Columbia Business School
Describe yourself in 15 words or less: Personal chef to my family and friends. Lover of art, non-fiction, (Netflix) marathons, and dogs.
Hometown: Mumbai, India
Fun Fact About Yourself: I’m a black belt in Karate, and I’ve competed and won at the international level. It is something that shaped who I am today, and still serves as a reminder of what I can accomplish if I set my mind to it.
Undergraduate School and Major: Brown University, BA in Business, Entrepreneurship & Organizations
Employers and Job Titles Since Graduation:
Credit Suisse – Investment Banking Analyst, Global Industrials Group (New York)
Temasek Holdings – Associate, Investment Group (Mumbai)
Temasek Holdings – Senior Associate, Investment Group (Mumbai)
Describe your biggest accomplishment in your career so far: I’ve worked in investment banking as well as private equity and public markets investing in two very different markets, and ranging across eight different industries. In addition to learning an incredible amount during a short time frame, I have consistently sought out opportunities to have a meaningful impact on the community, which is something I value deeply.
Over the last two years, I have mentored an early stage social enterprise that successfully raised seed funding and mentored several undergraduate women through Brown University Women in Business. I also managed Temasek’s community initiatives in India. I am fortunate to have worked at a firm that invests resources and time in giving back, and I was able to help channel their support to a number of non-profits, the impact of which included sponsoring the education of 500 girls from underprivileged backgrounds, and the construction of a St. Jude’s Child Care Center that provides accommodation and support to families of children with cancer. Making the time to give back while working hard to build a career is a quality that I have admired in my parents from an early age, and is a standard I am proud to have lived up to in my own career so far.
Looking back on your experience, what one piece of advice would you give to future business school applicants? There are two components to writing the essays – reflecting on your story and finding the best and most concise way to communicate it. The essays provide an exceptional opportunity for reflection and to create a picture of who you are, where you have been so far, and what you hope to accomplish in the future – both professionally and personally. Instead of getting caught up with what you think the admissions committee might want to hear or trying to frame yourself as a particular type of applicant, focus on communicating your background, goals and values authentically. Also spend enough time understanding what the school has to offer, and how its programs and resources fit with what you want to get out of your MBA experience.
The most helpful advice I’ve come across on writing effectively is that when it comes to communicating your stories, focus more on aspects like what you did, what motivated you to do it, how you felt, and what lessons you learned, rather than using a lot of your word count on providing contextual details. Also leave yourself enough time to go through multiple rounds of edits, and make sure that you’ve incorporated everything you want to say.
What was the key factor that led you to choose this program for your full-time MBA and why was it so important to you? As someone who thrives on taking on multiple things at a time, CBS stood out to me for its strong investing curriculum, access to prominent faculty and guest speakers, and the option for students to take on in-semester internships or be a part of programs like the Non-Profit Board Leadership Program in addition to academics. While CBS’s offerings fit both my professional and personal goals, what impressed me most was the people in the CBS community. It was important to me to find a program that fit my goals and values, and CBS did that perfectly.
As I was engaged in trying to learn more about CBS, I was incredibly impressed by how the alumni, students and admissions team members made themselves available and were willing to spend time speaking to a prospective student. The class visit I attended at CBS stood out in my mind because it was the only school I had visited where the professors made the time to give the prospective students an overview of their class, and made time to answer any questions we had after the class had ended. The classroom interaction I observed not only highlighted the number of different backgrounds and perspectives present in one class, but also demonstrated that the students communicate constructive feedback and ideas to each other in a sincere and kind manner. In my research, I had often read that building a collaborative and inclusive culture with genuine people was important to CBS, and my experiences as an applicant and an admitted student can attest to that. Getting to know my future classmates has definitely provided further validation to this – while incredibly accomplished, they display humility and kindness in their interactions. I’ve only gotten to know a fraction of my class so far, but I can think of several reasons why each of them deserve to be highlighted in a series like this one. I’m excited to spend the next two years surrounded by people of such caliber.
What would success look like to you after your first year of business school? When I reflect on my first year of business school, I would want to feel like I prioritized my time well in leveraging all the resources that CBS has to offer. It is important to me that I be an engaged member of the community, and I would want to have found a few extracurriculars that I can contribute to while furthering my interests. I hope to get to know as many people as I can, and form meaningful friendships and professional connections. I look forward to getting out of my comfort zone and exploring other aspects of business through the core and wide variety of electives, and hope that I can positively impact others’ learning experience with my own perspective. I would want to use the resources of the Career Management Center and the advice of alumni to thoroughly evaluate my options and make an informed and well thought out decision on the next step in my career. Since my interactions with people at CBS had such a significant impact on my application experience, I hope to pay this forward by extending the same warm welcome to prospective applicants as a member of the Hermes Society.