Maryam Samee, Pakistan & United Kingdom
Full-Time MBA Class of 2021
Professional Roles, Achievements and Activities
Growing up I was always told that I should be a lawyer because I was passionate and loved to debate. However, after studying law at university and practising as a Paralegal at a law firm in Borneo for a year, I realised the profession was not for me and that I wanted to do something creative. Digital marketing looked dynamic and exciting to me and so I decided to work for an agency. Here I had the opportunity to work on some exciting projects for major FMCG clients like Nestle and Miller Genuine Draft.
I eventually moved into the hospitality sector, working with the likes of the Gordon Ramsay Group and D&D London- two of London’s major hospitality groups launching their websites and e-commerce platforms. As an avid foodie, this was the perfect combination of my skill set- combining my love for food with my digital marketing background. Most recently, I moved in house to work for one of the world’s most innovative hospitality groups with six Michelin stars in its portfolio.
Following this, I decided that I wanted to expand my knowledge and learn about all areas of business beyond digital. I wanted to learn about finance, operations, and all these other facets and so I decided to do an MBA. For me it was extremely important to find the right school- one that was diverse not just in the nationality of students, but also their backgrounds and thought- and so I decided on ESADE after being lucky enough to get accepted following a very thoughtful and enjoyable selection process where I really got to experience the ESADE spirit.
During my MBA I have been very active in club life- taking on roles as Vice President of the Marketing Club and Vice President of Allies in the LGBTQ+ Club. Although this was not the MBA experience any of us had envisioned due to COVID, I had the opportunity to get involved in ways I had never imagined. During this time, I founded the ESADE Black Lives Matter Coalition, which has now been developed into ESADE’s Blacks in Business & Allies Club by the new class. I also led a series of virtual cookalongs for my class where we all took part in teaching each other how to cook dishes from our respective countries.
What is invisible but essential about YOU? or ESADE? or Barcelona?
Having grown up across six different countries- my entire life experience has been a melting pot of cultures, thoughts, and mindsets. I was born in Pakistan and then moved back and forth between there, the Middle East and the UK. Growing up in multiple cultures has also allowed me to see issues from different perspectives. Personally, I am most concerned with the theme of feminism, and what equality and equal opportunity mean to women in different parts of the world. Although at face value everyone believes in the equality of women, what that actually looks like and how we get there is often something people clash on. Through my professional work experience, I have also observed firsthand many of the struggles women face in the workplace. For example, I have seen how senior women in male-dominated upper management roles sometimes struggle as authority figures with their assertiveness being misconstrued as aggression. I find that women need to work harder to strike a balance between confidence and approachability than their male peers do.