Resilience in Action: Transforming Adversity into Success

“Resilience, Perseverance and Networking Are Key Ingredients For Success”

In the face of adversity, it is often our response that defines us.

As a senior product manager at RBC-City National Bank, a working mom and a UC Davis MBA student, my academic journey is a testament to the power of resilience. After navigating through challenging times, I have emerged stronger than ever with the support of my strong network and connections.

An Unexpected Turn of Events

Years ago, I was part of the management team as a product leader at a late-stage fintech startup and was called into a meeting that would change my professional trajectory overnight.

Suddenly, I found myself looking for new opportunities during a recession. The situation seemed daunting, but I chose not to succumb to distress.

Inger Maher and Eza Dsouza at a UC Davis networking event
Eza Dsouza (right) joins Inger Maher, senior director of student and academic services, at a UC Davis MBA event at Bishop Ranch in San Ramon, home to the UC Davis Bay Area MBA program. 

Choosing Resilience Over Failure

Rather than dwell on the setback, I embraced it head-on. While continuing my job search, I enrolled in the UC Davis Bay Area MBA program. I recognized the value of investing in myself and expanding my skill set in the ever-evolving business landscape.

With the unwavering support of the career development team at UC Davis Graduate School of Management, I honed my resume, aced mock interviews, and leveraged the power of networking.

The Power of Networking

I discovered that my network was a hidden treasure trove of opportunities. By tapping into my circle of mentors, managers, alumni, friends and family, I gained valuable insights into potential job openings. The network helped me identify the right product management opportunities and provided crucial information about potential employer’s culture and growth prospects.

My experience highlighted the importance of cultivating relationships and depending on them during challenging times. My network also provided research and clearance on potential employers regarding their work culture and long-term growth opportunities.

I credit my network for helping me connect to four new job offers, including two banks, the world’s largest asset manager and a fintech company.

Paying It Forward

Recognizing the significance of my journey, I have taken on leadership roles in the GSM student clubs. As the president of the Davis Marketing & Product Management Club, Bay-Area and co-president of the Women in Leadership Club, Bay Area, I aim to give back and mentor new product managers and women leaders on their own paths to success.

Networking: A Catalyst for Growth

Building relationships, nurturing mentors and connecting with peers can provide invaluable perspectives and insights.

In times of uncertainty, having a network can serve as a compass, guiding us toward informed decisions and offering support during difficult situations.

It also serves as a reminder that learning never stops. The STEM-designated UC Davis MBA program provides opportunities for experienced industry veterans to sharpen their pencils and get ready for any new challenge the business world may throw at them.

I hope my story will inspire prospective students and serves as a reminder that resilience, perseverance, and networking are key ingredients for success. I am determined to shatter the glass ceiling and ascend to the C-Suite as a product leader.

As Friedrich Nietzsche once said, "What doesn't kill you makes you stronger." Let us embrace this philosophy and make the most of our time in school by investing in relationships that can shape our futures. Together, we can navigate challenging times and emerge stronger than ever before.