Name: Hamza Qadir | Age: 30 | Hometown: Pine Bluff | Alma mater: University of Arkansas (undergraduate); University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (graduate) | Major: Biology (undergraduate); Master’s of Health Administration | Job title: Accelerator Program Manager | Employer: The Venture Center
Why did you choose a career in this field?
I came into financial services by way of the health care and technology industries. A lot of the problems in those industries are the same in financial services, so transitioning from a science and health care background was a learning curve for sure, but we’re all trying to solve the same problems. Figuring out the role of technology innovation and how it moves us forward, that’s what inspires me to do what I do today.
Why should teens consider a career like yours?
I get to interact and engage with the brightest minds, important decision makers and genuinely passionate people throughout my day. There’s always an influx of positive energy to make the tougher parts of “working” a lot more worth it.
What is the most surprising thing about your job?
[I] didn’t have to study finance or a related field to get here. The financial services and technology industries need diverse perspectives from people with different backgrounds and careers who are bringing their experiences to the table.
Do you need to have a knack for certain things?
Understanding people. That may sound simple, but having a strong emphasis and sense of emotional intelligence can go a long way.
Did you always plan to go this route?
I did not. While I was in grad school, I founded my first startup and that broadened my horizons to learning about all the other parts of the health care industry. After that, I found myself working at Arkansas Blue Cross Blue Shield (ABCBS) where I helped to lead major innovation efforts for the likes of Walmart, Tyson and JB Hunt, as well as the major hospital systems within the state of Arkansas, including UAMS and Baptist Health. My time at ABCBS helped me to understand that one must consider all aspects, including finances, when considering health. So I started to become more interested in the financial sector and ultimately found myself working at The Venture Center helping lead the fintech accelerator programs.
What is your golden rule when it comes to money?
Have multiple and different streams of income. It’ll create the flexibility to make sure you can achieve not only your professional goals but also your life goals.