Wharton | Mr. Asset Manager – Research Associate
GMAT 730, GPA 3.6
Berkeley Haas | Mr. Stuck Consultant
GMAT 760, GPA 3.6
MIT Sloan | Mr. Mechanical Engineer W/ CFA Level 2
GMAT 760, GPA 3.83/4.0 WES Conversion
Stanford GSB | Mr. Hopeful B School Investment Analyst
GRE 334, GPA 4.0
Chicago Booth | Mr. International Banker
GMAT 700, GPA 3.4
MIT Sloan | Mr. South East Asian Product Manager
GMAT 720, GPA 3.6
Harvard | Ms. Hollywood To Healthcare
GMAT 730, GPA 2.5
Stanford GSB | Ms. Investor To Fintech
GMAT 750, GPA 3.8
Kellogg | Mr. Community Involvement
GMAT 600, GPA 3.2
Harvard | Mr. Certain Government Guy
GMAT 720, GPA 3.3
Kellogg | Mr. Structural Engineer
GMAT 680, GPA 3.2
Darden | Mr. Anxious One
GRE 323, GPA 3.85
Ross | Mr. Saudi Engineer
GRE 312, GPA 3.48
Harvard | Ms. Consumer Sustainability
GMAT 740, GPA 3.95
Columbia | Ms. Retail Queen
GRE 322, GPA 3.6
Stanford GSB | Ms. Eyebrows Say It All
GRE 299, GPA 8.2/10
Tuck | Ms. Confused One
GMAT 740, GPA 7.3/10
NYU Stern | Mr. Health Tech
GMAT 730, GPA 3.0
Stanford GSB | Mr. Low GPA To Stanford
GMAT 770, GPA 2.7
Cornell Johnson | Mr. Regulator To Private
GMAT 700, GPA 2.0
Harvard | Mr. Air Force Seeking Feedback
GRE 329, GPA 3.2
MIT Sloan | Mr. Spaniard
GMAT 710, GPA 7 out of 10 (top 15%)
Harvard | Ms. Marketing Family Business
GMAT 750- first try so might retake for a higher score (aiming for 780), GPA Lower Second Class Honors (around 3.0)
Stanford GSB | Mr. Deferred MBA Candidate
GMAT 760, GPA 4.0
Berkeley Haas | Mr. Colombian Sales Leader
GMAT 610, GPA 2.78
Emory Goizueta | Mr. Family Business Turned Consultant
GMAT 640, GPA 3.0
Tuck | Ms. BFA To MBA
GMAT 700, GPA 3.96

Meet the MBA Class of 2021: Spandan Shah, Imperial College

Spandan Shah

Imperial College Business School

“Always on the lookout for an opportunity to make a positive impact on society.”

Hometown: Ahmedabad, Gujarat, India

Fun Fact About Yourself: Back in 2006, I studied medicine for three weeks, where I was almost asked to dissect a cadaver and identify sartorius muscles (the longest muscles in the human body). At the end of week three, I changed my ‘flight plan’ and subsequently moved into the field of business and accounting.

Undergraduate School and Major: I pursued a five-year Integrated MBA at KS School of Business Management, Gujarat University, India.

Most Recent Employer and Job Title: Pre-MBA until September 2020, I was employed with KPMG LLP as a Manager in the Value Chain Management & Transfer Pricing team in the London office.

Aside from your classmates, what was the key part of Imperial’s MBA programming that led you to choose this business school? Why was it so important to you? Post-graduation, my career goal is to join a top-tier consulting firm, the likes of BCG, McKinsey and Bain, where I can participate in strategy consulting projects with a focus on sustainability. These firms consistently hire graduates from Imperial College. An MBA at Imperial will therefore give me access to various networking opportunities with these firms.

Another element that attracted me to the Imperial MBA is the programme pedagogy, which is extremely flexible and can be tailored to meet both your personal and professional goals. The possibility to concentrate on strategic management at Imperial Business School, including the Group Consulting Project, will help me develop my strategy consulting potential, which directly relates to my future career objective. Imperial College is recognised as a world leader in data analytics. The Big Data, AI, and Machine Learning elective will help me up-skill to make informed business decisions using big data.

Lastly, solutions to global problems like climate change cannot be discovered in isolation by businesses. It requires collaboration between multiple stakeholders. An MBA from Imperial would also provide me with access to other disciplines like engineering and natural sciences. Perspectives gained from interaction with students from such diverse background will help me analyse and develop holistic solutions to complex problems facing business and societies today.

