpayer, it is also the largest employer). This, no doubt, stood out to me as a great learning opportunity-one where I could bring real skill to a project of great social impact and, at the same time, learn first-hand the challenges associated with capacity development.
What advice do you have for RCs looking for summer internships?
The summer represents a unique opportunity to explore and learn something new about yourself and your interests. I highly encourage RCs to not be afraid of departing from the herd! Once you settle on that something that really interests you, no doubt you will be even more motivated to make a great impact, wherever it may be.
Current RC student Ameel Somani also worked alongside Alyza as an intern in Roshan.