OMBA Student Discovers Real-World Application for Cybersecurity Concentration

July 10, 2024
Massieh Hashimi headshot

As a senior technical project manager, Maseeh Hashimi is leveraging his MBA to make his company more effective and secure.

Maseeh Hashimi has always been drawn to solving technical problems, but he has never been content to remain in a purely technical role. 

A native of Orange County, California, he earned an undergraduate degree in electrical engineering before embarking on a series of business analyst roles in the entertainment and banking industries.

“My intention was never to use my skills to build electrical circuits,” he said. “I was always more focused on building software and analyzing systems.”

The self-proclaimed people person was also keen to develop leadership skills and business acumen that would equip him to oversee large cross-functional teams. He had always considered an MBA, but with a budding career, a side business in real estate and three young children at home, he had little room in his schedule. When he discovered Baylor’s flexible OMBA program, which offered a specialization in cybersecurity, he decided to take the plunge anyway. 

“I was attracted to the opportunity to gain more business acumen while expanding my skillset in cybersecurity, which is in high demand in today’s economy,” he said. 

Over the next two and a half years, Maseeh fully embraced the challenge of building a new skillset while balancing his other responsibilities. 

“Finding that balance was the most challenging aspect of earning an MBA,” he said. “Everyone in my family knew that even if we were on vacation, I would need to take an hour or two away to get my schoolwork done. Their support was essential in getting it all done.”

While earning his MBA, Maseeh led teams of more than 50 people and managed technology projects of upwards of $5 million at PwC. Looking back, the most rewarding aspect of his Baylor experience was the opportunity to apply what he was learning in real time.

“Having a technical background but little business exposure, classes in accounting, finance and management were formative for me,” Maseeh said. 

He credits the management courses he took with the way he leads today. 

“I gained tools to better understand personality types and determine what motivates each individual on my team, whether it is public recognition, compensation or verbal affirmation,” he said. “These tools have helped me tremendously in the work of building trust and resolving conflict.”

Now, he holds a coffee hour with project team members to discuss hobbies, family and other aspects of personal life outside of a work setting. When camaraderie improves, so does the work product. 

Connecting the Dots

After finishing his MBA, Maseeh was hired as a senior project manager for SoFi, a leading personal finance company. Within the company's compliance department, he leads a team in building software, preparing for internal audits and managing other complex projects with a strong security component. 

As he manages technical projects, data security is always top of mind. Currently, his team is implementing a transaction monitoring system, which involves sharing customers’ personal information with an outside vendor. Part of his role is to hold the vendor accountable to specific security requirements so that customer data remains safe and secure.

Maseeh draws a straight line between what he learned in his cybersecurity classes and what he is applying in his role at SoFi. 

“My cybersecurity classes equipped me with the knowledge I need to understand the complexity of the threats my company is facing and ensure that we have the right security measures in place to confront them,” Maseeh said. 

One of his classes required students to write realistic cybersecurity procedures for a real or mock company, mitigating risk by training employees and communicating with senior leadership.

“C-level executives are busy people who do not have time for detailed reporting,” Maseeh said. “My Baylor classes helped me understand the exact metrics and KPIs they are looking for so I can communicate effectively.” 

Maseeh’s MBA experience also prepared him to rally cross-functional teams around a shared vision for cybersecurity. 

“A lot of times, people think cybersecurity is just something for the IT team to figure out, but every employee has a responsibility and a stake in it,” he said. 

Moving forward, Maseeh aspires to climb the ladder to the C-suite, focusing on developing strategies for sustainable growth and innovation and promoting ethical business practices in the cybersecurity realm. 

“My MBA experience has already impacted the trajectory of my career, and I will use this knowledge more and more as I progress,” he said. “It not only improved my technical understanding of cybersecurity but helped me understand how my function impacts my entire organization. I have no regrets.” 

Are you interested in launching a career in cybersecurity? Click here to learn more about Baylor’s Online MBA program or fill out the form below to speak directly with an Enrollment Coordinator