2023 Best & Brightest MBA: Paroma Chakravarty, Georgia Tech (Scheller)

Paroma Chakravarty

Scheller College of Business, Georgia Institute of Technology

“Thoughtful, self-starter passionate about sustainability, building community, and leading with empathy.”

Hometown: Atlanta, GA

Fun fact about yourself: The last time that I went scuba diving, I got run over by a green sea turtle. He was spooked by another diver and was shooting to the surface. It was the best dive of my life.

Undergraduate School and Degree: Cornell University, Bachelor of Science in Environmental Engineering

Where was the last place you worked before enrolling in business school? I worked as an associate consultant for Paladino and Company where I supported design and construction teams in achieving green building certifications.

Where did you intern during the summer of 2022? I interned with E&J Gallo Winery in the Supply Chain group. I had the opportunity to focus on helping Gallo find a more efficient way to collect and report sustainability data from their vineyards.

Where will you be working after graduation? I will be joining McKinsey & Company in the Operations Practice in Atlanta.

Community Work and Leadership Roles in Business School:

President, Graduate Business Council (GBC) – I represented the Full-time MBA students and served as an advocate for fellow students through partnership with Scheller’s MBA program office, the Scheller Advisory Board, and MBA career services. I managed the planning and implementation of programming to help preserve and grow the Scheller community and culture.

Graduate Research Assistant, Georgia Tech Professional Education (GTPE), Decision Support Team – I provided analytics support for GTPE to enable them to make better strategic decisions. I also had the opportunity to automate monthly tracking spreadsheets, easing the burden of tasks on my coworkers.

Wellness Committee, First-Year Representative – During my first year at Scheller, I served as the first-year representative on the Wellness Committee, which had members from the MBA program office, the Full-time MBA program, and the Evening MBA program. Together we planned wellness events throughout the year, with a big focus on mental health management strategies. It was an added bonus that serving on this committee helped me with my own stress management journey to form a habit of regular meditation!

MBA Ambassador – I love Scheller, so this position was easy! I got to talk about how much I love Scheller by sitting on panels, conducting admissions interviews, and hosting coffee chats with prospective candidates. It brought me a lot of joy to share about Scheller culture and help students understand if the program is a good fit for them.

Peer Mentor – I served as a peer mentor for our first-year students. My mentees and I hung out and talked about their classes, internship searches, and general life challenges or triumphs. Moving to a new city and starting an intense program can feel quite disorienting, so I felt lucky to be able to offer advice based on my similar lived experience.

Member of Net Impact Club, Scheller Pride, Women in Business Club, Blacks in Business Club, Managing Tech Club, Strategy & Innovation Club, Marketing Club, Consulting Club – I loved being able to join all of our clubs and supporting my classmates, especially since our class is small and many of them took on several leadership roles. The clubs put on awesome networking, professional development, and social events. I always learned something new or met someone new when attending club events.

Consulting Club Case Coach I help our first years prepare for their consulting case interviews by giving them mock cases and providing feedback to help them improve.

Case Competitions – My team placed second nationally in Deloitte’s 2021 Supply Chain Challenge and were fierce competitors in the 2022 Net Impact Case Competition, the John R. Lewis Racial Justice Case Competition, and 2022 KeyBank Minority MBA Student Case Competition. My classmates come from incredibly diverse and interesting backgrounds, so it was a joy to work with and learn from them in different case competitions.

Atlanta Humane Society Foster Parent – While this is not specifically a Scheller activity, many of my classmates helped me foster animals through the Atlanta Humane Society. I did not have a car my first year here, so they gave me rides to and from the shelter to pick up animals and attend vet appointments. I have successfully fostered five cats and one dog with Atlanta Humane so far; one of my classmates even adopted my foster dog so I am lucky enough to still visit her!

Which academic or extracurricular achievement are you most proud of during business school? I am most proud of my role as President of the Graduate Business Council (equivalent to student-body president). Running for President was an important moment for my personal development as the responsibilities and visibility of the role were outside of my comfort zone. Once I was elected, I was very serious about maintaining the trust my classmates placed in me – I wanted to make sure we continued to have a great Scheller experience by listening to their needs and effectively communicating them to the appropriate audiences. Serving in the role has challenged me to refine my conflict resolution skills as well as learn to ask for help from past presidents and mentors. This role has been invaluable in getting to connect with my class and further developing my leadership skills.

What achievement are you most proud of in your professional career? In my role as a sustainability consultant, I would coach stressed out design and construction teams to help them meet their green building goals on tight budgets and even tighter deadlines. Every time I received a message from a former client that they had received certification and had enjoyed working with me, I counted that as a win for me (and also a win for the planet)!

Why did you choose this business school? I was interested in Georgia Tech’s supply chain and operations curriculum as it offered me the opportunity to partner my passion for process planning with my professional engineering experience. I sat in on a supply chain lecture before applying and it reinforced how incredible the faculty is and how relevant the subject matter was to our current business environment.

