For Loop CTO Ali Salhi, MS ’18, Maryland Smith was a place to learn about the importance of learning through challenges.
“We need to be learning every day in order to do well in a job,” said Salhi, who was recently named to Forbes' Social Impact 30 Under 30 list. “Smith taught me that by encouraging continuous learning and involvement in extracurricular activities outside the classroom, leaning into daily challenges.”
A resilient Terp who hails from Morocco, Salhi embraced the challenges of charting a career path in business and data, becoming involved in the Smith Master’s Association as the vice president of student affairs and pursuing various research opportunities.
“I was in charge of organizing and onboarding 500 new students,” Salhi said. “It requires a lot of planning and adapting.”
Salhi’s time outside of class was also spent in research opportunities at Maryland Smith, including working on claims analysis with Margrét Bjarnadóttir, associate professor of management science and statistics in Maryland Smith’s department of decision, operations and information technologies.
“We worked on analyzing the overuse of imaging technology when it comes to lower back problems,” Salhi said. “This involved looking through a database of claims and examining how long it took and how many touchpoints someone who got an imaging study had to go through.”
Now as Loop’s CTO, Salhi has impactful goals of making insurance fair and transparent for all consumers. Having started out at the company as an intern and rising through the ranks as a data scientist before becoming CTO, Salhi aims to make a difference in the industry.
“We don’t believe the current insurance models accurately represent a consumer’s risk to the company,” Salhi said. “Part of my current job is enabling and seeking out the technology that will allow us to get there.”
Salhi’s own path has not been without its own challenges.
“Even as someone with an extensive technology background, I’ve had to learn and catch up fast,” Salhi said. “There are a lot of extra credits in terms of certifications and staying up-to-date on industry knowledge that I’ve needed to do in order to be knowledgeable about my position.”
To current Maryland Smith students, Salhi emphasized the importance of embracing challenges in your career.
“The market is going to challenge you, work is going to challenge you. Be willing to look beyond new skills and take on new challenges.”
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About the University of Maryland's Robert H. Smith School of Business
The Robert H. Smith School of Business is an internationally recognized leader in management education and research. One of 12 colleges and schools at the University of Maryland, College Park, the Smith School offers undergraduate, full-time and flex MBA, executive MBA, online MBA, business master’s, PhD and executive education programs, as well as outreach services to the corporate community. The school offers its degree, custom and certification programs in learning locations in North America and Asia.