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Meet NYU Stern’s MBA Class of 2020

Arati Venkatram

New York University, Stern School of Business

“Pragmatic but also romantic, with a love for learning, traveling and engaging in philosophical discussions.”

Hometown: Mumbai, India

Fun Fact About Yourself: My peaceful honeymoon on an island ended up being more hectic than our three-day wedding as my husband and I impulsively certified ourselves as open-water scuba divers

Undergraduate School and Major: Chartered Accountant; Bachelor of Commerce from H.R. College of Commerce and Economics, University of Mumbai

Most Recent Employer and Job Title: Deloitte, Senior Consultant

Describe your biggest accomplishment in your career so far: I was the first analyst in my investment bank to be promoted to associate without an MBA – and in 18 months which is half the regular duration. Having joined during the Indian stock market boom in 2014, I was able to prove my quick pickup, multi-tasking abilities and love for the job in a short timeframe that helped me gain the trust of my team. My job role was instantly elevated from desk analysis to client engagement on business development initiatives and live transactions, and also included managing our market pipeline and budget.

What quality best describes the MBA classmates you’ve met so far and why? All the Sternies I have interacted with are both inspired and inspiring. There is ambition coupled with humility and the spirit of collective development that I admire.

Aside from your classmates, 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? New York City! Coming from Mumbai, which is India’s financial capital and another city that never sleeps, New York feels like home. The city is teeming with opportunities, both personal and professional that I am excited to take advantage of. When I visited Stern last year, it became clear that this magnificent city would be my campus, and I can’t wait to explore it.

On a separate, but not so unrelated note, it certainly helps that my husband lives in NYC too!

What club or activity are you looking most forward to in business school? As a strong believer in and promoter of women in business, I am excited to engage with the Stern Women in Business Club. Having worked in a male-dominated investment bank where I strove to have a strong impact on the mindset towards women at the workplace, I learned that we all have the power to make a difference. I am therefore excited to have such a strong platform that will support me and others in this endeavor.

What led you to pursue an MBA at this point in your career? There are three key reasons that led me to pursue an MBA at this stage. The first was to enhance my knowledge in holistic business strategy as my education and work experience up until 2016 was heavily focused on finance. The second was to build my international exposure on a personal and professional level. Third, I wanted to further develop my leadership skills as I elevate my career to the next level.

How did you decide if an MBA was worth the investment? My friends and family will tell you that I have always advocated spending on experiences over material items. My belief is the MBA will reward me with a lifetime of pay-outs by positively shaping my personality and enhancing my network on a global scale which in turn will help me build a prosperous career.

What other MBA programs did you apply to? When researching business schools, I prioritized location, flexibility in curriculum and availability of goal specific resources. Information sessions, MBA websites like Poets & Quants, and chats with current students and alumni were very helpful in shortlisting schools. However, what really influenced my decision-making process was visiting schools and getting a feel of the culture and whether I would fit in. The MBA is a big investment. To gain the most of it, I believed it was important to not only be at a school that would nurture my professional goals but also enhance my happiness quotient!

What was your defining moment and how did it shape who you are? The moment I qualified as a chartered accountant was special to me. Growing up, I always admired my fathers’ dedication to the accounting profession and aspired to emulate him. The rigorous course taught me the power of discipline, determination and positive thinking, and I carry those lessons with me through all my endeavors.

What do you plan to do after you graduate? Post-graduation, I aim to gain more experience in management consulting by preparing companies for the dynamic future, advising them on organization restructuring, emerging leadership models and change-management. Having said that, I am entering business school with an open mind and will explore varied opportunities that lead me toward the same ultimate goal.

Where do you see yourself in five years? I see myself effecting positive change to organizations and society, either as a consultant or from within a powerful organization.

DON’T MISS: MEET THE MBA CLASS OF 2020: PROFILES IN COURAGE