Meet The MBA Class Of 2023: Karnica Gupta, University Of Michigan (Ross)

Karnica Gupta

University of Michigan, Ross School of Business

“An enthusiastic planner and nature-lover, with a passion for inclusion.”

Hometown: Dehradun, India

Fun Fact About Yourself: During the pandemic, I recorded 250+ hours on a strategy board-game called Catan, and reached a global ranking of top 1% in the online version.

Undergraduate School and Major: Economics, University of Calcutta (undergraduate school); Business Finance, Institute of Management Technology (graduate School)

Most Recent Employer and Job Title: BlackRock, Financial Markets Advisory Associate

What word best describes the Michigan Ross students and alumni you’ve met so far and why? Willing. In the past 10 months, incoming and current students at Ross have been actively engaged with each other through 40+ programming events and over Slack – and there isn’t one social, career, or life aspect of a Rosser that we may have missed bringing up and discussing. Conversations have branched out offline and I already have a strong sense of community that’s willing to support each other, even before I begin school!

The same goes for all the alumni I met both during and after the admissions process. Their accessibility early on and their commitment to take out time to provide advice was incredibly warm, and a function of the strong pay-it-forward culture at Ross.

Aside from your classmates, what was the key part of Michigan Ross’s MBA programming that led you to choose this business school and why was it so important to you? The emphasis on learning by doing was key in my decision. Having spent the bulk of my career in finance, the opportunity to learn about different functions and industries in a way that’s hands-on, collaborative and permits experimentation was an incredible way for me to maximize my professional growth over the next two years. Michigan Ross has a number of such opportunities including the Multidisciplinary Action Projects (MAP), student investment funds, the Integrated Product Development elective, and Leadership Crisis Challenge to name a few — all of which I look forward to participate in!

What course, club, or activity excites you the most at Michigan Ross? In addition to the various action-based programming at Ross, I am excited about the Sanger Leadership Center’s Story Lab program. It’s an immersive storytelling workshop. co-created with Ross’ Design + Business Club, that helps you refine your executive presence and communication skills. It relies on reflecting upon your life’s experiences, and developing a narrative using proven storycraft techniques. I’m excited to leverage this opportunity to round out my skills, and prepare myself for taking on future leadership roles in a global, multicultural setting.

When you think of Michigan Ross, what is the first word that comes to mind? Why? Multidisciplinary. Michigan Ross has an impressive gamut of faculty, club resources, career services, and action-based programming to help cater to a wide variety of professional goals. The school focuses on being able to support those looking for career depth as well as a career pivot in the realm of business, regardless of prior experiences. I see this being exemplified in the wide spread of Ross alumni across industries and functions.

Describe your biggest accomplishment in your career so far: In 2017, I made a functional pivot within my team, not by choice but as a result of a business reorganization. It marked a considerable shift in the nature of work. Having just been promoted in my previous role, I found myself amid colleagues with vastly different skills. I remained persistent to adapt, and worked hard to bridge the gap. That transition was hard, but extremely rewarding and I soon grew to lead one of our top projects globally! To this date, I like to remind myself of the versatility I demonstrated to changing business needs at the time, and I feel more confident that I’ll be able to find my place as the world of business evolves in directions unknown.

How did COVID-19 change your perspective on your career and your life in general? COVID-19 fast-forwarded a lot of key industry and workplace transformations that otherwise may have taken a decade to materialize. This made me realize there was no better time to rethink my career, and realign with what’s to come.

What led you to pursue an MBA at this point and what do you hope to do after graduation? My decision to go for an MBA was driven by a desire to gain exposure to different career opportunities, while accelerating my professional and personal development within a global context. Because an MBA program is typically designed to include both formal and informal leadership experiences outside classroom, I was convinced that this platform will position me for greater impact and success in senior management roles. After graduation, I hope to work at the intersection of finance, data, and strategy.

What other MBA programs did you apply to? Wharton, Cornell Johnson, Booth, Tepper, Columbia

What advice would you give to help potential applicants gain admission into Michigan Ross’s MBA program? My advice to potential applicants would be to envision themselves at Ross, and learn more about the opportunities that most excite them (through the website, Michigan Admissions blogs, etc.). An awareness of what the program offers will help you tailor your conversations with student ambassadors and the admissions team, communicate your genuine interest, and enable you to stand out.


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