Mumina Abdurakhmonova, BS’23, has always known she wanted to have a business career. Originally from Uzbekistan, Mumina says her mother has always been her inspiration.
“Ever since I was a kid, my mom has always owned a small business. She had her own hardware store in Uzbekistan. When we moved to New York, she sold Turkish clothing in Queens,” Mumina said. “I always had that business mindset.”
Mumina’s family eventually moved to Indiana, where she enrolled in a college before transferring to the Undergraduate Program at the Kelley School of Business Indianapolis. She enrolled during the COVID-19 pandemic and says the decision to attend Kelley was a pivotal moment in her education journey.
“Attending IUPUI not only influenced who I am today as a Kelley student, but it directed me to my future goals and aspirations. At Kelley Indianapolis, I was able to build a successful academic path, engage socially, and discover new horizons,” Mumina said. “I chose Kelley because it’s one of the well-known business schools in the Midwest, and I really liked the strong curriculum.”
When she finally arrived on campus after a year of online learning during the pandemic, Mumina was excited to dive into student life. A finance and real estate major, Mumina lived off campus when she moved to Indianapolis, and she joined student organizations to meet more people and build a community.
“Whenever you’re in a new place, you want to explore new things. The first thing I did was to join the Asian Student Union to feel a part of the community. From there, I met my best friend, who was also new to Indiana, and we joined the Muslim Student Association. I’m now the treasurer and ambassador. I joined groups that made me feel like I belong,” Mumina said. “And as a woman in the male-dominated field of business, I also sought leadership roles. I am a board member for Regatta and a senator for the Undergraduate Student Government.”
Mumina is also the Service Committee Officer for Honor Societies Alpha Lambda Delta and Phi Eta Sigma and treasurer for the Honors Art and Culture Society. One of her favorite organizations on campus has been the International Peer Mentoring Program (IPMP), in which Mumina connects with and supports students from all over the globe, like herself.
“When I moved here, IPMP played a huge role in my life on campus. Even though I’m not an international student, I joined their monthly socials. They were friendly mentors who made me feel like I belonged,” Mumina said. “Peer mentoring made my senior year so colorful because IPMP is like family – everyone knows one another. I have 13 mentees, and I’m in a team of three mentors. We work with each mentee, checking in monthly. It’s so interesting to see the social and academic transformation of mentees from the beginning of the semester to the end.”
“I was thrilled when Mumina applied and was selected to become an International Peer Mentor for the Office of International Affairs,” said Aliza Frame, director of International Student and Scholar Services. “She’s an exemplary student who also has a remarkable ability to connect with others in intercultural settings and make them feel seen.”
Mumina is also very active in the classroom. She represented IUPUI in an international supply chain competition in Detroit, even though she isn’t a supply chain major. “I signed up for the supply chain competition because of the professor, [Senior Lecturer] Mark Ippolito. I’d heard a lot of good things about him and his teaching style, so I wanted to try this new challenge,” said Mumina. In I-Core, the semester-long group project in which students solve an actual business challenge, her team earned a top score. Mumina, who was recently selected among the IUPUI Top 100 Outstanding Students for campus, academic, and community excellence, says one way she’s had a deeper experience in school has been by joining the Kelley Indianapolis Honors Program.
“I enjoyed the benefits of being a Kelley Honors student. I get more interaction with my professors because of the small class sizes, and I had courses that challenged me and immersed me in learning business,” Mumina said. “At Kelley, you also meet top business leaders from around the world by participating in I-Core and through the real estate co-major. I built a lifelong network and met professionals who are potential future employers.”
Among her favorite experiences at Kelley has been the Real Estate Co-Major workshop, an intensive course taken twice for eight weeks each semester. In addition to getting hands-on experience and face-to-face networking with real estate professionals in the city, Mumina says the experience inspired her to pursue a real estate law degree.
“Before joining the program, I thought real estate was just buying and selling, but I learned that it’s heavily based on skills in finance, marketing, communication, and networking,” Mumina said. “I really enjoyed the intense workshop. Each week, there was a new project and a real business case to solve. It’s not something that every Kelley student gets from their major. And [Real Estate Lecturer] Sara Coers does a great job. She’s a retired real estate professional who loves teaching and sharing knowledge and opportunities. I really enjoyed my involvement in the real estate co-major at Kelley.”
As she prepares to graduate from Kelley and apply to the IU McKinney School of Law, Mumina reflects on the career she’s shaping in the model set by her business-minded mother.
“My mom’s so excited for me. Whenever you have so much love and support from your parents, it creates a good kind of pressure where you don’t want to disappoint them,” Mumina said. “She is so happy for me and what I’ve accomplished here at Kelley, it is really good motivation for my next step.”