Piyal Hyder at a glance
Works as: Vice-president, Compass Lexecon At EduCom: Board Secretary, member of Strategic planning committee Studied: MS, Applied Economics, Johns Hopkins University
Piyal leads a team of economic analysts who consult with clients on competition policy, the viability of their merger and acquisition plans, and its benefits for customers. As an economic expert, she counsels lawyers on patent infringements and antitrust litigation and damages. Piyal also recruits analysts from colleges and universities, spearheading diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives at her firm.
She enjoys the structured, fast-moving pace at work, managing her team and understanding the cases presented by lawyers and clients, which suits her analytical and organised nature.
She served as a pro bono consultant of two nonprofit arts organizations, creating the framework for their boards’ governance, recruitment, training and committee structure, and meeting and committee protocols.
She also helped an education nonprofit change course when her analysis showed their proposed program was unfeasible. She then created a strategic business plan for a new program and outlined the organisation’s course of action for the next 3,6 and 12 months.
Though she learned a lot as a consultant – the dynamics between board and management, her role in managing that interaction and handling differences in vision – Piyal missed being a part of the process, bringing the vision to fulfilment.
She looked into nonprofits with a cause she felt about and whose growth she could contribute to and be a part of. And EduCom resonated with her.
“They were thinking about education and what happens next; they were thinking about internships. So I found their holistic approach to education was very interesting. Another thing was their global mission. Even though most of the work is being done in Ghana, they have a global vision. And I think that’s what attracted me to EduCom – this opportunity for growth.”
She is particularly interested in EduCom’s internship program. When recruiting analysts, Piyal noticed that high school and college students were unaware of the employment opportunities in economics and the racial and gender inequity in the field. So she talks to students in high schools about their career choices, and the width of options open to them.
Most students hold the misconception that internships are solely beneficial for them. “Internships are mutually beneficial to students and firms alike. A student gains the exposure and makes connections, and the firm fills gaps and can check if an intern is a permanent fit for their workplace.”
If she were to change anything, Piyal would like to lessen the gap in the quality of education that exists for different sections of society. She has seen how this narrow gap at the primary school level exponentially widens at higher levels and ultimately becomes unbridgeable in life.
-Interview by Hajra Mirza