School of Business Administration

Community Matters: Roots in service nurtures professional growth

icon of a calendarJuly 30, 2021

icon of a pencilBy Emily Morris

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Community Matters: Roots in service nurtures professional growth

OU business student Mustafa Baig posing for a photo.
OU business student Mustafa Baig aligns purpose and passion for professional growth.

Prioritizing part-time tutoring positions evolved into a professional opportunity for Oakland University business student Mustafa Baig.

“During the pandemic I asked myself, ‘What should I do with my extra time?’” Baig said. His answer was to find a way to help others.

In the summer of 2020 Baig assisted sixth and seventh graders struggling with math concepts through the OU Math Bridge Program as well as provided academic support to third and sixth graders in math and English as a COVID academic support tutor. Tapping further into these skills, Baig took a job as a peer tutor at the Oakland University School of Business that fall.

“I was told the jobs I have in high school and college needed to align with the career I want to pursue,” he said. With the tutoring jobs, he hoped to learn the transferable people skills needed to be professionally successful. “I did not know how the odd jobs of tutoring students would pay off,” he said.

The combination of Baig’s tutoring work and business education caught the attention of Village Book Builders, where he secured a project management internship this summer. “After going on Handshake, Village Book Builders reached out to me, saying, ‘We love what’s on your resume, your tutoring experience,’” Baig said.

At Village Book Builders, a non-profit organization dedicated to supporting literacy around the world, Baig organizes academic mentors who help Kenyan students enroll in government-funded schooling.

Community Connections

The sum of his experiences strengthened Baig’s belief in the power of community and connections. Baig witnessed the value through his work at the OU Food Pantry, the Muslim Student Association, the Red Cross Club, the Alpha Lambda Delta honor society and as an OU Business Ambassador.

As classes and organizations shifted to a virtual environment during the pandemic, Baig remained involved, both giving and receiving support and guidance. As a Business Ambassador, Baig helps fellow business students build their community by connecting them with resources, organizations and experiences.

His experiences also influenced his decision to major in operations and piqued his interest in a career in the nonprofit sector.

“I don’t see myself making a huge impact. It's rather small things that matter,” he said. “Getting involved helped me. I can see that community service definitely does bring more people together.”

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