While earning a dual B.B.A. in computer information systems and marketing at the Robinson College of Business, Abeer Shakir realized she could juggle a lot at once. In addition to handling a heavy course load, she completed a four-week internship at Georgia-Pacific, where she helped gauge whether server security software would be worth the investment. She stepped up to lead the project, which analyzed employees’ internet activity and any accompanying security threats. She delegated tasks to four teammates and edited the executive report they presented to company leaders.
Shakir’s plate got fuller from there. She enrolled in Robinson’s Master of Science in Information Systems program, taking classes at night while holding down a full-time job as an IT analyst at ABB Robotics. Shakir chose the program’s enterprise systems concentration because it focused heavily on project management, the career path she decided she was meant to pursue. “I was balancing a lot,” she recalls. “That’s pretty much what project management is.”
During her graduate studies, Shakir took a week-long PMP boot camp, which prepared her for the Project Management Professional exam. “Because of the boot camp and courses, I solidified the skills I needed to move into project management,” she says.
Shakir graduated in July 2017. Her professors allowed her to finish her finals early on a Sunday night so she could fly to Dallas the next morning for her first day of work at Microsoft. Not surprisingly, she scored a project manager role. “I oversee the budget, timeline and scope for million-dollar deals,” she says. “Working under pressure excites me.”