2023 MBA To Watch: Saoumya Chaudhary, ESMT Berlin

Saoumya Chaudhary

ESMT Berlin

“Data and product professional with 5+ years of experience in e-commerce and fintech industries.”

Hometown: New Delhi, India

Fun fact about yourself: I am apparently very good at taking group selfies, a hidden talent discovered during the MBA

Undergraduate School and Degree: Gautam Buddha University, Integrated Bachelors and Masters in computer science

Where was the last place you worked before enrolling in business school? Zalando SE – Business Analyst

Where did you intern during the summer of 2022? N/A

Where will you be working after graduation? My plan is to work as a product manager in an online marketplace company

Community Work and Leadership Roles in Business School: Marketing Lead of TEDxESMTBerlin Conference 2023, Class Representative- MBA Class of 2023, Member of NetImpact Club

Which academic or extracurricular achievement are you most proud of during business school? It was taking the learnings from the strategic leadership track to developing and presenting the market expansion strategy to the executive leadership board of Mercury Engineering, a leading construction company in Europe. Not only was the project special because of the exposure and recognition my team members and I got, but we were also able to convert a case writing project into a great industrial collaboration. Working in a new industry also gave me a fresh perspective on the challenges and opportunities companies face that would be valuable in my professional career.

What achievement are you most proud of in your professional career? Leading the successful implementation of a new system that integrated reports into decision flows, improving the efficiency and productivity of the team by 20 percent. The project involved analyzing and evaluating the current processes, identifying areas of improvement, and automating the process. This accomplishment was recognized by the upper management and resulted in a Gold Award at my first organization.

Why did you choose this business school? Having lived and worked in Berlin, I knew I wanted to pursue my MBA there. Thus, ESMT was one of my top choices, given its location in one of the most vibrant and entrepreneurial places full of opportunities and growth potential. But what made me choose ESMT, in the end, was its balanced curriculum of theoretical and practical knowledge that is adapted to cater to the modern business world.

Who was your favorite MBA professor? David Ronayne, our professor of Economic Thinking. He managed to imprint the principles of economics and markets through his many simulation exercises and live demonstrations using Marmite. His lectures were both engaging and interesting.

What was your favorite course as an MBA? My favorite course was one of the very first courses I had during the year: managerial analysis and decision making. An excellent course on debiasing that helped me to unlearn so that I could learn better throughout the year. A very important lesson taught early – ‘You are overconfident.’  

What was your favorite MBA event or tradition at your business school? A little biased here, but the cleanup drives organized by the NetImpact Club. The event calls upon students and volunteers to give back to the city by cleaning different places and parks around the city. The best part is that you can have the most interesting conversations with passersby, who are curious about what you are doing. And you always feel good after a little cleanup.

Looking back over your MBA experience, what is the one thing you’d do differently and why? Prioritize more! An MBA can offer many things and experiences, which can get overwhelming. Thus, if I had to do it again, I would prioritize better and not feel bad about missing out on things. Also, try not to fall from stairs – and having a ligament tear in the middle of the session.

What is the biggest myth about your school? Nothing at all, the school lives up to all its great reputation and expectations.

What did you love most about your business school’s town? The summers in Berlin are everything! As the temperatures rise and the days become longer, the city’s many parks, lakes, and outdoor spaces come alive. From open-air film screenings to live music performances, there is plenty of options for those seeking to make the most of their summer in the city.

What surprised you the most about business school? The historical significance and beautiful architecture of the school building. ESMT is located in the former state council building of the GDR and you still see and feel the history everywhere in the building.

What is one thing you did during the application process that gave you an edge at the school you chose? I made a deliberate effort to understand the values and mission of the school that gave me an edge during the interview process.

Which MBA classmate do you most admire? Timothy McGrath, a dear friend and a wonderful human being. He is not only an exceptional student, but also kind and thoughtful person who always goes out of his way to help others. Watching him throughout the year, I learned how to make connections and make time to nurture them.

What are the top two items on your professional bucket list? Building strong and effective teams, becoming a coach/mentor

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

“A successful final project always takes a number of different characters. Saoumya shone both for her intellectual prowess as well as her ability to challenge her own thinking and that of others openly and productively. Willing to adapt to her colleagues while not shirking the good fight when it was needed to rekindle alertness and battle down biases, Saoumya was instrumental in making this a cohesive and high-performing team. Add to this a strong pinch of self-reflection as well as a warm manner towards others (including interfering coaches) and you have a best and brightest the school can be proud of.”

Dr. Franziska Frank
Coach for the MBA Final Project


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