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Asad Azam, Class of 2015
Business administration major Asad Azam, Class of 2015, says he was honored to be selected as one of Dominican University's inaugural MB Fellows.
Azam (far right) was honored along with classmate Rocio Aguilar (second from left) at a reception with (l-r) Mitch Feiger, President and CEO of MB Financial Bank; Tom Prothero, MB Financial Bank COO of Commercial Banking and Dominican University President Donna M. Carroll.
Through Dominican's innovative partnership with MB Financial Bank, Azam is taking courses to complete Dominican's Leadership Certificate, is being mentored by MB Financial Bank executives, and participating in two intensive summer internships with the company. He also has the opportunity to work part-time at MB Financial Bank during the school year and to apply for the company's 24-month leadership development program after graduation.
"I was shocked to be eligible to apply for such a great opportunity so early in my studies," Azam says. "This experience will help me grow in the right direction and apply the knowledge I gain as an MB Fellow in my daily classes."
The MB Fellows program enables two Dominican undergraduate students (selected during their freshman year) to receive over the course of three years on-the-job experience, one-on-one mentoring from professionals in the field, a yearly financial scholarship and leadership development training, all to prepare them to be top candidates for positions after graduation.
“The MB Fellows scholarship represents a unique opportunity for Dominican students to enhance their classroom learning while partnering with our organization in a hands-on environment,” says John Sassaris, senior vice president and commercial banking division manager at MB Financial Bank. “For those who do well in the program and have the desire to move forward, the ultimate goal is a rewarding career in financial services."
The opportunity to gain valuable experience through internships and to participate in innovative partnerships gives students an all-important leg up in their job search, and in many cases, provides a stepping stone into some of the country's leading companies.
This early exposure to the working world also provides an added opportunity for students to align their academic experience with the skills employers seek.
"It's a model that exemplifies the university's forward-thinking approach to preparing students: first-rate instruction from faculty members who have extensive real-world experience combined with distinctive experiential learning opportunities, career resources and a vast network of supporters," says Keli Wojciechowski, director of career development.
In January 2014, Azam took a step to expand his experience beyond the Chicago area, landing an internship with the Washington, D.C. Economic Partnership, an organization tasked with branding the District as a premier location for starting or relocating a business.
"Real-world experience is a must! Coming out of college with no experience on how the real working world operates is very difficult," Azam says. "Having the skills and knowledge of what really goes on in the working world while in college will help me as a student decide how and what I would like to do with my life and how to prepare for the coming years."