The Balanced Entrepreneur

Zayan Ahmed,

Zayan Ahmed ’19 

Zayan Ahmed ’19 has big dreams, and he loves to squeeze joy out of life, whether backpacking through the Grand Canyon, cooking for friends and family or playing jazz guitar. He’s also interested in social issues and current events and says that the people he’s met on campus have helped open his eyes to new and different points of view. Below, he discusses those experiences, his dreams of opening an authentic Indian/Bengali restaurant, his favorite professor and the importance of leading a balanced life.


International business & management.

Clubs and organizations:  

Dickinson Improvisation and Collaboration Ensemble (DICE), College Orchestra and Jazz Ensemble.

On choosing Dickinson:

I knew I wanted to attend a small school, and once I visited Dickinson, it just clicked. The campus, location and academic reputation are what made the decision easy.

Proudest accomplishment:

Backpacking in New Mexico for 12 days and backpacking through the Grand Canyon.

Favorite professor:

[Contributing Faculty in Music Jeffrey] Wohlbach has to be my favorite professor so far. Although all my professors have had an important impact on me, his enthusiasm and approach to directing the Jazz Ensemble is really inspiring. He has made me a better guitarist, and he is so approachable and kind that you forget he’s your professor and not a bandmate.

As a kid, I wanted to be …

… initially, a circus ringmaster. After that, I wanted to be in a famous rock band.

Post-Dickinson plans:

I have many dreams, so I’ll hit the big points. I want to own an Indian/Bengali gastropub; it would combine my love for good authentic Indian/Bengali food with a selection of great beers. I would also love to own a music club and bar. Like any guy who plays guitar, I’d also love to play in a sold-out stadium.

If I could have dinner with anyone, living or dead, it would be …

… Jimmy Hendrix.

Most important thing I’ve learned so far:

Learning about the social issues in the U.S. right now. I did not get a deeper understanding of these issues by seeing the news and reading articles here and there; I had to talk with people who actually face these challenges. This opened my eyes to what some of my friends have experienced, and what I have felt but could not interpret.

Little-known hobby:

My family is convinced that I do great impersonations, but I’m not sold on it. I can cook really well. 

About my internship:

During winter break, I'm interning with Posh Garments Ltd., a family-owned garments factory in Dhaka, Bangladesh, that makes ladies' blouses. After I learn about each department and how it helps keep the factory running, I will learn how the business is run and managed. 

Biggest influence:

My mother taught me the importance of both education/work and of having fun, whether going to concerts, playing music, sports or hanging out with friends. She emphasized the importance of having a balanced life.

Learn more

Published December 20, 2016