Meet the MBA Class of 2023: Silvy Kalra, University of Minnesota (Carlson)

Silvy Kalra

University of Minnesota, Carlson School of Management

“Breaking stereotypes, impacting lives, and living life one day at a time!”

Hometown: Delhi, India

Fun Fact About Yourself: I got over my fear of heights by skydiving at Franz Josef, New Zealand in December 2019.

Undergraduate School and Major: University of Delhi – English Literature

Most Recent Employer and Job Title: Open Road Alliance / Marketing and Communications Fellow

What has been your favorite part of the Twin Cities so far? What has made it such a great place to earn an MBA? The Twin Cities has a vibrant and diverse community with people from all walks of life. One thing I really liked about the Twin Cities is that it has a lot of lakes and parks that one can visit to reset from their busy lives.

An MBA is all about building connections and learning from students from diverse backgrounds. The Carlson School’s location makes it an attractive place for talented students from the Midwest, so the class pool is smart and has people with varied skills.

Carlson MBA spend a year in hands-on Enterprise programs for Consulting, Branding, Ventures, and Funds. Which program do you intend to enroll in? What excites most about your Enterprise program?I intend to enroll in the Branding Enterprise. My reason for choosing this Enterprise is that it gives you the freedom to explore ideas and think out of the box to come up with unique solutions for clients, which is something I feel more connected to compared to the more structured approach of other Enterprises.

Aside from your classmates, experiential learning, and location, what was the key part of the Carlson MBA programming that led you to choose this business school and why was it so important to you? Location was never my preference for why to join an MBA program. I mostly wanted to go to a place where I can grow exponentially in a collaborative environment and the Carlson School’s experiential learning programs seemed like the right choice for that. Also, the confidence the admissions committee has shown in me by giving me a scholarship reinforced my decision to reject some other colleges and choose the Carlson School.

What course, club or activity have you enjoyed the most so far at Carlson? Most club activities begin in the second semester at the Carlson School, so I haven’t really gotten a chance to engage that much. Regarding the course, I would say I loved Data Analysis for Managers. Being from a non-traditional background, I was initially terrified to see the syllabus of this course, and I thought I was in the wrong program. But the way the professor taught the course, cracking jokes along the way, helped me learn concepts better and I ended up scoring the highest amongst all other courses I took.

Describe your biggest accomplishment in your career so far: I am someone who believes in women empowerment. Being from Delhi, India, I have witnessed women from lower economic backgrounds struggle and hide in their houses witnessing the rising rape cases in the capital. To cater to my passion for women’s safety, I founded FightHer in 2018, a non-profit to teach girls, women, and domestic workers basic self-defense techniques to help them be their own protector. Since then, FightHer has impacted the lives of more than 300 women to date and strives to scale its impact through partnerships.

Describe your biggest accomplishment as an MBA student so far: Being a career switcher, I am proud to share that I have been able to cope up with the pressure of various core business courses along with connecting with various alumnus. A little background, I was not even familiar with basic statistics or finance when I joined the MBA program and during the first few weeks I ended up studying 10+ hours daily in addition to attending classes just to understand the basics and keep moving forward. I am still a work in progress but my biggest accomplishment is that I didn’t give up despite the innumerable challenges.

What advice would you give to help potential applicants gain admission into the Carlson MBA program? Get ready to face extreme cold winters, so get your gears. If you don’t have a previous business background, I recommend you do some online business foundation courses to ease the pressure of the first few weeks of school. Also, don’t worry about asking questions in class, and make sure to find classmates who bring positivity in your life at the Carlson School.

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