MIT, Sloan School of Management
“Indian, female, second-generation family business leader with a passion for human-centric technology and theater.”
Hometown: Pune, India
Fun Fact About Yourself: I went skydiving in Australia on my honeymoon!
Undergraduate School and Major: Economics and Psychology at Pomona College, Claremont
Most Recent Employer and Job Title: Head of Product Marketing at Cybage Software Pvt Ltd
What has been your first impression of the Sloan MBA students and alumni you’ve met so far. Tell us your best Sloan story so far. The Sloan community is incredibly welcoming and kind. Given the school’s smaller class size and pay-it-forward culture, alumni and current second-year students seem to be genuinely interested in your well-being and personal/professional development. I have had many current students reach out to me proactively and impart advice based on their own experiences at Sloan.
My favorite Sloan story so far is actually the way I received the news of my acceptance. My interviewer, who was also an admissions officer, sent me a personalized email and said she really wanted to call me but had to refrain given that it was the middle of the night in India. A few days later, I received a letter in my mailbox from the school that was signed off with: “I hope that you will give us the privilege of being a part of your legacy.” It reflected the humility and values of such a prestigious institution and made my choice fairly simple.
Aside from your classmates, what was the key part of MIT Sloan’s MBA programming that led you to choose this business school and why was it so important to you? MIT Sloan’s focus on building data-driven leaders stood out to me as a unique offering. From classes that helps develop quantitative skills to a close association with MIT’s other engineering programs, the school equips students to face the digitization wave head on. I was looking for a program that acknowledges the role technology plays in every job function and industry today and gives you the skills and network needed to succeed in the evolving landscape. At MIT Sloan, I have found this.
What course, club or activity excites you the most at MIT Sloan? I am most excited about playing an active role in SWIM-the Sloan Women in Management club. As a woman in technology, I have spent a considerable amount of time mentoring female students in my hometown on careers in STEM. The opportunity to continue my work through SWIM is quite exciting! Moreover, the club provides a strong support system to the women in Sloan through a robust mentorship program and unique events.
Action Learning Labs are one of MIT Sloan’s biggest attractions. Which lab interests you most? How does it fit with your interests? The Enterprise Management Lab interests me the most given the hands-on experience it provides students with in working with large, established companies and helping them solve commonplace challenges. Post-Sloan, I am looking to work as a product manager in big tech with the long-term goal of joining my technology family business in India. Given both aspirations, the EM track will help me understand ways to optimize processes and think about big-picture problems faced by businesses in the expansion/growth phase.
When you think of MIT, what are the first things that come to mind? How have your experiences with the Sloan program thus far reinforced or upended these early impressions? When I think of MIT, I envision an institution filled with intelligent, passionate change makers looking to have a positive impact on the world. At MIT, everyone is driven by a larger purpose, and this shows in the kind of speakers, faculty, and alumni who are an integral part of the community. I also think of a warm, inclusive culture where every voice is given equal importance.
The Sloan program has definitely reinforced my early impressions thus far. The orientation programs and events held through the summer highlighted multiple community resources whose primary goal is to forge a sense of belonging in each student. The clubs, speaker sessions and learning resources engage with you to understand how you can align your personal and professional development goals, while serving the community at large.
Describe your biggest accomplishment in your career so far: In 2019, I strayed from my family business’ primary offering of IT services and instead took on the task of launching one of our first ventures into the SaaS world—an HR rewards platform named Gratifi. As head of product marketing, I built a team, created a go-to market strategy, and pitched to 100+ beta clients in the first year. Within two years, we had successfully reached 100,000 platform users and achieved a revenue of $2M. The reason I would describe this as my biggest accomplishment isn’t just for the business success achieved, but also for the confidence I gained through the process.
What is one thing you have recently read, watched, or listened to that you would highly recommend to prospective MBAs? Why? A book I would highly recommend is How Will You Measure Your Life? by the respected Clayton Christensen. While his earlier, more renowned book, The Innovator’s Dilemma, is a masterpiece. This one forces you to truly reflect on your priorities, goals and what fulfils you. I think the lessons of the book could help inform more vulnerable essays for applications and stay with you throughout business school.
What other MBA programs did you apply to? I primarily looked at schools that had either a technology focused MBA program or a family business offering. These covered the M-7 and Haas.
What advice would you give to help potential applicants gain admission into MIT Sloan’s MBA program? I would recommend using the limited writing space you get to try and highlight the impact you have had in your job versus dwelling more on the job description alone. Another key aspect to focus on is your interview preparation! Among the interviews I gave at business schools, Sloan’s interview was by far the toughest and most thorough. It is essential to back up every experience you have written about with data and real-life examples.
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