Combining these great features of the Imperial MBA programme with the learning from experiences of an extremely diverse cohort will eventually help me become a better and more responsible business leader as I advance in my career.

What club or extracurricular activity excites you most at this school

I am passionate about sustainability. Over the past two years, I have significantly cut down on my meat consumption and have been avoiding fast-fashion and single-use plastics (where possible). I am excited to be part of the Energy & Sustainability Club, where I will get a chance to increase my knowledge of sustainability practices being adopted by diverse industry sectors. As Head of Sustainability at the Club, I am looking forward to developing initiatives aimed at creating more awareness of sustainability and wider ESG parameters in the student community at Imperial College.

I am also keen to network and collaborate with fellow students at the Consulting Club, particularly in preparation for solving case studies, to improve my chance of success in landing a role at one of the strategy consulting firms of my choice.

The business school and the wider college have a wide range of societies and clubs. These give everyone an opportunity to get more involved in the different areas that they are most interested in.

What makes London such a great place to earn an MBA? How have you taken advantage of London to further your business education? As one of the leading global commercial and finance hubs, there is no dearth of professional opportunities London has to offer post-MBA, irrespective of the industry sector or the functional role you are looking to build your professional career in.

However, personally, it is the diversity of London that makes it a very attractive place to earn an MBA. It is one of the most diverse and welcoming cities in the world – with students from more than 200 countries coming to study here. Studying in London gives you an opportunity to establish an international network, whilst at the same time enjoying an exciting social life.

While working in London for the past five years, I have gained exposure to different cultures and knowledge of different global business practices. I have also been able to expand my network and develop great relationships with a diverse group of people. Their different perspectives and experiences have been instrumental in my decision to choose London as the place to pursue my MBA. I strongly believe that the experiences London will give me shall be a major asset both in my career and personal life post-MBA.

Describe your biggest accomplishment in your career so far: Being awarded the Global Transfer Pricing Professional of the month at KPMG London (Chosen from 2,500 professionals) for two consecutive months in 2019 has been the biggest professional achievement so far.

On the back of managing a central repository for the UK team for over two years, I was nominated to develop and launch a best-in-class internal portal for Value Chain Analysis (VCA), one of the key service propositions and focus areas of the global leadership. I launched the portal as a one-stop-shop for all information and a centralised repository for collective firm-wide knowledge and experience on VCA. Following the launch of this portal, I also developed a tool to automate certain processes of VCA which led to 10% reduction in delivery time, and significant quality and cost efficiencies.

This recognition is to highlight someone from across the transfer pricing practice who has exemplified a global mindset to strengthen network connectivity. In addition to being my biggest accomplishment, it was also one of my most rewarding experiences; through launch of the portal and the tool, I was able to make an impact on the global transfer pricing network at KPMG.

What led you to pursue an MBA at this point in your career? My professional journey to date has involved helping multinationals derive value from their tax function, particularly during key strategic events like changes in corporate strategy, restructuring of supply chains, M&A, joint ventures & divestitures, and digital transformations. However, my involvement as a tax professional has typically been at a later stage once the senior management has already made these decisions.

I wanted to expand my involvement and expertise beyond the tax function and transition to a more commercially-focused role, where I am part of the management team responsible for making such strategic decisions for a business.

An MBA would help me build a strong foundation in various business disciplines and broaden my skillset to enable me to perform in a management role with wider commercial and strategic responsibilities. An MBA would also give me an improved confidence to make a greater personal impact. I therefore decided to pursue an MBA to complement my existing knowledge and as a stepping stone to make a transition from a technical/specialist tax-focused role to a wider strategic role.

What was your defining moment and how did it prepare you for business school? I have always strived to make an impact both in my personal and professional life. At work, it has been about delivering results for clients during business transformations. Outside of work, it has been through associations with non-profit organisations. The defining moment for me to pursue an MBA has been the desire to make an impact on the world.

Climate change is one of the biggest challenges we face as businesses and societies today. By transitioning to a strategic role, I would like to assist organisations in embracing sustainability, and achieve competitive advantage by implementing a circular economy. In turn, this would allow me to contribute on a much larger scale (comparative to the impact of small personal lifestyle changes I have made) towards addressing climate change.

In preparing for the business school, what has been really helpful is the recognition that in order to make this transition, I do not need to start from zero, but it is more about building on my professional experience to date and expanding my existing skill set. As a transfer pricing specialist, I have exposure to supply chains and business models of diverse sectors. This experience will be a strong foundation for a strategy consulting role.