Who was your favorite MBA professor? Steve Salbu, our professor for Legal and Ethical Business, was amazing. He took a subject that honestly created a lot of anxiety in me and made it approachable. He was an expert class facilitator – both making space for students to disagree with one another and keeping the mood jovial, so no one felt alienated with their opinion. For a brief moment, he had me convinced that law school might be a good idea, but the Torts lecture quickly changed my mind.

What was your favorite course as an MBA? As someone obsessed with learning more about operations, I loved our Service Operations Management course. Our professor, Manpreet Hora, picked interesting cases for discussion and his enthusiasm for the subject drew us all in. Now, my classmates and I always identify service “failures and successes” in our day-to-day lives, the same way he did at the beginning of every lecture.

What was your favorite MBA event or tradition at your business school? Our Jones MBA Career Center hosts a Bell Ringing ceremony every semester to celebrate MBA students who have signed internship or full-time offers. They have a giant bell that they roll out to our atrium and bring donuts and coffee. Everyone who has signed that semester rings the bell while their classmates cheer them on. It is my favorite tradition as I get to publicly embarrass my normally very humble classmates by loudly cheering and celebrating all their successes.

Looking back over your MBA experience, what is the one thing you’d do differently and why? I would attend more social events. As a borderline introvert, sometimes I stayed home if an event was just a tad inconvenient to attend. As graduation approaches, I’m realizing how precious time with my classmates is.

What did you love most about your business school’s town? If you haven’t visited Atlanta, I need you to hop on a plane here right now and then drive to Buford Highway. Every single world cuisine you could think of is represented there. Some of my favorite Scheller events have involved exploring new restaurants and karaoke spots along Buford Highway. Additionally, as a former hopeful ichthyologist, I love living close to the Georgia Aquarium. I used to volunteer there in high school; now I go and sit in front of the whale shark tank just to relax and watch the fish.

What surprised you the most about business school? As an engineer with no business background, I expected business school to be full of hyper competitive people, but my classmates at Scheller have been nothing but supportive. When I was preparing for consulting interviews, my friend and classmate Kyra Hankin, along with several other classmates, woke up early with me for two weeks to practice case interviews. They were giving me four to five cases a day to make sure I was ready for my interviews. That level of support and coaching from my peers was completely unexpected.

What is one thing you did during the application process that gave you an edge at the school you chose? I visited Scheller and sat in on a lecture when I was considering different schools; that helped me define my “why” and gave me an understanding of how I could fit into Scheller culture. I also met current students that I still see at alumni events now. Meeting them and seeing the culture first-hand enriched my application with specific examples of why I loved Scheller and how I could see myself being successful here.

Which MBA classmate do you most admire? My classmate Maggie Joyce is a force to be reckoned with. She constantly inspires me to push harder without losing my empathy and burning out. She takes on a lot – she’s head of our Peer Leadership Committee and president of our Managing Tech club, while also taking informal leadership roles by sending our class “gentle reminders” when important deadlines are coming up. She works hard to ensure our experience at Scheller is rich and that we feel supported. Maggie and I prepped for our McKinsey interviews together; she kept me grounded when the anxiety and panic started to set in. I am lucky to call her a coworker next year.

What are the top two items on your professional bucket list? I hope to mentor new graduates and continue working on my public speaking skills by joining a Toastmasters club in the area. Mentoring people who are where I have been brings me a lot of joy – maybe I can help elevate them to their goals by sharing my resources and experiences. I have also benefited from incredible mentors; I would love to pay that forward. I love public speaking and want to challenge myself to continue improving it through more training.

What made Paroma such an invaluable addition to the Class of 2023?

“Paroma was a star performer in my law and ethics class, and her essays were always exceptionally insightful and thoughtful. She is a thoughtful and diplomatic leader on our Graduate Business Council, and her work on any class issues that arose truly improved the experience of all of her classmates. Her teams excelled in the case challenges she entered, particularly placing very high in the Deloitte Supply Chain Challenge.”

Steve Salbu
Cecil B. Day Chair in Business Ethics
Georgia Tech Scheller College of Business

“While I knew of Ms. Paroma Chakravarty as a model MBA student involved in several student leadership roles at Scheller, I got to know her in my Service Ops elective. Empathy and Diligence. That is what makes Paroma an invaluable addition. She was diligent with her coursework and made outstanding contributions in the classroom. But equally if not more importantly, Paroma brought other class members in the conversation with empathy, respect, and collegiality. Similar to a typical MBA class, her cohort is competitive, but it is also pleasantly evident that she is rooting for others to do well both inside and outside the classroom, and beyond. I see Ms. Paroma Chakravarty carrying her diligence and empathy forward as she embarks on her career and stays connected through various touchpoints with Scheller and Georgia Tech.”

Manpreet Hora
Associate Professor
Georgia Tech Scheller College of Business


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