2022 MBA To Watch: Shruti Nanda, New York University (Stern)

Shruti Nanda

New York University, Stern School of Business

“Personally and professionally driven by seeking/creating communities where individuals can explore and be curious.”

Hometown: Toledo, Ohio

Fun fact about yourself: I can’t whistle, regardless of how many YouTube tutorials I have watched to try and learn!

Undergraduate School and Degree: Miami University of Ohio, BS in Finance & Accounting

Where was the last place you worked before enrolling in business school? Groupon, Senior Finance Analyst

Where did you intern during the summer of 2021? McKinsey, New York Office

Where will you be working after graduation? McKinsey, Associate, New York Office

Community Work and Leadership Roles in Business School: President- Stern Women in Business, VP of Bootcamp- Management Consulting Association, Recipient- Advancing Women in Business Scholarship

Which academic or extracurricular achievement are you most proud of during business school? This is tough! Every opportunity in business school has given me the space to grow and learn. I would say the one I am most proud of is leading our casing bootcamp for the MBA1s. Being able to be an integral part of teaching peers – not only how to case but helping them unlock the unique strengths they have that will help them be successful – was extremely rewarding. Teaching has always been a passion of mine so being able to marry that with my professional knowledge was an awesome experience.

What achievement are you most proud of in your professional career? Another tough one! When I was at Groupon, I was the project lead on a pro bono consulting project with a local Chicago non-profit. This was a project that was outside the scope of my role, but was the first time I was the lead on such a large team and the majority of the other team members were much more senior than I was. It was the first experience I had where I could see how creatively applying a “motley crew of skills” to an ambiguous problem was a valuable approach, along with allowing people to lean into their strengths could provide a unique solution to an ambiguous problem. It was one of the experiences that made me interested in going to business school to pursue management consulting.

Why did you choose this business school? The decision came down to the community. For me, business school was equally a time to pursue a new trajectory in my career and to force myself to challenge the assumptions I held about my worldview and work view. When I came to Stern’s campus for the first time, I remember speaking to the Stern Women In Business President at the time. Even in the 20-minute coffee chat, I was struck by not only how different her career trajectory was from mine, but how easily we could authentically speak about our individual motivators in our lives. I knew I wanted to be in a community of people where that type of authenticity was abundant, and that is exactly what I have found at Stern.

Who was your favorite MBA professor? Dolly Chugh. I have had the opportunity to interact with her inside and outside the classroom and am constantly struck by the intentionality of each of her actions. She is able to, so elegantly, determine the objective of a class/event, determine the best way to achieve that objective and then execute. She is a natural teacher and her passion for understanding human and social dynamics makes her such a unique educator and leader.

What was your favorite MBA event or tradition at your business school? Stern Speaks! This is a series of events where students are able to, in a confidential setting, share any part of their story in a vulnerable way with their peers. This tradition is another indication to me of the vulnerability and openness of the Stern community. Building your network isn’t just about professional connections, but about creating trust and understanding of one another’s lived experience. This tradition is such an amazing way of allowing our community to transcend those surface-level barriers. (And I am so honored to be a Stern Speaks Speaker at the next iteration of the event!)

Looking back over your MBA experience, what is the one thing you’d do differently and why? I would have given myself more opportunity to push my comfort zone and let myself fail (e.g., taken an improv class). The MBA environment is a fairly risk-free place to try new things! And I wish I would have realized that earlier.

What is the biggest myth about your school? That there is one “MBA experience” and if you don’t participate in all aspects of that experience you are “not doing it right”. There are so many ways to utilize your time professionally, academically and socially in business school and none are inherently better or worse. It is easy to fall into making decisions based on what you think the MBA experience should look like, but the most rewarding experiences I’ve had are often the ones that were unexpected.

What surprised you the most about business school? How quickly it passes! I was recently reflecting with some friends that we feel like we just got a handle on how business school works, and now we are only a few months from graduating. It is a whirlwind experience so make sure to take time to enjoy it.

What is one thing you did during the application process that gave you an edge at the school you chose? Overall, what will give you an edge at any school is being self-aware and authentically communicating your story! It is hard to get out of the mindset of comparing yourself to what you see on other candidate’s Linkedins (or read on Poets & Quants). At the end of the day, each school is looking for you to show your multi-dimensional self. Stern has this amazing part of our application process called the “Pick Six” essay, where you can showcase your multi-dimensional self in an extremely authentic way.

Which MBA classmate do you most admire? My Stern Women In Business (SWIB) co-president, Katie Medina. Katie gave birth to her adorable baby last spring and successfully completed her consulting summer internship with a newborn (AND received a return offer). Leading SWIB with her as she also balances her other life obligations and seeing how she does so with such intentionality, patience, and success has been such an honor. I have learned so much about how to lead from Katie and am so honored I was able to co-lead the SWIB community with her!

Who most influenced your decision to pursue business in college? My dad. When we immigrated from India when I was a child, my dad completely changed his career path and pursued being a small business owner. I grew up seeing how he would creatively and strategically handle any situation that came his way (big and small) and it made me interested in business as a discipline.

What are the top two items on your professional bucket list?

  1. To be a teacher (formally or informally)
  2. To work in some capacity to fight climate change

How has the pandemic changed your view of a career? My view of my career was much more linear before the pandemic. I think macro level changes in our views of work and having only one job at a time define what a career is are becoming a thing of the past. I believe in being more strategic about the next steps I am going to take to allow for flexibility in my future goals.

What made Shruti such an invaluable addition to the Class of 2022

“Shruti came to Stern with a background in accounting both in professional services and within internal control for a technology company. Her goal with attending business school was to one day leverage her newly acquired business knowledge to future proof organizations by solving some of their most pressing business problems. Shruti has started to do just that during her time here at Stern, taking on several student leadership positions and experiential project courses through which she has made a significant impact.

Over the course of her degree, Shruti wasted no time unlocking her potential to embrace uncertainty and putting her business skills to the test. As a first year, she participated in a Stern Solutions experiential learning course entitled Branding & Innovation Lab where she helped solve a critical global branding challenge facing a multinational partner organization. She went on academically to pursue elective coursework at the nexus of strategy, innovation and technology. Professionally, she was also successful in recruiting for and completing her summer internship at McKinsey & Company in NYC where she will also be returning full-time post graduation.

Above her academic and professional successes, what made Shruti such an invaluable addition to the school was her impact on the community and her never ending efforts to create and sustain a welcoming and inclusive environment for all students. This began as an orientation leader where she was able to leverage her community building mindset to welcome over 350 new MBA students at LAUNCH, the school’s flagship Full-Time orientation program. She then went on to lead two of the school’s biggest student organizations. Inspired by this club’s “ability to create community across people with many different lived experiences through shared and unique goals”, Shruit was elected co-president of Stern Women and Business (SWIB).  She also served as VP of Bootcamps for Stern’s Management Consulting Association (MCA), a primary training vehicle for getting the first-year class prepared for the rigorous recruiting realities of the consulting sector. Shruti has gone above and beyond to build relationships both with her peers and with many members of the administration.

Shruti has made such a positive mark on the Stern community that will be felt for years to come. She truly embodies Stern’s philosophy of using business as a force for good and embracing change. We can’t wait to see what problems she will undoubtedly solve after Stern.”

Bryan Ramos
Assistant Dean, Global & Experiential Education 



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