Mauree Akhi

Advanced Certificate in Management

Class of 2020

Mauree Akhi
"My advanced certificate will bridge my qualifications and experience to seek positions more suitable for me. The CUNY SPS program taught me how to navigate an organization to function, serve, and seek opportunities more effectively.”

What were some of the most defining aspects of your time at CUNY SPS?

In my first class, the HR Management course with Professor Jennifer Lewis, she assigned each of us into a group of four to five people. Being part my particular group made me feel capable of being part of a professional space. My personal circumstances kept me from seeking advanced degrees and establishing a career and opportunity to pursue my goals seemed increasingly distant. 

My colleagues encouraged me when I faltered or had difficulty meeting deadlines and they tolerated my shortcomings. What I really appreciated were the genuine desire of my colleagues to function as a team, nurtured a collaborative process we would all want in our respective professional spaces. Engaging with peers from a multitude of professional and personal backgrounds created a dynamic experience.

This experience made me hungry to continue advancing and to be more selective in my graduate pursuits – to do something I felt truly aligned with and not something for quantitative outcomes. 

What is the best piece of advice, or most important thing you learned at CUNY SPS? 

One of the most valuable observations I inculcated is the need to support presentations with substantive data. Coming from a background in STEM, this is a given but in small classroom settings, it seemed more grave and a bigger responsibility to clearly, concisely, and cohesively represent any information I was putting forth especially because of the proliferation of information all around us. 

I have even more respect for my peers who were in the health and quantitative fields, dealing with sensitive information and data that impact people every day. To be a valuable member of any team, we need to hold ourselves accountable and show up to meet the same standards my colleagues are holding themselves to if not beyond.

Who influenced you the most? Please feel free to include anyone from the CUNY SPS community including faculty, staff, or fellow classmates.

I can’t say any single person influenced me because my entire experience has been valuable and crucial in my transition period to seeking a suitable master’s program. I surmounted significant personal, mental, and emotional setbacks throughout the program to be able to complete it. Each of my three professors (Jennifer Lewis, Laura Sywulak, and Linda Bergen), each classmate I was able to discuss class materials with, and Lianna herself have all been instrumental in supporting my growth through this program. 

Honestly, they were just great human beings who want to excel and are happy to support others’ desire to excel. This culture resonates with me because although I am not a competitive person, I set high standards for myself. The community I met helped achieve something I was struggling with for several years before embarking on it.

How has your CUNY SPS influenced your current job, and your career overall? 

The program helped me reevaluate my commitment to the company I currently work for. My certificate will bridge my qualifications and experience to seek positions more suitable for me. The CUNY SPS program taught me how to navigate an organization to function, serve, and seek opportunities more effectively. I strategize and network, contract partners and serve a critical role in liaising between our PR partner and core team. Some of my work and confidence in approaching my work or teams are directly linked to my coursework with CUNY.

What is the most rewarding aspect of your job? 

Being able to solve problems effectively must be the most rewarding part of any jobs and tasks I am involved in. I enjoy streamlining and refining processes that make the job easier while also providing a positive experience for those who are involved in associated tasks. Because I am able to recognize patterns well, to better evaluate stakeholder needs against available resources I enjoy making connections and collaborating to meet collective goals.

Where do you see yourself in five years?

I will either have my own sustainable/community related business or working with an organization mitigating climate change. I see myself working with my local community in potentially dealing with climate resilience programs or projects with government and private partners. I also see myself being involved in a business with international reaches that will be working with developing communities for sustainable socioeconomic growth.


  • What show/s are you currently watching?
    • Gilmore Girls – as a mom around the same age as Lorelai, this show hits so many points in raising a young woman (without the village) and the struggles of being an ambitious, self-starter, with a quirky sense of humor, just trying to keeping things going, loving people as hard as we can
    • Down To Earth – a laymen’s guide to impacts of and mitigating climate change
    • The Mandalorian – on my list to watch
    • Lost In Space – a great family show for current generations; my husband (who does not like any sci-fi at all) was also hooked every second
    • Dry Bar Comedy – fantastic, intelligent underrated comics making my life brighter
  • What is your favorite meal? 
    • Ramen! – it has endless possibilities and now that it’s healthier (no more MSG in a lot of the brands), Halal, and I can afford to buy any ingredients to add to it I can make a meal out of it for the entire family (including my 4 yo)
  • What is your favorite line in a movie? 
    • I actually don’t have one. I watch Chinese, Korean, Japanese, Thai, Indonesian, Bengali, Indian, European, and American movies with little memory of actual dialogues. One most memorable movie has been Grace of Monaco with Nicole Kidman. 
  • Favorite or most recent book you read?
    • Dave Ramsey’s The Total Money Makeover – an anecdotal read, gifted to me by a financial coach, and amazing advice important for any individual desiring financial independence. 
  • Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, TikTok, none, all?  
    • LinkedIn – Mauree Akhi
    • IG – Dominion_Dice (still curating brand identity, towards a sustainable holistic feed)

List 3 things you would bring to a deserted island.  

  • Swiss army knife
  • Writing material
  • Bear Grylls (or one of the comedians from Dry Bar Comedy – I’m serious, incredibly good comics and human beings)

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