Meet the MBA Class of 2021: Simant Goyal, Ivey Business School

Simant Goyal

Ivey Business School at Western University

“Foodie. Cricketer. Enjoys singing and guitar. Trustworthy team-player good with numbers and driving execution.”

Hometown: Jaipur, India

Fun Fact About Yourself: Before I started my career, I wanted to be a dancer in Bollywood.

Undergraduate School and Major: UC Berkeley, Electronics and Computer Science

Most Recent Employer and Job Title: Taxpert Professional, Investment Banking Associate

What quality best describes your MBA classmates and why? Resilience. This year has been full of surprises and unfulfilled expectations, and yet my classmates have thrived. Even with the online medium, we have been able to take away permanent learnings during a key module of the MBA. The program office, MBA Association, and the student clubs have all come together to replicate as much of the in-person experience as possible. The key factor has been the constant engagement shown by my classmates, to ensure that we get the maximum possible value from our MBA during a very challenging time. Our MBA experience, until now, has not been as expected and the future remains uncertain, but the resilience shown by my classmates makes me very proud to be a part of this class.

How has the case method enriched your learning? You must be prepped and ready to go for every class, every day. There are no shortcuts in the case method learning and every case must be contextually understood in depth, accompanied by qualitative and quantitative analysis. Learning in a case class also does not happen in a silo. As a CXO recommending solutions for a finance case, one must draw upon learnings from marketing, economics, etc. The learning by doing method has really taught me to step into the shoes of an executive and look at a problem in a multidimensional manner before making suggestions.

Aside from classmates and cases, what part of the school’s MBA programming led you to choose this business school and why was it so important to you? Ivey’s alumni consist of some of the most accomplished, helpful, and encouraging group of individuals. One of the key expectations that I had from my b-school, especially since I was changing geographies, was to become part of a thriving network in Canada and globally. In all my interactions, Ivey’s alumni clearly stood out to me in their “pay it back” attitude and their objectivity in explaining the reality of situations.

You moved online quickly after arriving on campus due to COVID-19. What has the transition been? How has an online platform impacted your relationships with your peers? This year has been challenging for forming new relationships. I was fortunate enough to attend the pre-MBA program at Ivey and was able to spend a few weeks with some of my peers before the lockdown took effect. Since then, the relationship-building has been difficult with the online medium. Nevertheless, we have been able to foster good relationships within the cohort. As things are starting to re-open now, I am certain that the Ivey class of 2021 will make up for lost in-person interactions in the upcoming months. This will be a year to remember due to the strength of character and engagement shown by my cohort.

Describe your biggest accomplishment in your career so far: Working at Pearl Insurance broking was a great experience for me. I was coming from a Fortune 150 company and joining the challenging startup environment to turnaround a business. My responsibilities included deciding micro-level details such as where to source office supplies from large scale decisions regarding which channel strategy to implement. An experience that began with going to the storyboard and coming up with a company strategy from scratch ultimately culminated into a profitable business three years later. Joining Pearl was a risky decision that greatly paid off for me. My three years there gave me the confidence of managing a business end-to-end and expanding my experience into the broader financial services sector by eventually working as an investment banker.

What led you to pursue an MBA at this point in your career? – The projects that I had been working on were focused in South and Southeast Asia. While that was initially by design when I had decided to move into financial services from software development, I eventually started to feel the geographically limited scope of my experience. Coming to Ivey for an MBA was largely motivated by gaining global academic and business exposure, while also expanding my network. 

What other MBA programs did you apply to? – Rotman, University of Toronto

What did you do during the application process that enabled you to get accepted into Ivey? – The one thing that stood out to me about Ivey’s selection process was how important fit was for the school. I believed that unless I categorically understood whether I was a good fit at Ivey and vice versa, I would end up submitting an application that was not true to me. I like to think that my application was differentiated by the depth in which I was able to understand the whole value proposition of Ivey starting from the case method to the career management’s involvement in the admission process. From that perspective, talking to a diverse range of alumni really helped me gauge what Ivey expected of me, and that translated into my essays and interview.

What is the biggest epiphany you’ve gained about yourself or the world since you started at Ivey? Adapt or perish. I had always heard how important a positive attitude towards adaptability was, but this year at Ivey so far has taught me through practice that adapting quickly to situations is a key skill beyond any other. It began with the endless time crunch in the first module that includes classes, recruiting preparation, club elections, and socializing while trying to stay healthy. It became even more intense with COVID-19 restrictions and the education medium moving online. All this while one was expected to perform and relentlessly push the boundaries. I have been amazed at my own and my cohort’s ability to continuously adapt and yet keep true to the Ivey standards no matter what curveball was thrown at us. Much of the pandemic’s effects on the economy are still to bare, but coming out on the other side, I am certain that the Ivey class of 2021 will have mastered the skill to adapt and thrive.


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