Last week Jackie caught up with Naomi about her reasons behind pursuing an MBA, her favorite things about Beijing and Toronto, and of course, Jewish life in DC. Know someone who should be nominated? Email Jackie!
Naomi: I have always been very interested in business and management. I co-founded an import and export startup in Toronto when I was a senior at York University. I decided to pursue an MBA because I was interested in joining Corporate America. I have always wished to see more women in leadership roles in Fortune 500 companies in the U.S. and worldwide, and I thought I can definitely help change that by studying an MBA and aspiring to become a leader myself. I’m glad I made the decision 2 years ago, because in a month I will graduate from my MBA program and start my career at Ford Motor Company.
Jackie: You are originally from Beijing and lived in Toronto for a while. What is your favorite thing about each place?
Naomi: My favorite thing about Beijing is its history and its perseverance. Beijing survived many brutal wars, yet it has been able to preserve many of its historical sites such as the Great Wall and the Forbidden City. I also love how modern Beijing has become over the years and is now one of the largest economic centers in the world. My favorite thing about Toronto is its multiculturalism. Back in 2010, Toronto was ranked the most multicultural city in the world when it comes to ethnic diversities. I wouldn’t be surprised if the city still holds such a title. Many of my friends in Toronto are first generation immigrants, and I always enjoyed learning about the amazing and exotic cultures and civilizations of their countries of origin. I love Toronto for being a place where you can be equally proud of your non-Canadian-heritage as well as your Canadian identity.
Jackie: What is your favorite place to spend a Sunday in DC?
Naomi: There is not a particular place I would spend my Sundays in DC. I enjoy taking a long walk in DC on Sundays no matter where the destination is going to be.
Jackie: You’re an Open Doors Fellow with Gather the Jews, what is your favorite part of the Fellowship so far?
Naomi: My favorite part of being an Open Doors Fellow so far is meeting new people, learning about them as well as from them. As part of my capstone project I’ve launched a DC Jewish Professional Network Linked In group to help connect people professionally so they can easily find mentors, connections, and professional resources.
Jackie: What is your favorite Jewish food?
Naomi: Without a doubt, it has to be matzo ball soup.
Jackie: What is your favorite way to spend Shabbat?
Naomi: My favorite way to spend Shabbat in DC is attending the Shabbat service at Temple Micah. The rabbis at Micah always have inspiring sermons and have always challenged me to think outside of the box.
Jackie: Finish the sentence: When the Jews gather, there will be…
Naomi: When the Jews gather, there will be stimulating discussions. That’s one of the many elements I love about Judaism—it’s intellectually enriching, it constantly requires us to think as well as to reason our thoughts.