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Mobina Zareie’s (MScB’24) recipe for success

Posted by Sonya Jampolsky on May 21, 2024 in News

Success has many faces and definitions, but it’s easy to see that curiosity and an ability to dig for information are the foundation of Mobina Zareie’s (MScB’24) achievements. Zareie, who came to Dalhousie in 2022 from Tehran, Iran, has relied on both these attributes to guide her academic and personal success.

After completing an economics degree and working for several years in Tehran, Zareie wanted to delve deeper into her interests in finance and data management. That’s when she looked up Dr. Colin Conrad, a member of the Faculty of Management, on Google Scholar. Through Dr. Conrad, she started exploring Dalhousie and the Master of Science in Business (MScB) program.

She felt the culture shock immediately

When investigating Dalhousie and the MScB program, Zareie says she did a lot of research to determine that Dal was the right place for her. She reached out to more professors and then looked up students who’ve been in the program on LinkedIn and contacted them.

She knew that leaving her country and her family for a place she’d never been would be hard. “I wanted the most information that I could gather,” she says, adding, “I never wanted to regret my decision.”

In addition to determining that this was the right place for her academically, she found out everything she could about Halifax. “I found it cozy and nice, and I got really excited about moving here”.

Zareie’s research went beyond the Faculty of Management to the greater Dal community. She learned that Dalhousie has a lot of resources and support for international students, which helped her face the culture shock she felt immediately upon her arrival.

Celebrating with family was memorable

She turned to the Dalhousie International Centre, joining their weekly meals, she joined the campus chapter of Unicef and helped them raise money, she worked at the Killam fulfilling a desire to work at a library, and she took on work as a proctor at the Student Accessibility Centre.

While her research helped smooth her transition to Canadian culture, her curiosity drove her deeper into her thesis work. Interested in the impact of AI on organizations, and in particular financial organizations, she started to explore digital transformation. “I did a literature review to see what’s going on and the more I went and studied these papers, the more interested I became,” she says.

After developing a thesis, Zareie spent long hours running data and coding, which at times was frustrating and unsuccessful. But as she honed her methodology and started getting results, her professors recognized her work was something that should be submitted to the publisher Elsevier.

Zareie was home in Iran when she received an email from her professor, Dr. Najah Attig, to say her thesis was being published in the journal Finance Research Letters.  She says, “That was a really memorable moment for me because I was with them [her family] and it was awesome. I could celebrate.”

The curiosity continues

Looking back on the experience, Zareie is grateful for the academic support. She laughs while describing one supervisor who told her that she emailed him so much he was going to throw his phone in the river. But, she says, he still always got right back to her.

Excited to call Halifax home, Zareie is now working in the financial industry. She says she might pursue more academics in the future, but for now her curiosity has her wondering, “How much can I develop my actual real-world skills? And how much can I apply this stuff that I learned in school?”