Student Spotlight: Herra Iqbal, MBA/MPH Candidate 2014


Herra Iqbal          

Program: MPH/MBA, Full-time Student

Industry/Field of work: Behavioral & Mental Healthcare

Undergraduate degree in: BS Human Biology, BA Economics

Undergraduate School: University of California, San Diego           

Career Goal: Hospital Administration

LinkedIn Profile

What prompted you to return to school to achieve your master’s degree?

I decided to be a perpetual student and begin my master’s directly out of undergrad. I paved out a general road map of how I wanted to achieve my goal of entering the realm of hospital administration and decided that continuing my education was best for me. I was worried that I wouldn’t remain as motivated later on, and figured I had thought about my career path logically, so pursuing my master’s made sense…and because I value being in a constant state of learning and wasn’t ready to settle down in one setting.

What was the most important factor for you in choosing an MBA program (or factors you considered)?

When researching MBA programs, my mind was focused on dual MPH/MBA programs –I didn’t look elsewhere. My main focus was finding an accredited dual program that would fit what industry I wanted to land in—healthcare. Chicago is unarguably a central hub for hospitals and healthcare in the United States so the idea of being able to be in the program I wanted that happened to be placed in the perfect setting seemed to work in my favor.

Since you have started the program, what has been the most unexpected gain the program has given you?

The most unexpected gain I think I’ve observed is self-confidence. Being in a dual program that not many people readily know about, the program has taught me to be confident in my goals and be able to effectively communicate what I want to do and how I want to get there. Being a little ant in a big city, I’m slowly learning that I can catch myself when I trip.

Which class/professor has been your favorite thus far and why?

Finance 500 – Randy Adams is the man! I really appreciated his “no nonsense” attitude. He kept things simple and to the point, eliminating potential gray area where students could be misinformed or confused. His approach was stern, but he was a very understanding professor who truly cared about the value of education he was giving his students and strived to push us to think critically rather than spit out numbers on a piece of paper.

How would you define the University of Illinois at Chicago graduate business student?

Diverse! Liautaud students come from far and wide in terms of professional background. UIC Liautaud students are really lucky that they’re in an environment where not only can they learn from the classroom, but can also learn from each other’s field of work and varying industries.

What advice would you provide to incoming UIC Liautaud students?

Don’t let anyone limit you. Be independent and work to your utmost potential. Take advantage of the incredible support system at Liautaud and don’t be afraid to ask questions and look for guidance. Chicago is a place full of opportunities for graduate students—push the envelope and strive to apply to opportunities that may be beyond your comfort zone. Be confident in your abilities and don’t expect anyone to hold your hand through graduate school! Graduate schools is all about making choices—make the choices that will help you navigate your career path however you see fit.