Saad Khan is currently a senior at the Haas School of Business. Born in Pakistan, and raised in the Bay Area, he transferred to UC Berkeley from Diablo Valley College. In the summer after his junior year, he interned at Deloitte Consulting where he also got the opportunity to work in Spain. After graduating this spring, he will be continuing full-time at Deloitte Consulting’s advisory practice. Outside of classes, Saad is passionate about helping students achieve their academic and career goals. He generously contributes his time to organizations such as the AMPD and Boost Mentorship. Recently, he also founded the “Building the Future” decal class which he hopes will foster an entrepreneurial spirit on the Berkeley campus. Anyone who has has met Saad, knows that he is the best. He is a very humble and hardworking individual, who is willing to help anyone who asks.
Thanks for your time, Saad.
My pleasure, Arhum.
Let’s begin with you telling us about yourself.
Sure, I was born in Pakistan and then moved to Canada for three years before coming to the Bay Area. Even within the Bay, I’ve moved three times. I think constantly moving around at an early age gave me the ability to adapt to different situations and deal with all types of people from an early age. This has been one of the strengths that has allowed to overcome challenges and build great relationships with people growing up. In addition, I am really passionate about fitness and my faith. I always make an effort to keep a healthy diet and and workout consistently and to stay committed to being a good Muslim.
How have you grown from your whole experience at Haas?
Haas has taught me how to be comfortable with situations that I haven’t been in before. One of the things that I’ve done over here that I didn’t do before is chasing new opportunities. I have found that challenging myself with new things is one of the best pathways to real growth. In the past, I would try to avoid being uncomfortable or doing things I wasn’t used to, but now I have realized that encountering uncomfortable situations is crucial to learn new skills. Also before Haas, I was always focused on getting the grades just to get here. People around me knew that I always wanted to study and wasn’t really interested in anything else. I think that kind of focus was necessary for me at that stage, but now over the past few years I have definitely developed more of a balance where I focus not only on grades but also give importance to personal development and building meaningful relationships. I also try to really experience and enjoy other aspects of life such as traveling.
I know you have been involved with many organizations. Can you talk about them and what inspired you to join them?
One of them is AMPD, which stands for Association for Muslim Professional Development. Looking back at it, I credit my acceptance into this great school to the mentors that were there for me when I needed help with picking classes, writing essays, applying etc.. If it wasn’t for their guidance and inspiration, I would not be here today. I took it as my responsibility to help students that are in the same situation that I was in at just a couple years ago. AMPD has let me contribute in that way, and I feel like I fit in really well. Generally, I have found that Muslims are not best connected to the business world so I found that this will let me take what I’ve learned and give back to the same community that helped me get here. I’ve had the pleasure of helping Muslims on campus get into their desired fields such as banking, consulting, healthcare, and liberal arts.
Recently I got involved with the House Fund. The idea is to help students on campus who have cool ideas and to really give them the tools, resources, and funding to allow them to pursue their dreams. This will hopefully help Berkeley get on the map in terms of the entrepreneurship scene. A lot of people look at Stanford for the innovative ideas and don’t realize that Berkeley has some of the brightest students, sharpest minds, and best ideas in the world! I want to help harness and guide the talents and potential that is out here. I started working recently on launching a class with my friend Zuhayr, Jimmy, David, and John. We have founded the first ever class called “Build the Future”. Basically what we are trying to do is bring some of the most successful executives form the Silicon Valley to UC Berkeley every week so that they can provide students with insights from their experiences on how to build a successful startup. The course is designed to inspire students to use their knowledge to build startups. So every week we are planning to go over the building blocks of creating a startup. This is to feed the entrepreneurial drive of students and to give them the resources to do so as well. This is something that is completely new to Berkeley, so we are really excited about making this happen.
What are your plans after graduation? What can we expect you to be doing after Haas?
After graduating, I will be joining Deloitte as a consultant in their advisory practice. I hope to learn as much as possible in the next few years and then eventually transition somewhere into the tech industry. I am really interested in doing something either product related or on the management side. Aside from that, I really want to travel a lot and explore places like Europe, South Africa, and Alaska. I am a huge nature-lover, so that would be great. Last summer I got to go to Spain, and it really opened up my eyes to different communities and cultures. I also want to start a formal mentorship program to help community college students get into the top universities that they aspire for. I’ve been doing that on a one-on-one basis for a while now and I’m excited to create something that will allow to me help as many students as possible.
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