Integrate. Not Prioritize.

Reflecting on the past two weeks, I'm finding it hard to believe that I have a few moments of downtime to catch my breath. Drinking a black coffee near the fireplace, staring at the window facing the turn of the seasons, with nothing but white noise... I'm finding beauty in all of it. 

If I were to put a theme or mission around this unique time in my life, It would be integration. During our lecture last Saturday, a colleague asked our guest speaker - "with such a demanding schedule and fast paced lifestyle, how do you prioritize?" The speaker responded "I don't prioritize... I integrate".

Communication Leadership | Personal Statement

Personal Statement

I am eager to begin the MCCN program at the University of Washington, as I believe it is the strongest of its kind. I will be able to meet my objective of becoming a thoughtful, influential leader by being an active member of the MCCN program; contributing and working collaboratively through real-world challenges with my cohort. I am particularly interested in the “Communication First” methodology, as it embraces listening as a core competency of strong communication. My primary goal is to learn how storytelling can be used as a mechanism to articulate complex concepts in diverse environments to ultimately inspire change. I plan to apply these principles as a leader in high growth business settings to ultimately help define strategic roadmaps for long term success.

Much of my motivation for pursuing a graduate degree through the MCCN program stems from my professional experiences and passion for problem solving. Over the last three years, I have worked on Open Data, Performance and Community Policing programs for State of Washington, City of Seattle, City of Palo Alto, and many others. Throughout that experience, I learned how challenging it was for these organizations to tell a meaningful, data driven story about their progress to their constituents. Meanwhile, I worked for a local tech company focused on the public sector to help build out their sales organization and go-to-market strategy for transactional business. It was a unique experience witnessing the business undergo heavy attrition after significant growth and three rounds of funding. The churn was primarily due to senior leadership neglecting the communication needs of a maturing market and employee base. I learned firsthand the impact that poor communication can have on the direction of an organization. I am eager to exchange these types of stories with my cohort through our integrated fieldwork studies and collaborate on cases where solutions could have been introduced. To be specific, I am ready to learn how to be strategic as a leader so that I am prepared to anticipate change proactively and use data to influence the direction of an organization as taught in the MCCN program by Dr. Kristin Foot in her class on Digital Transformations of Organizations.

I am now at the point in my career where I feel ready to lead people and impact change because I recognize imbalance in the workplace and disconnect in our communities. The widening gap in our social and political infrastructure reminds me of the stories my parents would share about their experience immigrating during the Iranian revolution. As an Iranian-American in today’s society, I have experienced different forms of adversity, prejudice, and financial constraint only to understand the need for strong, data driven leaders in our businesses and local community groups - this is the type of leader I aspire to be. I believe the MCCN program at the University of Washington has the faculty, curriculum, and tools I need to become an impactful leader of change.