Meet the MBA Class of 2023: Uma Chauhan, IIM Lucknow

Uma Chauhan

IIM Lucknow

“An empath, a great listener and a servant leader with a penchant for continuous learning.”

Hometown: Etah, Uttar Pradesh, India

Fun Fact About Yourself: Skydived from 4500m in Interlaken, got bored half-way down.

Undergraduate School and Major: MDU Rohtak, B. Tech Electronics and Communication

Most Recent Employer and Job Title: HCL, Associate Manager

Aside from your classmates, what was the key part of IIM Lucknow’s MBA programming that led you to choose this business school and why was it so important to you? I have a lot of friends and family members in the alum network and needless to say had heard numerous stories about the program, the faculty, the teaching pedagogy. From there, I was able to closely observe the career progression the association provided. I am not one who looks forward to want to grow by association. I see my relationship with IIM Lucknow as a mutually beneficial one. I strongly believe the university and I will be able to help each other reap benefits of each other’s success in the time to come. IIML was a school of choice because I did not need to rely on external reviews to understand the program and people.

What has been your favorite course or extracurricular activity at IIM Lucknow? What has been the most important lesson that you have learned from it? Organizational behavior has been my absolute favorite subject, mostly because of the way the course was delivered by Mr. Nishant Uppal. More than the subject, I learned how to captivate the crowd on a topic they are least interested to listen about. I am a great advocate of soft skills and believe firmly they have the power to make or break a situation. The subject taught me deeper aspects of individual, group and organizational behavior, the subtleties of interactions, and the impact created using the information. It’s a learning of a lifetime often overlooked to my dismay.

Describe your biggest accomplishment in your career so far: I draw great confidence from the fact that my leaders always trusted me with the tasks never done before under their leadership in the organization.

In my first job, I uprooted a process from one geography and setting it up in another. In my last job, I accomplished the transition piece for an acquisition. In between, my biggest accomplishment remains earning complete trust of my leadership. With that said, as the world evaluates accomplishments differently. For example, I was instrumental in the successful transition of an 180cr acquisition. I ensured minimal attrition and smooth and comfortably paced transition, which is easier said than done!

Describe your biggest accomplishment as an MBA student so far: Getting selected as the placement representative for the batch has been the biggest accomplishment. It’s a great honor to be trusted with such a great responsibility by a cohort so diverse and talented as ours.

What is your class’s favorite hangout away from school? Why do you gather there? Late night gathering in the football field. We would just sit in the grass and exchange life experiences – both professional and personal. We would have these rich conversations and learn from each other’s journeys, getting to know others a little better every session helped us bond better as a batch and face challenges – academic or otherwise.

What led you to pursue an MBA at this point and what do you hope to do after graduation? The kind of roles I had done in the past gave me a view of the operations and HR sides of the business, but I remained a backend profile. I have an outgoing personality, thrive on interactions, and love networking. This aspect of my personality was not getting leveraged in the roles I had delivered, hence I explored avenues to enter client-facing roles. Upon much consideration, I decided to equip myself with the business domain knowledge, learn from the best of minds first, and then challenge myself to take on the desired roles where I can make a difference both as an individual contributor and a team player.

The MBA from IIM Lucknow is providing me visibility and a pedestal not easily reachable before and I plan to maximize its utility for getting into Strategy roles for business transformation

What advice would you give to help potential applicants gain admission into IIM Lucknow? My advice to all the future applicants would be this: be very thorough with their resume, essays and SOP. The resume is sacrosanct, anything and everything you have put on the resume you should be able to defend well in the interview. Equip yourself with the latest happenings in your domain and in your city and state. Prepare for the behavioral questions well and keep the interviews conversational.


Comments or questions about this article? Email us.