Computer Science Engineer and an MBA grad from the Tepper School of Business at Carnegie Mellon University(Class of 2010). Experience in FMCG and Financial Services world, currently a Sr. Product Manager in the Travel and Tourism industry .
Q. What was your pre-MBA profile?
Education – Bachelor of Technology in Computer Science
Work Experience – 3 year Consulting experience at Accenture
Q. Why did you decide to do an MBA?
I had reached a point where I was tired of coding, and wanted more business exposure. Working at Procter and Gamble in Cincinnati gave me a little exposure to the business, which intrigued me. It was this exposure that gave me different avenues and finally led me to pursue an MBA.
Q. Do you think your choice of B school has been proved correct?
Absolutely! A little over a year post graduation, I think this is the best decision I ever made. Looking back at my professional capabilities pre and post MBA, there is a world of difference in the way I conduct myself, and the business knowledge I received is priceless.
Q. What are the most important things you learned during the MBA?
Networking and Organizational Skills
Networking – This will be the only two years in your life when you will come across people from so many different professions and organizations. It is this network that you will cherish your entire life, the groups and interactions that would not be available to you otherwise.
Also, it is this network that comes to your rescue when you decide to switch your job.
Organizational Skills – Every school preps you for analytical skills, critical thinking and solving cases. It’s the organizational skills that come in handy when you start working with teams and have to influence people without authority.
Q. Has the B school experience helped mold your personality?
MBA is not really a personality transformation, but more of a fine-tuning of your personality. Personally, it helped me broaden my perspective and improved my business skills and ability to master the business environment. I can now easily interact with executives and I’m not afraid to voice my opinion. Additionally, the skills I learned as an MBA gave me a better quality of personal life, giving me the knowledge to make better decisions in life and financial affairs.
Q. Where did you do your MBA internship? How hard was it to get the internship? Did you get adequate assistance from your B school?
I interned as a Product Management Intern at Keystone Automotive Operations. This was in 2009 when the economy was in the dumps and internships were really really hard to get by. Although the school gave adequate assistance, at that time, there was extra effort demanded from each student to secure a good internship, and many chose to undertake an unpaid internship.
Q. If you are asked to pick the 3 best things about your B school, what would those be?
Small Class Size – With only 200 students, it’s pretty easy to know your entire class.
Proximity to world class Computer Science department at CMU – This is a personal preference, but for those of you that still want to be in the technology sector, this is the best place to be.
Community – With a small class size, you get a really vibrant community.
Q. What will be your advice to MBA aspirants targeting your B school?
Be genuine and really dig deep and understand what you really want from a B-School. The Culture, Students, Faculty and Environment really sound good on paper, but is that really what’s important to you. Let’s face it, all the top 30 schools rank high on these characteristics but it’s the campus placement that matters. So find out where you want to end up post MBA, find out the company, the position and the location, and if that company does not recruit at Tepper nor does it have a big number of Alums, then Tepper is probably not the right school.
You are NOT getting your MBA to get a 4/4 GPA. You are spending $100K to get a good job, which should be your prime concern. Companies in the US have their core set of schools for certain types of positions, so if you want to end up as an Investment Banker in NY in Goldman Sachs, don’t apply to Tepper in Marketing.
Q. And finally, given the current economic slowdown, is this the right time to embark on an MBA programme?
Ironically, this is the best time to get back into school. The class of 2010 was the worst hit with the economic recession, taking a hit in both internship and full-time positions. For you, the graduation year would be 2014 and 2015, a time when organizations would have completely recovered from the slowdown and would have realized the need of high valued MBA’s.
The ideal way to get more information about this would be to speak to current students at your respective target schools and find out the placement scene. I know for a fact, that at the Tepper School of Business at Carnegie Mellon University, the class of 2011 had multiple offers in hand before graduation, whereas even a single offer was hard to come by for the class of 2010.