Meet Arizona State’s MBA Class Of 2020

Atul Mishra

Arizona State University, W. P. Carey School of Business

“An eclectic extrovert who smiles when he makes other people laugh.”

Hometown: Darbhanga, Bihar in India

Fun Fact About Yourself: I am a big fan of Meryl Streep, I have watched each of her movies at least thrice. Bucket list includes meeting her and convincing her to play Batman

Undergraduate School and Major:  

Bachelors: VIT University, India-Mechanical Engg.

Masters- SP Jain Institute of Management & Research, India-Marketing

Most Recent Employer and Job Title: Mahindra Comviva (TerraPay)- Assistant Manager

Describe your biggest accomplishment in your career so far: In my last job, I established three fintech entities in three different countries of East Africa. We started fintech operations with the aim of serving poorest of the poor in the world, through technology and the fintech revolution. To create such a positive impact at global level makes me proud and I am so thankful for my team for the constant help.

What quality best describes the MBA classmates you’ve met so far and why? Humbleness. My classmates have such an impressive array of achievements, accolades and credentials, but all of them are humble. I believe the path to greatness lies in being humble, as it enables you to keep an open mind, constantly learn in this changing world, and treat others with respect. I am confident that my classmates will continue to make their mark because of this quality.

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? Vision of W. P. Carey: I was impressed by the vision communicated by W. P. Carey family. From introducing new career concentrations to opportunities being made available to the encouragement provided to students to initiate new things here, W. P. Carey exudes a vision to mold you according to the changing world and I was eager to be part this initiative.

What club or activity are you looking most forward to in business school?

  • MBAA: As an elected representative, I am looking forward to helping the class in every way possible.
  • Consulting club: We are building Consulting Club at W. P. Carey brick-by-brick and it is an exciting opportunity because the things we will create will serve as a benchmark for classes to come.
  • Standout Club: I am looking forward to create opportunities to promote inclusiveness.

What led you to pursue an MBA at this point in your career? Working in the international arena, I realized I needed to upgrade my skills as well as learn business with a comprehensive approach. The U.S. was an easy choice because U.S. business schools invite some of the best brains from all over the world.

How did you decide if an MBA was worth the investment? I calculated everything in terms of skill development, experience gained, and perspective formed. I interacted with MBA’s and I saw lot of value addition.

What other MBA programs did you apply to? I applied to 10 colleges in US, got admits from all and finalized between W. P. Carey, Kelley (IU), Kenan Flagler (UNC), McDonough (Georgetown), and Jones (Rice).

How did you determine your fit at various schools?

Fit: For me, fit simply meant which college I felt a part of without even visiting.

Initiatives: How each college is preparing itself for the future.

Values: These are the qualities these business schools value.

What was your defining moment and how did it shape who you are? As a kid, I grew up struggling against severe ADHD as well as surviving bullying for being effeminate. My defining moment was thinking about the sacrifices my parents had made in providing me with the opportunities they never got and promising myself that I will never give in to negativity, I will always smile and I will make something worthwhile out of my life.

What do you plan to do after you graduate? I am interested in consulting for the variety of experience it provides. However, the whole purpose of MBA is self-realization, so I am spending time in knowing about other avenues and then will make up my mind.

Where do you see yourself in five years? I do not make grand 5-year plans. Five years ago, I was not even thinking about an MBA from a school in the U.S. I believe in giving your best shot to life and then going with the flow, as long as you are connected to your inner voice, you will know what to do and what course to take your life to.

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