2016 MBAs To Watch: Nitasha Khetarpal, Boston U. (Questrom)

Nitasha Khetarpal-Boston U-PoetsAndQuants_MBAsToWatch2016

Nitasha Khetarpal


Boston University, Questrom School of Business

Age: 27

Hometown: Los Angeles, CA

Undergraduate School and Degree: Santa Clara University, BS Cell and Molecular Biology

Where did you work before enrolling in business school? AM-Touch Dental Supply, Director of Organizational Development

Where did you intern during the summer of 2015? Adobe Systems Inc. (Marketing Cloud) – Boston, MA

Where will you be working after graduation? The Walt Disney Company, Technology Management Rotational Program Associate

Community Work and Leadership Roles in Business School: Senior Vice President of Questrom Graduate Council; MBA Peer-to-Peer Mentor; MBA Admissions Ambassador

Which academic or extracurricular achievement are you most proud of during business school? While serving as the senior vice president of Questrom’s Graduate Student Council, I have had the opportunity to make meaningful contributions to the community by collaborating with administration and students from across Questrom’s portfolio of graduate programs. It has been both exciting and fulfilling to be a part of empowering our student groups to successfully create interactive, engaging, and immersive experiences for the graduate community. I found that the achievement I am most proud of was earning the respect of other student leaders, my peers, and faculty for the work that I did to create tangible, positive change on campus.

What achievement are you most proud of in your professional career? In the early years of working for my family’s dental supply distribution company, many employees discounted my ability to produce real results for the organization because I was viewed primarily as “the boss’ daughter.” Breaking free of this designation by making significant contributions across teams, and thereby earning respect and trust of both executives and employees, is the professional achievement I take most pride in.

Who is your favorite professor? Melvyn Menezes. Not only is he brilliant and an expert in his field, Professor Menezes puts his students first. He is caring and relentless in his efforts to push students beyond their comfort zones, which results in a deep, comprehensive understanding of the subject matter.

Favorite MBA Courses? Platforms Strategy and Information Markets, Marketing High Tech Products, Technology Strategy

Why did you choose this business school? In addition to the unique and compelling MBA/MSIS dual-degree program offered by Questrom, I was impressed with the caliber of each person I met throughout the admissions process. I was struck by the warm, welcoming nature of the faculty, staff, current and prospective students. From the moment I stepped foot on campus, I felt like I was at home and in a place where I could thrive — a feeling that made my MBA program decision an easy one to make.

What did you enjoy most about business school? The people. Not every institution makes integrity, character, and humility the fabric of its culture the way Questrom has. Because of this, the faculty, administration, and students alike are committed to similar values. This has created an environment that is inspiring to be a part of. Without the relationships I’ve built with the talented, humble, and passionate people I’ve met, my MBA experience would not have been as impactful as it was.

What is the biggest lesson you learned from business school? Business school taught me how significantly each person’s personal experiences color his or her perceptions. Five people can read the same sentence and interpret it five different ways, and their backgrounds play a large part in these interpretations. Whether you’re interacting with your employees, vendors, or clients, it’s important to remove uncertainty and make sure everyone is on the same page by making communication a top priority.

What was the most surprising thing about business school? I was amazed by how empowered I’ve felt through the entire learning experience. The skills we are taught are almost immediately applicable to the real world, whether it involves a greater understanding the financial markets, or creating actual strategic plans for a business. The speed with which skills are acquired and immediately tested is absolutely astounding and has been one of the most surprising aspects of business school.

What was the hardest part of business school? The most difficult part of business school was simultaneously managing five to six different teams, both in and out of the classroom. Managing academic and personal relationships, making meaningful contributions to the final work products, and maintaining a positive working environment (while enabling team members to be as efficient, organized, and productive as possible) was by far one of the most challenging, yet developmental, experiences in my two years at Questrom.

What advice would you give to future students who attend this school? “There is no growth in comfort and there is no comfort in growth.” As you embark on the journey of business school, be sure to first get comfortable with discomfort. If you remain open to all experiences and opportunities, you will learn and grow in ways you never imagined, making for the best MBA experience possible.

“I knew I wanted to go to business school when… I realized that knowledge is power and that I am only limited by what I do not know. Business school was an opportunity for me to look beyond the confines of my family’s business and gain a broader perspective on doing business in today’s global society.”

“If I hadn’t gone to business school, I would be… limited in my ability to see beyond what is in front of me. Business school has taught me foresight and how to strategically approach the long-term view of a company, so without it, my professional growth would be severely inhibited.”

Which executive or entrepreneur do you most admire? The entrepreneur and executive I admire most is my father. He founded and built a dental supply distribution company from the ground up and, meanwhile, has sustained a highly collaborative culture of happy, passionate, and purpose-driven employees. My father deeply values relationships. He has always prioritized integrity and is committed to communicating with and empowering his employees day in and day out, which is why he has been so successful. He is driven, dedicated to learning, compassionate, and humble, all of which are the key characteristics of a leader that I myself seek to emulate.

What are your long-term professional goals? I would like to leverage the education I’ve received and what I will learn as a technologist at Disney to create sustainable solutions for and effect meaningful transformation within organizations via technology and innovation.

Who would you most want to thank for your success? I am very grateful to my parents for continually encouraging me to follow my passions and for giving me the strength and confidence to transition seamlessly through the different phases of life. Moreover, if it had not been for my younger brother, I would not be the diplomatic, patient, and empathetic leader he has taught me to be.

Fun fact about yourself: In the summer of 2015, I was ranked the third most eligible single in technology according to a dating app I subscribed to at the time. It was both flattering and slightly embarrassing.

Favorite book: The Power of Now, Eckhart Tolle

Favorite movie: Finding Nemo, Kabhi Khushi Kahbie Gham (Bollywood movie)

Favorite musical performer: Justin Timberlake, Beyonce

Favorite television show: “Scandal,” “The Good Wife,” “How to Get Away with Murder”

Favorite vacation spot: Maui, Hawaii

Hobbies? Photography, traveling, hot yoga, dancing, hiking

What made Nitasha such an invaluable addition to the class of 2016?

“Nitasha has drawn her inspiration from the students and faculty around her and, as a result, is forging a very different path than what she expected when she began her MBA. Nitasha encourages her peers to go beyond what is easy or available and to go for what they are passionate about, even if that means initially failing, as she will be there to support them along the way. In her role in the Graduate Council, she has made strides in increasing communication between the council and the other student organizations, setting expectations, creating shared resources, and bringing their needs back to the group and the administration. Nitasha is a special person and her accomplishments post-MBA will serve as an example of what a Questrom student can achieve.”

J.P. Matychak, Associate Dean for Student Experience

Gina Galland, Assistant Director, MBA Programs

Boston University Questrom School of Business



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