Honours BA, Arts & Business and Economics, Co-op, 2013

Ahmad Jiwani

Ahmad currently works as a Solution Marketing Consultant for SAP. He graduated with Honours Economics in the Arts and Business program.

Throughout my undergraduate studies, I was exposed to several unique learning opportunities that strengthened my overall business acumen. The program offered a number of practical business courses with the added bonus of participating in UWaterloo's renowned co-op program, which allowed me to jump start my career.

What interests and goals led you to major in economics?

I have always maintained a keen interest in the field of economics and enjoyed learning new concepts through a variety of classical theory courses. My most pertinent interest was surrounding consumer behaviour theory and the reasons why consumers made various consumption choices given a set of household and budgetary constraints. The field of economics provides you with a quantitative understanding of how these decisions are made and the societal implications on a broader scale. The ability to gauge current and future economic conditions has also been of great interest to me, and can be facilitated with a solid foundation of mathematical tools taught in the program.

Which economics courses influenced you the most during and after your academic career?

My most influential courses throughout my university tenure were those that took a pragmatic approach to the theoretical concepts being taught, such as Macroeconomic Theory and Contemporary Canadian Problems taught by Professor Sen. Also, statistical courses such as Econometric Theory proved to be invaluable in my professional role when working with a sales organization to conduct statistical analyses.

How did you benefit from your co-op work terms?

During my initial work term as a Marketing Intern, I was given the opportunity to take on a variety of important roles and responsibilities that would normally be completed by a mid-level consultant. By filling the gaps between strategy and execution, I was able to develop the company’s business plan which included financial projections and valuation analysis. Additionally, I was able to successfully apply the knowledge that I had gained through researching various product offerings to work with the design team to create a more client-friendly web interface. The completion of all of these projects allowed me to enhance my organizational skills and strengthen my written and verbal aptitude.  

I also held a number of subsequent roles at SAP. I was able to work very closely with senior management and oversee the repositioning of a mature database product. The adoption of a new “total cost of ownership” framework for the product proved to be invaluable in strengthening my project management skills and assessing my strong creative contribution to the department.

I also worked in the Product Marketing group at Microsoft for their Developer Tools business, where I took ownership of executing various launch activities in support of Visual Studio 2012 and Windows Server 2012.

As a result of these opportunities, I was able to gain a wealth of knowledge which allowed me to develop a balanced blend of technical aptitude, business acumen and leadership excellence.

How has your Economics degree influenced your current job?

Working as a Solution Marketing Consultant at SAP, there are a variety of projects assigned to me that require in-depth analysis pertaining to market trends, pipeline growth and revenue targets. My quantitative background from my degree in Economics allows me to effectively manage and complete these projects by analyzing the data similarly to the work assigned in my Econometric courses.

What are your future plans or career goals?

I plan to continue advancing in my career within the private sector in the hope of someday becoming a successful entrepreneur. Additionally, it has always been a top priority for me to attend business school to receive my MBA, and I plan on pursuing a Masters degree in 2014.

Affiliation: 
University of Waterloo