Meelan Dullabh, Class of 2023 Commencement Speaker, Reflects on His International Education at LeBow
During his five years at LeBow, Meelan Dullabh sought out the world. As a native of South Africa who moved to the United States at age 11, he eagerly embraced international perspectives: studying economics in Germany, tropical ecology in Ecuador, and global marketing, culinary science and culture in the United Kingdom over the course of three different study-abroad programs. He also participated in Global Classrooms and other international exchanges with universities in Uruguay, Japan, Germany, Ireland and the Netherlands.
His time on campus was equally rewarding and highly active: he was named a Global Engagement Scholar and Chapel Leadership Scholar and held leadership roles in multiple student organizations, including internationally-focused ones like Drexel Model United Nations and the International Students Union.
There’s still more he wants to see and do outside of the United States, as he plans to volunteer in South America before commencing his career.
Hometown: Palo Alto, California
Major(s)/program of study: Business Analytics, International Business and Marketing at LeBow; Pennoni Honors College
Co-op experiences: Strategic Capacity Management at Johnson & Johnson; Finance and Risk Data Operations at JPMorgan & Chase; International Product Expansion at Comcast
Student organizations: President, Drexel Consulting Group and American Marketing Association at Drexel; board member or affiliate, Drexel Model United Nations, International Students Union, Drexel Ecological Representatives (Eco-Reps), Dean Student Advisory Board, LeBow DEI Taskforce, Drexel Dining and Student Philanthropy Council, Drexel Club Soccer
Drexel LeBow: What are some highlights or memorable moments from your time as a student at LeBow?
MD: Hosting speed networking events and workshops at the Rose Terrace, randomly running into friends at fundraisers in the GHall lobby, the feeling of walking into a new class every ten weeks and, as my friends know, finding events with free food.
DL: Tell us about an important lesson you took away from an academic course.
MD: An important lesson I learned was to allow my curiosity to motivate me, rather than my fear of making a mistake. I truly believe that we grow the most when we make mistakes and make the effort to go above and beyond. This was quite a difficult lesson for me to learn during my five years at Drexel. However, the classes I took during COVID-19 and the nature of remote learning helped me unlock this new mindset.
DL: Who are some of the individuals from LeBow’s faculty and staff who have helped and supported you during your time here, and what impact did they have on you?
MD: There are so many faculty members and staff that have supported me throughout my journey at LeBow. In Introduction to Business, John Henderson and Chris Finnin set the stage for what life at LeBow would look like. Boryana Dimitrova and Daniel Korschun helped me develop as a student leader. Susan Epstein, Dana D’Angelo, Michael Howley and Rajiv Nag were professors I learned so much from both inside and outside of the classroom, and Caitlin Brady and Shawna Morse helped me make the most of my LeBow experience in more ways than I could have imagined.
I also would not have been able to be involved in so many LeBow development initiatives without the guidance of Dean Madan, Trina Andras and Brian Ellis. There are still so many more faculty and staff not mentioned above that have truly made my experience at LeBow one to remember!
DL: Looking back on your time at LeBow, how would you say you have grown or changed from when you first arrived?
MD: I believe that LeBow has helped me grow as a leader and learner. Through student organizations, case competitions, classes and events, I have been exposed to many different forms of growth and development. I have particularly enjoyed leading teams, as well as learning from colleagues in case competitions and student organizations. LeBow provided many opportunities to learn how to brand yourself and build a network. These are skills I will use throughout my professional career.
DL: What accomplishment from your time at LeBow are you most proud of?
MD: I am truly proud of building authentic relationships and a robust network of leaders and faculty. In order to develop these key relationships, you need strong interpersonal skills, including the ability to create a value proposition for why other leaders should collaborate with you, and the capacity to be innovative and proactive in the way you lead teams and inspire others.
I could say that serving on the board for nine student and faculty-led organizations, graduating as a triple-major or working for three Fortune 500 companies were my greatest accomplishments. However, what I will truly cherish many years from now are the incredible relationships I have built and the wonderful people I have met.
DL: What are you planning to share in your message to your fellow graduates?
MD: The main themes I highlight throughout my speech are nostalgia, triumph, self-reflection and optimism. One of the key messages I want to convey is to not be afraid or feel as if you are starting from scratch when you leave LeBow and Drexel. Rather, I want my fellow graduates to look at it as building upon the incredible experiences, skills and memories they have had here. I want to inspire my fellow graduates to see this stage in their lives as a new chapter within their book of life and to remember that they can always return to their previous chapters no matter how challenging life becomes.