Wednesday, April 10, 2019

Mustfa Manzur (LS ’08, CAS ’11) Alumni Mentor and Sarah Marbach (CAS ’21) Student Mentee on the CAS Mentorship Program

Mustfa Manzur
Mustfa Manzur (LS ’08, CAS ’11)
"Serving as a mentor to students is something I enjoy doing because I know firsthand how important a role mentorship can be in the process of finding and realizing your professional passions." - Mustfa Manzur (LS ’08, CAS ’11)

Why do you serve as an alumni mentor?

When I was at NYU, we didn’t have a formal alumni mentorship program for current students at the time. As luck would have it, just as I was beginning to think about life beyond Washington Square Park, I met a really involved alumnus at a CAS event – Jerry Goldman, Esq. (ARTS ’73). During every conversation since then, Jerry has always made it a priority to discuss my interests and career aspirations. He has a true knack for always asking the right questions and offering the perspective I need to hear. Serving as a mentor to students is something I enjoy doing because I know firsthand how important a role mentorship can be in the process of finding and realizing your professional passions.

Can you tell us about your experience acting as a mentor this semester?

Mentoring Sarah this semester has been great. She approached our conversations with a lot of thoughtful questions, an open mind, and carefully reflected over each of my suggestions. Sarah’s effort to systematically determine what she needs to do in order to make the most of her time at NYU has been admirable and very impressive.

Mustfa Manzur: his story continues

What advice did you share with your student mentee?

As I shared the story of my professional journey with Sarah, I tried to describe all the lessons I have learned along the way. I emphasized the importance of learning as many skills as you can through applied coursework and internships, the value of networking, and most importantly – that a modern career requires continuous learning. Most of all, finding your passions in life and forging a path towards making your dreams a reality often is an uncomfortable process. Embracing that discomfort and dedicating yourself to a unique professional goal can enable you to become a trailblazer. 

Can you tell us about your career and how your CAS experience got you to where you are today?

I graduated with majors in Neural Science and History. While at NYU, I was an active student leader. For two years, I served as a Student Senator with chairmanships of the Student Activities Board and the Student Health Advisory Board. Over three years, I served as a Resident Assistant at 80 Lafayette and Palladium. I was also the Founder and President of The Chicken & Rice Club – the largest student club on campus at the time.

One of the best aspects of my academic experience was my involvement in three formal independent research projects. My first project was in Dr. Joseph LeDoux’s laboratory in the NYU Center of Neural Science under the mentorship of Dr. Linnaea Ostroff. The second and third projects were in the History Department under the mentorship of Dr. K. Kevyne Baar and Dr. David Ludden, respectively. Learning how to analyze large datasets and appropriately write up research findings are two key skills I learned through these projects. The experience and mentorship from these professors prepared me to hit the ground running after graduating from NYU.

After completing an MPH in healthcare management at Columbia University, I worked in management consulting – serving clients across the healthcare industry nationally (health systems, hospitals, physician groups, health plans, as well as medical schools). My client work primarily focused on strategic planning, finance, and M&A. By beginning my career in consulting, I was able to learn a great deal about healthcare organizations and how they operate. Currently, I am a medical student at Sidney Kimmel Medical College of Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia, PA. Transitioning into a career that allows me to promote the health of patients and populations across the continuum of care would be a dream come true.

Would you serve as a mentor again in the future?

Without a doubt. The NYU community has made a big impact upon my life – shaping me both as a person and as a professional. Mentoring students is one of the best ways to contribute as an alumnus. After four great years in this program, I am looking forward to mentoring students for many years to come.

Sarah Marbach
Sarah Marbach (CAS ’21)

"The most valuable advice he gave me was to read. No matter what industry you find yourself in, reading and studying up on current events in the field provides background knowledge and even a leg up on the competition." - Sarah Marbach (CAS ’21)

What are you studying?

I'm a Neural Science major at CAS, and I'm also pursuing Spanish as a double major.

What are your professional goals?

As a student in the sciences, many of my classmates are either on the Pre-Health track or want to pursue a career in research. However, I'm unsure if either of these career options perfectly fit with what I would want to do in the future. I want to apply my STEM background to the business world, applying some of the principles I learned from being raised in the environment of a family-owned business. However, after discussing my goals with various professor mentors, I have found that blending the worlds of science and industry appears to be a more nontraditional path. That's why the opportunity to have an alumn mentor was so valuable for me - an alumnus would be able to offer real life experience to help me explore this career option.

Can you tell us about your experience having an alumni mentor this semester?

As I mentioned, I was so excited to be able to have an alumni mentor, not only to learn more about the field that he is in, but also to find out how he transitioned from an NYU Neural Science graduate into a successful member of the workforce. I emailed him and we set up a phone interview to help me understand his journey during and after college. He even helped me edit my resume!

What advice did you get?

Mustfa talked about multiple different lessons that he learned over the years. For example, he stressed the importance of always advocating for yourself, but also showing up and completing tasks when you say you will. This reverberated strongly with me, having been taught similar lessons from family dinner table discussions about accountability in the workplace. He also told me how imperative it is to get hands on experience and internships. However, the most valuable advice he gave me was to read. No matter what industry you find yourself in, reading and studying up on current events in the field provides background knowledge and even a leg up on the competition. Mustfa was kind enough to suggest to me some reading materials related to healthcare consulting, so I am excited to begin exploring that field. With Mustfa's encouragement, I plan to take a business class next semester and pursue my own journey towards a uniquely tailored career path.

If you are a CAS, WSC or Heights alumna/us interested in participating as an alumni mentor to current CAS students, please fill out this online form:

If you have acted as a CAS Alumni Mentor, or you are interested in acting as a mentor in the future, you are invited to the Career Conversations CAS Mentor Program Mixer on Friday, April 26, 2019. It is a networking mixer to celebrate the end of this year's mentorship cycle, and an opportunity for CAS students to connect with alumni and gain career-related advice.


Career Conversations CAS Mentor Program Mixer
Friday, April 26, 2019
5:30 PM – 7:30 PM
Silver Center - Hemmerdinger Hall
100 Washington Square East

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