Featured Member: Yasmin Mandviwala
- Current Employment: Airbnb
- Previous Employment: PayPal, McKinsey, Acumen Fund, TechnoServe
- Education: Dartmouth College, Harvard Business School
- Industries: Consumer Technology, International Market Entry
- Location: San Francisco, CA
Why did you want to join Muppies? How have you benefited from your Muppies membership?
I wanted to join Muppies to meet people who may have come from a similar background and have similar professional goals. I did not grow up with many Muslim friends, so seeing how young folks in such a vibrant community support one another has been eye-opening. Especially in today’s heightened environment, it is reassuring to have a strong Muslim group that aims to have a positive impact on business and on society.
I have been fortunate to have many mentors and coaches along the way. In recent times, my professional mentors have been a couple of my favorite bosses. Developing relationships with them felt natural. At first, our relationship was formal – as with any new manager, I worked hard to prove myself. As we developed trust, the relationship became more informal. We would go out to lunch, joke around, and begin to know more about each other’s personal lives. When it was time for me to move on to a different challenge, these mentors helped me to define that new role and to find it. Over time, they also began to view me as an advisor, and ask me for advice and feedback. I keep in regular touch with these individuals, and know that they are always there to give advice, provide a strong recommendation, or simply catch up as friends.
Don’t worry too much about “being a leader.” That implies worrying about how others view you. Instead, worry about the quality of your work product, and how you are treating others. If you maintain a humble attitude, constantly learn from others around you, and always put out the best quality of work possible, the rest will follow. Find your passions. Figure out what types of roles, work environments, industries, etc. inspire you. Then, put yourself in those situations as often as possible. The happier and more motivated you are, the better leader (and employee, and friend, and person) you will be.
I am a big believer in using every spare minute. There are so many mindless tasks that have to get done in a given week. I aim to finish them in the 5 minutes before a meeting, 10 minutes before joining a friend for dinner, 20 minute walk to work, etc. I keep a list of all the small things that I have to do, both personally and professionally, and use every spare moment to get them done. This way, when I have a free evening, I can spend it catching up on Game of Thrones instead of sending off administrative emails and scheduling doctor appointments.