Career Corner

Written by Adwoa Y. Boateng
Career Assistant IISyed Ayaz Rabbi, ’99, is a business analyst for CNA Financial in Chicago, “a leading global insurance organization serving businesses and individuals with a broad range of insurance products and insurance-related services”. He graduated from Lawrence University with economics and biology majors.

After graduation, Mr. Rabbi worked as a Systems Analyst for one and a half years in the I.T. Department of Deloitte Consulting in Chicago. As a systems analyst, he used ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) software to integrate departments and functions in the company onto one computer system in order to serve the needs of all the departments. In his current position at CNA, he leads teams through strategic projects, helps the CEO set strategies for the company, and works with each business unit. He is also involved with research, which includes understanding markets, how they work, and people’s responses to them. In his current work, he uses analytical, leadership, teamwork and written and verbal communication skills.

When asked what his typical day was like, Rabbi said “It is always different. There is no typical day.” What he loves most about his job is learning and being involved with different things all the time. He also enjoys working with the people on his team. These team members have become his mentors and have helped him realize that this is what he wants to do, at least for now.

Syed’s advice to Lawrence students is to take advantage of the liberal arts program and try many different things because you might end up liking something you never thought you would . Rabbi started at Lawrence as a pre-med student but, after completing the Oakridge Program, decided that biology was not for him. He happened to take an economics class and became intrigued with the subject matter. This made him decide to major in economics, which led to his present career. He also advises students that no matter what they plan to do after Lawrence, they should take their academic work seriously because GPA is a very important factor in any hiring process. Lastly, he encourages students to get involved in organizations because they help develop skills that you will certianly use in your lifetime.