Rita: While Ahmer and I were both part of the Blue cohort and had a number of mutual friends, we didn’t really meet until the second semester in our Integrated Leadership Perspective capstone class [now known as The Executive], where the seating chart serendipitously put us next to one another in the middle of the row. We had a case study on Governor’s Island and knowing we were both destined for summer internships in New York, we agreed we would explore Governor’s Island together one summer weekend.
Ahmer: As fate would have it, Rita’s summer consulting internship took her to Boston and lots of long hours so she didn’t see much of the SOM crowd once the summer started. But she did remember to Facebook message me about Governor’s Island at the start of the summer.
Rita: Somehow Ahmer missed the message, and (apparently annoyed) posted on my Facebook page in mid-July, “Hey! When are we going to Governor’s Island?” This near-missed connection led to a meet-up, a night of dancing, and eventually our first kiss. I’m not sure we ever actually made it to Governor’s Island that summer, but we named a cocktail (The Governor’s Island Pimm’s Cup) at our wedding after the case study which brought us together!
Rita: Shortly after we started seeing each other in the summer of 2008, Ahmer went to the London School of Economics exchange program for the fall semester. That fall the financial crisis hit and uncertainty clouded all of our futures and job offers as banks were pulling back on offers and consulting firms were cutting recruiting.
Ahmer: In the midst of all this uncertainty, Rita and I got to know each other better and better via Gchat and email. Rita ended up coming to London for Thanksgiving on a “job trek” and I surprised her with a trip to Iceland where we hiked glaciers and saw the Northern Lights.
Rita: We made things “official” that trip and when I returned to SOM for the end of the semester, I was teased a good deal for feeling “Ahmerous” towards my classmate. When Ahmer returned for the second semester we made the most of it as we sadly knew that our time together would be short—the job market was limited and he took a role in NYC and I took a job in DC. But despite all the turmoil and long distance, Ahmer never questioned that we would make it work.
Ahmer: Rita eventually relocated to New York, thanks in part to a job referral from an SOM classmate. We got married in October 2013, and an SOM classmate officiated our wedding. Marrying someone who is not only from our business school but also from our cohort has ensured our friendships from SOM have stayed super strong to this day.
Rita: In the 14 years since we graduated, our SOM friends have been there in good times and in bad—through joyous weddings, navigating career, losing loved ones, and welcoming new children. We can truly say our SOM community is one of the most powerful of our lifetime. While the pandemic and kids have made it harder to get together recently, we are celebrating our 10-year wedding anniversary this year and hoping it use it as an excuse to bring everyone to town!
Rita: Ahmer is my rock.
Ahmer: Rita is the spice of my life.