Tariq Jawad '97
Position: Consultant for Hong Kong finance and real estate company
Field: Finance & Consulting
As an American entrepreneur in China, and consultant for a Hong Kong family in the real estate and financing business, studying History at Harvard prepared me for the holistic and multi-disciplinary approach required to manage relationships as a foreigner in China. My business model is advising Asian-family conglomerates on internationalizing their business through expansion outside their home markets, and in doing so integrating all elements of their business culture into their decision-making. My studies in European Intellectual History, and in particular how civic virtue applied to city-state architecture during the Italian Renaissance, borrowed on various disciplines ranging from philosophy, politics, geography, architecture and economics to address a single theme. History at Harvard was about engendering a wider and more nuanced appreciation for socio-cultural, political and economic phenomenon, and as such, provided me the framework to understand how Asian-family conglomerates grow their businesses in the age of digitalized globalization. These conglomerates take a comprehensive approach to their business thereby blurring the lines between private and public lives. A MBA graduate would tend to contextualize their business decisions along purely economic lines whereas as a history major I lean towards a more humanistic viewpoint of their operating style and thus prioritize the relationship-based over transaction-based processes. I am greatly indebted to the Harvard History department for evolving my thinking along these lines, allowing me to simultaneously evaluate and synthesize disparate variables when articulating a position that is in the best interests of the company I am advising.