Meet Georgia Tech’s MBA Class Of 2020

Yash Lakhotia

Georgia Institute of Technology’s Scheller College of Business

I am modest, but hard working, and I consistently set firm goals for myself.”

Hometown: Ajmer (Rajasthan), India

Fun Fact About Yourself: I am a big sports enthusiast. My biggest achievement is serving as an ace in tennis to a Davis Cup player, who, apparently, once defeated the great Roger Federer.

Undergraduate School and Major: Birla Institute of Technology (India), Electronics and Communication Engineering

Most Recent Employer and Job Title: Mitsubishi Electric India; Sr. Engineer, Product Marketing

Describe your biggest accomplishment in your career so far: A couple of years into my career, I was looking for new opportunities to expand my product’s revenue stream. During a visit to Germany for an automation expo called Hannover Messe, I met a few executives from Mitsubishi Europe. During our discussion, I told them about the product I was handling and how in a short span of time it had transformed the Indian automation market. We also discussed a few of the key applications done on the product.

Fortunately, one application struck them. They were looking for a similar application for quite some time. I suggested that once I got back to India, I would send them a detailed proposal for the product and application. They liked the proposal and wanted to come to India for technical inspection.

The main hurdle for this collaboration was export — something never done in the entire 25-year history of the firm. So, I had to talk my way into upper management for approval. With some persistence, I finally got the approval.

The team from Europe came and we had a great discussion. A month later, they placed the first order for 1,000 units. That was just the start; I carried and lead the export project and before leaving the organization, I had already established market presence in three countries.

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? Scheller College was one of the few programs which I targeted from the very beginning. The main reason that I considered it to be a top program is because it is one of the few programs — if not the only– which provides a perfect mix of technology and business, which resonates with my career trajectory. Being in the heart of Tech Square and with Georgia Tech behind its name, Scheller provides valuable resources such as the Advanced Technology Development Center (ATDC), the Innovation Center, and very unique electives.

What club or activity are you looking most forward to in business school? I am looking forward to being part of the Consulting Club and leveraging their resources to land a career in consulting. In addition, I want to learn and develop key skills such as strategic thinking and innovation and our Strategy and Innovation Club does a great job in doing so. Finally, I am also looking forward to contributing to Scheller by being an Admissions Ambassador and promoting the Scheller brand to prospective students.

What led you to pursue an MBA at this point in your career? I worked for almost four years in my previous job at Mitsubishi as a product manager and I was fortunate enough to land a management-related job early in my career. Part of my job was to support internal strategic planning to make business decisions for future rollout of products which really resonated me. I realized that I wanted to do something similar in my career.

The next step was to do decide how to reach at that position. I talked to a few family members and friends to gain their perspective. In addition, I reached out a few people from LinkedIn with similar profiles and learned about their career trajectory.

One thing which was common among all was an MBA from a top university and thus, I decided that an MBA would be a great commitment to take in order to reach my career goal.

How did you decide if an MBA was worth the investment? An MBA is one of the most prestigious degrees and the courses and hands-on practices resonated with me. Having some finance skills under my belt, I calculated the payback period for some of my targeted schools. I also acknowledged the programs which provided scholarships and I was fortunate enough to enter Scheller with full scholarship.

What other MBA programs did you apply to? USC Marshall, Duke (Fuqua), Insead, Emory University

How did you determine your fit at various schools? While researching schools (and especially being an international student), its fit was very important for me. There were primarily three top factors which I considered: career focus, school culture (cohort size, diversity, etc.), and location.

To determine school fit, I used various methods such as talking to current students (typically admission ambassadors) and alumni. Talking to the students was the best possible way to determine culture and know hidden insights about the program which one cannot find on the Internet.

To determine if it would align with my career goals, I extensively researched top MBA websites such Poets and Quants and GMAT Club in addition to the school’s website. Poets and Quants and school websites were great resources to identify information such as industry focus, internship by industry and function, and mean salary. GMAT Club was primarily used for finding out insights about the programs.

What was your defining moment and how did it shape who you are? I was also one of the top students during my primary school days. Due to poor financial conditions, my parents had leave India and move to a different country in search of jobs. This caused a loss of focus in my studies.

Somehow, I pushed myself and entered into a top college, but I still had a lack of determination. Finally it struck me when I was unable to land a job, after tons of failed interviews, that I knew that this was the time I needed change my ways. I worked hard, analyzed my weakness, and strategized my proceeding towards achieving the goal of getting a job. Courtesy of the support of my friends and family — and my willingness to succeed — I got a great job. This was the defining moment of my life and professional career. I did not look back and kept moving forward. I did well at my job (securing two promotions in three years) passed all levels of my CFA exam, got a strong GMAT score, and finally succeeded at landing admission to Scheller.

What do you plan to do after you graduate? Post-MBA, I aspire to work as a senior consultant at a consulting firm such as Deloitte, PwC, or EY. In addition, I am also flexible to work in the internal strategy department of a large company.

Where do you see yourself in five years? After I complete my MBA, I want to start out as a consultant and increase my skills and breadth of industry experience. After that, I want to specialize in firm’s related operations and strategy and strive to become COO or CFO.

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