MBA Education Path to Diversity Scholar Profile: Suha Beidas Zehl
(One of a continuing series of profiles of participants in the MBA Education Path to Diversity (P2D) Scholarship Program, which enables employees from diverse backgrounds to advance their professional growth and career development.)
MBA NEWSLINK: Tell us about yourself.
SUHA BEIDAS ZEHL: I am Chief Innovation Officer with BlackFin Group, a management consultancy that serves the mortgage lending ecosystem. Twenty years ago, I stumbled into the mortgage industry and have not looked back. I am currently pursuing my coaching certification because I am passionate and intentional about helping others, especially young professionals, chart their own path of success. I also have an MBA and a bachelor of science in computer science (yes, I am a STEM geek and proud of it). I have been married for 17 years; and my husband and I have two amazing sons: Philip (Jay) 24 and Nicholas (Nick) 22. I am a true foodie (chef-trained while living in Abu Dhabi, UAE), an avid scuba diver, and a travel junkie..
NEWSLINK: How did you learn about the MBA Path to Diversity Program?
ZEHL: About four years ago, I attended my first MBA Annual Convention and learned about this amazing opportunity. It took some time, but I finally decided to apply and received my scholarship within a couple of months. I was able to use that scholarship to enroll in my first course, School of Mortgage Banking (SOMB) I, in Nov 2021.
NEWSLINK: What inspired you to become more involved? Did a co-worker/supervisor/mentor encourage your participation?
ZEHL: When I stumbled into the mortgage industry 20 years ago, I truly felt like I had found my forever home. Coming from a technology and analytics background, I felt I was at a disadvantage because I needed to better understand the mortgage manufacturing process so I can continue to leverage technology to innovate and improve the process. I wanted to level up and learn as much as possible; and I believe being able to participate in all the different MBA educational programs has given me the opportunity to learn and grow, to become a better leader.
This year, I applied again and received my second scholarship. I decided to apply for (and was accepted into) the 2022 Future Leaders program. This program has been instrumental to my continued growth, and I am forever grateful to be among such incredible peers, learning and sharing together, as we continue to elevate each other.
Over the next 12 months, my goal is to earn the Accredited Mortgage Professional (AMP) and the Certified Mortgage Banker (CMB) designations.
I know, I am an over-achiever. 😊
NEWSLINK: Did you find the application process to be user-friendly?
ZEHL: Absolutely! And while the support team at MBA was available to answer any questions, the process itself was very straightforward to follow. It takes a little time to gather all the information and recommendations that you need – but it’s well worth the effort and the time.
NEWSLINK: How has the Path to Diversity scholarship benefited you, personally and professionally? What have you been able to bring back to your company as a result of the Path to Diversity program?
ZEHL: As a life-long learner and a curious person, being able to participate in the course offerings and webinars that the MBA makes available to its members has been invaluable. I have gained so much knowledge in all aspects of our industry; I have made life-long connections and friends; and I believe that I am adding value to BlackFin, to our clients and partners, and to the industry that welcomed me 20 years ago.
NEWSLNK: What would you say to someone considering applying for a Path to Diversity scholarship?
ZEHL: I have already shared my experience and told many about this scholarship program. I have encouraged them to apply and advised them to be authentic in their application and personal statement and to be clear about their goals. Really, it is a no-brainer – if you are eligible for the Path to Diversity Scholarship and you don’t apply, you are leaving money on the table. Plain and simple. As an MBA member, you are invited to apply for this scholarship if you qualify (the rules and criteria are clearly stated); and with this scholarship, you have the opportunity to improve yourself and grow – both personally and professionally. And in turn, you will be paying it forward by adding value right back into the industry. It’s a win-win for everyone, no?
About the MBA Path to Diversity Scholarship Program
The Path to Diversity Scholarship Program recognizes existing industry professionals who are seeking to advance their careers through continuing education. Recipients receive a voucher to cover course registration fees, up to a maximum of $2,000, for popular MBA Education courses and designation programs. This education opportunity enables employees from diverse backgrounds to advance their professional growth and career development.
MBA recognizes that a strong, responsible and sustainable real estate finance industry requires a workforce that is reflective of our society at large. For more information about the Path to Diversity Scholarship Program, click here.