Name: Zina Hassel
Major at Baruch College: MBA '77 (Health Care Administration)
School within Baruch College: Zicklin School of Business
Company and Title: ZLH Enterprises, CEO

1. Tell us about your organization and your role there.

I am the founder and CEO of a technology consultancy company. Having roots in the telecommunications industry, the company has expanded its’ reach to include internet services, VOIP and voice communications, security awareness training, structured cabling. We work with customers in the SMB or enterprise space; single location to multi location; franchiser or franchisee.

2. What made you interested in the field and what drives you in your current profession? 

While working for NYS Office of Mental Health back in the 1970’s we conducted an analysis of the purchase of the private telephone system being used/leased. Affording the facility a savings of more than $1 million by purchasing the system, I spearheaded the purchase of and installation of the system. This began my entrance into the field of technology. It was a wild ride and I haven’t looked back since.

3. What were some unique challenges you faced in your professional career and how did you solve them? 

As I outline in my book, “My Armadillo Skin – How I Made It As A Woman In The Field of Telecom,” the constant challenge has been to overcome stereotypes. I have learned a lot over the years regarding technical configurations and proper project management techniques and have had to develop technical acumen. There have been constant challenges in relating to my male counterparts in many instances. I just push harder and push back when needed. Hence—the Armadillo Skin

4. How was your experience at Baruch like? How did Baruch impact your life and career?

As the class size was small, it was wonderful to work with that group of students and watch as we all grew into positions of authority throughout the years. We had a wonderful group of professors as well. Over the years I did stay in touch, serving on the Health Care Alumni Council and today I still act as a mentor for undergrad and graduate students.

5. What is one of your favorite memories you have from your time at Baruch?

We were all working in the health care field and if a class was running too long it was amazing how many beepers would go off! (no cell phones then). We were a tight knit group and socialized with one another outside of class as well. Everyone had their own personality and a great sense of humor.

6. What is some advice can you give to current Baruch students and alumni about working in the field of your profession?

Technology is definitely where the future lies. It’s a matter of which division or specialty you choose. Certainly, AI is the current buzz but there are many other facets to technology. Don’t be afraid to change your specialty or concentration once in the business world. I began in Health Care but wound up in Technology a decade later. You’ve got to take the plunge!

7. How can people contact you? (Social Media, LinkedIn, etc.) is the Company website. ZLH Enterprises is also on Linkedin, Instagram and Facebook. Zina Hassel is on Linkedin and welcomes fellow students/alum to connect. If you are in a business and would like a professional to look at your expenditures for technology, certainly do reach out. We evaluate at no charge—and have collected well over $1 million for clients. Savings have been phenomenal as well.