2021 Best & Brightest Business Major: Salman Al-Luqman, University of Houston (Bauer)

Salman Al-Luqman

University of Houston, C.T. Bauer College of Business

“Studied in the Energy Capital, interned in the Nation’s Capital, Headed to the Financial Capital.”

Fun fact about yourself: Since the lockdown began, I have taken online classes in four different cities.

Hometown: Houston, TX

High School: Klein High School

Major: Finance

Favorite Business Course: Business Statistics, Investment Management

Extracurricular Activities, Community Work and Leadership Roles During College:

  • Bauer Consulting Organization – Team Lead & Founding Member
  • Bauer Capital Group – Consumer Retail Portfolio Analyst
  • Bauer Institutional Strategic Plan for 2020-2025 – Student Committee
  • Undergraduate Research Journal – Co-Founder


  • Bauer Excellence Scholar (Full Tuition & Fees)
  • Academic Excellence Scholar
  • Houston Early Research Experience Scholarship
  • UH Honors College Scholarship
  • Bauer in DC Fellowship
  • Dean’s List (All Semesters)

Where have you interned during your college career?

  • Amazon Web Services –Business Operations & Strategy Intern – Washington, DC
  • S. Department of State – International Finance Intern – Washington, DC
  • JPMorgan Chase & Co. – Commercial Banking Summer Analyst – Dallas, TX
  • T. Bauer College of Business – Strategy Consulting Intern – Houston, TX
  • LE Capital Investments – Business Development Intern – Houston, TX

Where will you be working after graduation? American Express – Corporate Strategy AnalystNew York, NY

What company do you admire most? Patagonia’s commitment to its eco-friendly mission led to organic growth that transformed the company into a global icon for quality, sustainability, and outdoor fashion. Patagonia exemplified this commitment when it implored its customers to send used products in for repairs or recycling, rather than replacing those items with all-new products. The result was a decrease in the company’s ecological footprint matched by a marked increase in brand loyalty, as a new generation of ecologically conscious consumers continued to seek out brands that aligned with their own principles.

What advice would you give to a student looking to major in a business-related field? Understand that the success of each individual part of a business is integral to its success as a whole. Similarly, keep an open mind when evaluating each major and give each one an honest chance until you find the top one or two majors that most interest you.

What has surprised you most about majoring in business? The major you select does not dictate your career post-graduation. The caveat is that you must be able to explain your reasoning for selecting that major and how what you learned in the classroom aligns with your passion. Your passion and storytelling will allow you to transcend the boundaries of any major specific prerequisite for a job.

Looking back over your experience, what is the one thing you’d do differently in business school and why? I would make a more concerted effort to get to know my classmates starting from my freshman year. I adopted this practice only as an upperclassman, and my eyes were opened to the diversity, passions, and career aspirations of my fellow classmates and future business leaders. The classroom learning experience does not end with listening to lectures from the professors and taking exams. Collaborating and learning from classmates is an integral part of the business school experience, and not engaging in those conversations is a missed opportunity to grow and develop a nuanced perspective.

Which academic, extracurricular or personal achievement are you most proud of?  I received a fellowship from my university to spend a semester to live in DC, intern at a workplace of my interest and be a full-time student concurrently. Although it was a challenging semester to say the least, it was the most rewarding experience both personally and professionally. I was able to answer difficult questions that I had been grappling with over the prior year regarding my professional ambitions and the motivations behind them.

It helped me to find clarity and direction by immersing myself in all that DC had to offer and speaking to people from various backgrounds. I interned at the U.S. Department of State’s Division of International Finance and Development. While at the State Department, I analyzed foreign investment for development and infrastructure projects in Western Africa with an emphasis on Chinese Investment through the Belt and Road Initiative. I also investigated derivative transactions in the form of currency swaps as political leverage in Latin America. I worked with representatives from the International Monetary Fund and World Bank on debt forgiveness and debt restructuring initiatives for Historically Indebted Poor Countries (HIPC). My experience in DC led to a subsequent summer internship at Amazon Web Services based in DC. as a Business Operations & Strategy intern on the National Security Team. I had the opportunity to contribute to the development of a strategic roadmap for cloud adoption in the U.S. Intelligence space.

Which classmate do you most admire? On my first day of freshman year, I timidly awaited the start of my first-ever college accounting lecture with a twinge of anticipation and excitement. The person sitting next to me stuck out his hand as soon as I sat down and introduced himself as Urtaj. Little did I know that Urtaj Singh and I would spend the next three years traveling together, being roommates in multiple cities, and becoming best friends. Urtaj helped me navigate internship applications during my freshman year and introduced me to the world of finance. I attribute everything I know with respect to utilizing LinkedIn and career fairs to aid my professional development and land opportunities that I did not think were in the realm of possibility to him. Urtaj has made me a better student, friend, and professional, and I am so grateful that I chose that empty chair on my first day.

Who would you most want to thank for your success? I would like to thank my father, Iqbal Al-Luqman, for the invaluable lessons he instilled in me throughout my childhood and early adulthood. My father left his growing career in Europe and the Middle East to immigrate to the United States to give my sister and I access to opportunities in the U.S. He has been a constant north star for me and an exemplar of professional excellence. By age 12, I was drafting his corporate emails and playing around with Excel on his work computer. By 15, I had the opportunity to unofficially intern with professionals in a variety of fields from law to medicine. Little did I know, the skills I learned then and did not think much of at the time, would accelerate my professional growth as I entered college and was exposed to the corporate world myself. I would also like to give an honorable mention to a few people who have guided me throughout my time at the University of Houston: my advisors Colleen Davies and Sarah Gnospelius, as well as Assistant Dean of Strategic Initiatives, Dr. Roger Barascout. I am looking forward to seeing the programs at the University of Houston continue to grow and I am excited to be involved in any way that I can.

What are the top two items on your professional bucket list?

  1. Mentor students from my university and others to develop a pipeline for careers in finance and strategy for students who may not be considered “targets”
  2. Have the courage to say “yes” to exciting career opportunities even if they are unconventional and not the most risk averse option

What are your hobbies? Cooking Foreign Cuisine, Zip-lining, Travel (visited 35 countries), Ultimate Frisbee, Track & Field, Sushi

What made Salman such an invaluable addition to the Class of 2021? (Please include name and title)

“If I were to describe Salman in one word, it would be tenacious. Yes, Salman excels in business classes, but he has also done equally well in Honors College coursework in classics, philosophy, and ethics.  He even aced pre-med classes before ultimately deciding that was not his chosen path. Once Salman sets his sights on something, he is unstoppable. Bauer is fortunate that he set his sights on us.  During his time at Bauer, Salman helped found a new student organization focused on the consulting industry, participated in strategic planning sessions for the college, and landed multiple competitive internships. In his junior year, his interests in politics and economics earned him a coveted spot as a Bauer in D.C. Fellow.  While in D.C., Salman interned with the U.S. State Department in the Office of Monetary Affairs. As a senior, Salman relentlessly pursued a lofty career goal for an undergraduate student, a full-time offer in strategy consulting. Salman honed his networking skills, seeking interactions through known sources or cold reach-outs over LinkedIn. Undeterred that it could take 100 emails to receive a single response, Salman’s persistence paid off, earning him a fulltime offer in the Corporate Strategy division of American Express. Salman’s drive and determination ensure that no matter the obstacle, he will scale it.  At Bauer, we now wait to see what path Salman will decide to blaze next.”

Sarah Gnospelius, M.Ed.
Administrative Director
Bauer Business Honors Program


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