Name: Diane Chehab
Major at Baruch College (Degree Obtained): MBA, concentration in Finance
Company: Padouk Design
Title: Architect, Social Media Consultant and Project Manager
Graduation Year: 2005
School (if applicable) within Baruch College: Zicklin School of Business

1. Please briefly describe your current profession/activities in-detail including your responsibilities and/or tasks.

After a career in architecture, I worked in marketing/social media and as an IT project manager. Having left NY to return to Cameroon, my spouse’s home country, I now practice again as an architect and also work as an online marketing and social media consultant in San Francisco.

2. Please briefly describe your career path to-date, including the reasons behind career changes you made since graduating from Baruch College.

Before I did my MBA, it was difficult to apply for non-architectural positions, even though I had transferable skills. The MBA opened many more professional doors, although not quite the ones I had expected. “Lessons learned: it may be too late to find a position in finance, after a certain age; economics, finance, basic accounting should be taught to everybody; you could add to that basic information technology, marketing and statistics!”

I was not a typical student as I returned to school much later than most. When I realized that the Zicklin program was nowhere to be found in the Wall Street Journal’s lists of MBA programs, I personally wrote to them, and was successful in obtaining a mention in one of their lists.

Along with Epee Ellong, I published the French-language book, “De La Case A La Villa” (Riveneuve Editions) in 2014, on the evolution of African housing, with a focus on Cameroon, where I lived for over 12 years. The book is expected to be published in English soon by McFarland.

On April 14, 2011, I took part in the  "Sustainability and IT" Panel and was featured in this discussion panel. Afterwards my quote was highlighted "Know more than IT skills!" The panel was organized by Professor Kannan Mohan, and in 2013, I presented  to his Green Sustainability IT class: "Bridging the Digital Divide at the New York City Housing Authority".

3. What job resources (e.g., internships, work-study jobs, summer and/or other work opportunities, etc.) have influenced your career choice(s)?

I earned my MBA as someone further along in my career, so this is a difficult question to answer. A few years after completing the MBA, I left New York City Transit for the NYC Housing Authority where I worked as an IT Portfolio and Project Manager. One of the key projects was the Digital Van program, which was started in 2012, bringing laptops and wifi on wheels to low-income neighborhoods. The program's success received widespread media coverage, was recognized by the Mayor, and was a semi-finalist for a Harvard Kennedy School award.

In 2015, I left New York first for Cameroon, working as a consultant for Cameroon’s first architecture school, ESSACA, and then on to San Francisco, while still consulting part-time for ESSACA, and researching new opportunities to work in the nonprofit sphere or to help businesses with their social media presence. There have been many chapters in my life, both professional and geographical: I am on to the next one now.

4. What do you like to do in your free time?

Read: sci-fi, historical novels; and travel when possible.

How can people reach you?
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