Alumni Profiles is a series of posts featuring Haas alumni. It aims to provide the blog’s readers insight into work experiences in various industries and life after Haas.
Shazia Virji graduated from the Haas School of Business in 2011. While in Berkeley, she served as Berkeley Women in Business’s VP of Finance. She was also active in the Blueprint Leadership Program where she mentored undergraduate students. Shazia currently works as an associate marketing manager for Mint.com, and has joined the Haas Alumni Network’s San Francisco Chapter Board in 2012, where she is VP of the Han-SF Scholarship and Co-webmaster.
You have been with Intuit/Mint.com for over two years now. What is so unique about the company?
It was great celebrating my two year Mint-iversary recently! Mint is unique because even though it was acquired by Intuit in 2009, Mint still operates very much like a start-up. My colleagues are passionate about helping our users make money, save money, and stretch their dollar further. We’re all incredibly invested in guiding our users to reach their financial goals through a well-designed interface. It’s exciting to know that I work for a company that is a leader in the personal finance space.
What is your job title at Intuit/Mint.com? What excites you most about your work?
I’m an Associate Marketing Manager on the Marketing team. I specifically work on monetization via our lead generation partnerships. What attracted me to Mint is that I am able to provide a large impact to our user base which is over 14 million users and growing. Previously, I worked in private wealth management where I was only able to help one person at a time. But at Mint, the partnerships I manage and the campaigns I create are visible to millions of people.
How was the interview process for Intuit/Mint.com?
From start to finish, the interview process took less than one month. I was searching for a marketing role at a financially focused company and stumbled upon Mint. I applied for the job and remembered that I had a connection with someone at Intuit through my time volunteering for the Haas Alumni Network SF Chapter. I reached out to my contact who helped refer me to the position and before I knew it, I was on the phone speaking to someone in HR. I spoke with the hiring manager the next day and was called in for an interview scheduled for the following week. On the day of my interview, I met with the 5 individuals on the team (4 in-person and 1 teleconference). Most of the questions were behavioral and geared at asking me about my previous work experience. A lot of the questions were about leadership and how I would handle certain situations. Everyone was really friendly and I was able to get a good feel for the culture. I heard back from the hiring manager within one week with a job offer! Intuit typically doesn’t hire recent grads but I guess I was an exception. Recent grads typically apply for and complete the Rotational Development Program (RDP) prior to being placed in a permanent position. Last year, 26 RDPers were selected from a pool of 2,322 applicants – that’s about 1 hire for every 100 applicants. It’s quite a competitive program, but I would highly recommend Intuit as a place to work after graduation. We did rank 8th on Fortune’s Best Places to Work list!
You received a BS in Business Administration in 2011. Have you found your degree to be very useful in your career?
I have found that a business degree does give you exposure to a network that lasts a lifetime. The Haas degree has provided me with opportunities that I wouldn’t have had otherwise. I don’t know if I would be working at Mint if it weren’t for my Haas connections. From an academic perspective, the business foundation I received at Haas has helped me in my day-to-day work experiences. Being in the workforce is like having a full-time group project to work on. I used to dread working on group projects at Haas, but now I just think of group work as a commonplace occurrence – so get used to it!
You were involved with Berkeley Women in Business, Blueprint Leadership Program, and the Dean’s Team during your undergraduate career. How has your affiliation to these extracurricular activities played a role in your overall personal and professional development?
My time with Berkeley Women in Business has impacted me the most in my professional career. Empowering women in the workforce is something I’m incredibly passionate about. Since graduating from Haas, I’ve been involved with Dress for Success which is an organization whose mission is to promote the economic independence of disadvantaged women by providing them with professional attire, a network of support, and the career development tools to help them thrive in work and in life. I’ve been mentoring clients of the Going Places Network which was launched by Dress for Success with the support of the Walmart Foundation. The Going Places Network helps unemployed and under-employed DFS clients gain professional skills, accelerate their job search, and build confidence through weekly training sessions, one-on-one career coaching and networking in a supportive environment. It’s a great organization and one that I’m proud to be an active member of.
Do you have any advice you would give current students about life after Haas in general? (Anything you wish you knew earlier when you were still a student?)
I wish I had been more involved in Haas alumni activities as an undergrad because it would have expanded the network I had as a student. But I’m making up for it now because I’m heavily involved in the Haas Alumni Network SF Chapter. I serve as the HULA (HAN-SF Undergraduate Leadership Award) Chairperson as well as VP Co-Webmaster. I got involved with HAN-SF during my senior year at Haas and it helped me connect with people who were able to give me helpful advice and insight about the professional world. After graduation, it was easier for me to attend events and build my network while also giving back to the Haas community.
Which Haas Defining Principle do you identify most with?
I define most with the principle “Beyond Yourself.” This is something that I’ve actively practiced even before Haas. I strive to help others and volunteer because I always learn a great deal about myself and others when I participate in those types of experiences. I’m able to learn about other people and challenges that I hadn’t even thought of, such not having something professional to wear to an interview. Working in tech and living in Silicon Valley can make you numb to the real issues that are going on all around us. We need to make the conscious decision to lend a helping hand and put our Haas education to good use in order to improve the lives of others.
Class of 2014