Her Campus Logo Her Campus Logo

I guess I should have known that going to business school as a woman, let alone as woman of color, wouldn’t be easy. I knew most of my peers wouldn’t look like me, especially attending a predominantly white institution. I knew that I would be overlooked, and truthfully until I actually started attending college, I didn’t care.

My want to go into the business world started when I was young and though I didn’t know it yet I would become the somewhat spitting image of my father, a previous accountant and then landlord. He would take me to his condo in charlotte, whenever tenants would call in about a clogged toilet or a leaky pipe.

But there was a big difference between being a landlord and being an accountant. When you’re a landlord, you aren’t often seen by those you service. They simply rent your property and that’s the end of it. They don’t worry about whether or not they’re renting from a woman, or man, or what race you are. You fly under the radar. 

As an accountant, before becoming a landlord, my dad lived as an Invisible Man. I wasn’t alive during that time but he told me stories. “I got used to being the only black person in the accounting firm” he would often tell me. The errors he found while being an auditor often got ignored, with his boss telling him they would “pass” on correcting a client on thousands of dollars worth of fraud. He would type his life away in silence, lingering in his cubicle like a ghost, with little to no interest shown by his colleagues. Occupied by his work, he would get done early and then sit there in isolation.

Now in my first semester at college, I find myself becoming the Invisible Man. Though I hadn’t started taking business courses, I wanted to integrate myself. But joining every club I could I often found myself the only minority of the group, and as I continually got ignored in every meeting I understood why. It was discouraging. 

So why? Why go for commercial real estate finance, when I could have joined a field that had more space for me?

Simply put, I know the kind of life I want for myself. I know that it will be hard, but in business there lacks a certain level of ethics. Behind the curtain of supposed leadership and success there’s a lack of morality, and that is shown by the lack of space for minority individuals to succeed in spaces that are typically favorable for white men. But if I can prove this stereotype wrong and make space for myself in a field that doesn’t want to let me in, I’m willing to go the extra mile. 

Hi! My name's Mahdiyah. I'm a first year student and member of the 1967 Legacy Program.