Women of UGA’s mission is to foster a lifelong commitment to the University of Georgia by creating opportunities for personal and professional development, instilling a spirt of giving, and investing in the future of the university, its students and alumnae. We recently got the chance to interview Rubina Malik (PHD ’15), mentorship chair for the Women of UGA Leadership Council in order to learn more about her experience at UGA and what drives her to stay involved with her alma mater. Here’s what she had to say!
What do you value most about your time spent at the University of Georgia?
What I value most about my time spent at UGA is the education that I received and the friendships that I made. I was taught and molded into the world of being an academic. My professors did this through their rigor in teaching and modeling what they were teaching. Having professors that were and are on the top of their field in publication and practice gave me inspiration and bravery to enter a world that was new to me. The friendships that I made along the way are and were another value that was afforded to me during my time at UGA. My friendships that were developed are still intact. We continue to stay connected personally, and professionally we support each other’s goals and ideas. Currently, we are working on publications together.
Were there any particular professors that had a significant impact on you?
There were many who impacted me –
My dissertation committee (Chair – Dr. Laura Bierema, Drs. Karen Watkins, Kecia Thomas and Juanita Johnson Bailey) and others in the department like Drs. Wendy Ruona and Kathleen DeMarrais. The wealth of knowledge that was imparted on me crossed my department and colleges as well – There were others across campus, like at the Terry College of Business who also mentored me, like Dr. Dawn Bennett-Alexander. All those named and others have impacted me significantly during my tenure at UGA as well as presently.
Why is Women of UGA Leadership Council important to you?
The council is important to me for several reasons. One, I like to surround myself with like-minded individuals so being on the council allows me to be around women who are committed to making an in impact in their community as am I. Secondly, I am a believer of giving back whether that is monetarily or in service. I do both and being of service is where my heart is, it is where I feel like I can make the biggest difference – hands in the dirt – arranging opportunities for graduates to engage and develop through the mission of the council.
As Mentorship Chair, what do you hope to accomplish during your two-year term?
I am a product of successful mentoring, so this is something very close to my heart. In the next two years I hope to set up an effective mentoring program that will connect alumnae with the best of the best who have taken their education from UGA and are now making an impact in their chosen fields. This is a two-way street to me – being able to give and being able to take – the perfect formula for learning and developing. I want the young alumnae to know that they too can make an impact, run companies and have their dreams come true as many of the mentors will share in our mentoring program.
What are the most rewarding aspects of your job as a professor at Morehouse College?
I am so blessed to be living my purpose in my professional life. Being an assistant professor at Morehouse is one of the most rewarding aspects of my life. I get to cultivate our future leaders! It is not about just teaching them theory of business in the classroom, it is also about grooming them to be global minded leaders – teaching and modeling for them ethics and integrity as well as being of service. I get to create projects that allows them to take their learning in the classroom and put it into practice – we do projects for non-profits, they volunteer with me at Tedx events, or volunteer in one of the local schools – all to create a well-rounded leader who is ready to impact the world around them! Nothing is more rewarding for me than hearing from a former student about that one project or event they did that helped them discover what they are passionate about. As a mentor to some of my students – the ultimate reward is to get a call being told that I am now a “grandmentor!”
Do you have any parting advice to offer students or recent graduates?
BE A YES! Be engaged, never stop learning and never give up. Always pay it forward. There is so much happening around you, be a yes to take the time to attend events, meet new people and learn from opportunities that are presented to you. Take the time to develop your mind and your skillset, to not let someone say no to you because you do not have something – be well-rounded enough to be able to be considered or at least have a learning attitude so that they will give you a chance!