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MCS In Action: Sahiba Babra, ‘21

Babra combines MCS and Economics coursework for her master's

By Jordan Lomax 

Photo Credit: Payton Steele

Sahiba Babra ‘21, economics and Media and Communication Studies, did not originally have MCS in her academic plans. She started at UMBC in the fall of 2017 as an economics major, and chose to become a Retriever because of the university’s reputation and locality to her home.

“I changed my major a lot in college, as well as my career path. Entering college I was on the path to become an accountant, then I was pre-law,” Babra said.

Through her pre-law track, she enrolled in a cross-listed MCS and Political Science class focusing on political communications. It was there that she realized that her academic interest shifted from political science to communications. 

“It intrigued me more”

UMBC’s general education requirements allow students to enroll in classes outside of their major department, to provide a richer, more well rounded academic experience. Because of this, Babra enrolled in two MCS electives during her time as an underclassman, on top of her MCS class within the pre-law track.

After completing the class she took with Dr. Ian Anson, she realized that MCS intrigued her more than law. She soon after met with her advisor to discuss what her steps should be moving forward.

“I was a junior trying to figure out what I wanted to do after I graduated,” she said. “After talking to my advisor, we saw that I was able to add the major onto my 4-year plan so that I was able to graduate on time.” 

Before declaring the major, she cited that the faculty within the department was what drew her to continue enrolling in MCS classes. 

“I saw how caring they were to their students and genuinely wanted them to succeed in and outside of their classes,” said Babra. “I loved how they remembered who I was, actually listened to what I had to say, and were there for me every step of the way until I got into grad school and graduated.”

In the fall of 2019, she officially declared the MCS major as a supplement to her primary economics degree. 

MCS in Action

Babra was very active on campus, taking leadership roles within on-campus organizations like her sorority, Phi Mu, and had multiple on-campus internships. Within these positions and commitments, she was able to solidify her post-graduation goals, and see how her MCS coursework helped her in those environments.

“During college I completed numerous internships and was involved in student organizations in which I would have positions that helped me shape my career goals,” she said. “I saw firsthand how I could apply the groundwork of what I was learning in my MCS classes to what I was doing outside of the classroom.” 

One internship that shaped her professional interest in marketing was her internship with UMBC’s Division of Professionals Studies. There she was a marketing intern and dealt with creating and posting content for the department’s social media accounts, writing blog posts for the department website, and collaborating with other departments to create content for their social media accounts. 

“My marketing internship with the Division of Professional Studies (DPS) on campus taught me how to analyze insights on Facebook and Instagram,” said Babra. “In doing so, I was able to identify what was and wasn’t working on our social media pages. This helped me in the long-term by helping me create effective social media graphics and captions in order to maximize reach and engagement.”

Graduate school and future plans

Currently, Babra is enrolled in Fordham University’s Gabelli School of Business, and is working towards her Master’s of Science (MS) in Marketing Intelligence. She said the coursework was “hard, but rewarding.”

On top of learning new skills in the program, she uses skills and practices she learned in MCS in her new coursework, mostly in her Consumer Behavior and Consumer-Driven Marketing classes. “These classes are theory based, where I’ve been able to explain what drives consumers to buy products as well as how marketing influences that using Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs (this is just one example), which I learned at UMBC,“ she said.

Babra also expressed how happy she is to have the opportunity to experience life away from Maryland, in the hustle and bustle of New York City. She encourages other young professionals to push the boundaries and get out of their comfort zone because they never know who they might meet or what they might learn.

“Going to graduate school in New York City has been an incredible experience- I’ve met so many amazing people and have learned skills that are tailored for the career I am aiming for,” she said. “When I first moved here, I felt completely out of my comfort zone, even though I’ve been wanting to move here for years. I would recommend pushing your personal boundaries to anyone, especially in your 20s, because you don’t know what you will find out about yourself.”

Posted: April 14, 2022, 10:21 AM