More than a project wrangler or a whiz with spreadsheets, Yasmin Shaheed has a twinkle in her eye that tells you in one look; if there is a secret ingredient to success, this 2016 MBA graduate has got it.
Shaheed is the chief administrative officer for the Housing Authority of the City of Pittsburgh. In this position, she oversees the executive office for the municipal agency that manages property and provides real estate services. She also runs the Discipline and Compliance Department that serves people with disabilities.
"We stay busy. We serve over 20,000 families within the City of Pittsburgh, so we do a lot. It's an exciting job—I love it," she says.
She has a bachelor's degree in education from Pennsylvania State University and worked early on for the Pittsburgh Public Schools. Rather than public housing, she began her career overseeing first through eighth graders at Homewood Montessori School.
One day while teaching, the executive director of the Housing Authority visited her school. Shortly after meeting Shaheed, he asked her to consider a project manager position in his department.
"I'm all about just going out there and trying different things,” says Shaheed, who has been with the Housing Authority for 10 years now. “If you don't, you'll never know what would have happened."
Shaheed tries out new things in the community, too. The United Way and Family Services of Western Pennsylvania are among the non-profits to which she dedicates time. But her eyes brighten when she talks about the Best of the Batch Foundation, a youth and family organization started by former Steeler Charlie Batch. She has been a volunteer for nearly a decade and became a board member about a year ago.
"I coached boys basketball for ages 13 to 15—and my team has the most wins, out of all the coaches!" Shaheed says.
Her hard work doesn't go unnoticed. Shaheed was a 2016 Fab 40 honoree, an award presented by the New Pittsburgh Courier to talented "movers and shakers" under the age of 40.
Shaheed says the city residents are the best part of her job. She connects people in need to the assistance her agency offers, such as public housing and a self-sufficiency program. She also loves travel and spending time with her family and friends.
"People drive me. Their lives drive me. Their talents drive me. And their successes drive me. As long as I can touch lives I'll continue to do what I'm doing," she says.
Shaheed proves that Carlow graduates in business administration aren't just about the numbers. But with her values firmly in place, the numbers continue to be in her favor.
Learn more about the programs in Carlow's College of Leadership and Social Change.