Tariq Akeel

2021 | Rochester Hills, MI

Brown University | Psychology

“Going through both programs helped open my eyes to the differences in the business and legal world.”

As a former student athlete and professional European soccer player, Tariq Akeel, ’21, is no stranger to teamwork. He describes his studies in the JD-MBA program at MSU Law as a similarly collaborative experience. 

While he’s found that the two sides of the program offer various opportunities for solo and group work, he’s particularly enjoyed building connections and joining his classmates on the educational field. The ability to learn essential skills for two major industries simultaneously has also been a highlight of the experience for Akeel. 

“Going through both programs helped open my eyes to the differences in the business and legal world,” he explained. 

Akeel’s father and brother are both lawyers in practice. His father’s firm in Troy focuses on civil rights litigation. He knew when he graduated from undergrad that he wanted to pursue a graduate degree, but he was torn between law and his interest in the business sector – MSU Law’s JD-MBA program offered him the chance to do both.

With a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Brown University, Akeel learned about the various ways the mind works, and he knows that knowledge will benefit him in the field. “I think it gave me a nice foundation for understanding how people think, and really how similar everyone is despite how different they think they are,” he said.

His JD-MBA experience has positioned him to participate in diverse internships, including his most recent role at Hertz in Fort Myers, Florida, in the corporation’s Finance Leadership Development Program. Akeel foresees working in mergers and acquisitions after he graduates, so the opportunity at Hertz was a new challenge for him, but one that he’s glad he took advantage of. During his time in Florida, he also received the Best Brief Award for the Zehmer Worker’s Compensation Moot Court Competition.

He’s looking forward to his next opportunity in Chicago during the summer of 2020, which will be within the mergers and acquisitions field. “It’s a combination of law and business,” he said. “I will get to work with businesses and business leaders, but I’ll be on the legal side.”