Meet the MBA Class of 2025: Gandharv Mahajan, New York University (Stern)

Gandharv Mahajan

New York University, Stern School of Business

“Indian, consultant, salesperson, musician, son of parents who inculcated humility, hard-work, and a pay-it-forward attitude.”

Hometown: New Delhi, India

Fun Fact About Yourself: So far, I’ve dyed my hair blue, pink, purple, green, and red! This experience made me learn how to be comfortable with being uncomfortable.

Undergraduate School and Major: Guru Gobind Singh Indraprastha University, New Delhi, India. Bachelor of Technology, Electronics and Communications Engineering

Most Recent Employer and Job Title: Deloitte India, Strategy Consultant

What excites you the most about living in New York City and how do you see it enhancing your learning experience? First, while I have worked extensively with clients outside of India (where I was born and raised), I have unfortunately not had the opportunity to experience living abroad. New York City, a melting pot of cultures and ideas, will provide me with a unique opportunity to interact with people from various backgrounds. I believe that these interactions will enrich my learning experience by challenging my assumptions and encouraging me to think globally.

Second, New York City is a global financial hub, home to numerous multinational corporations and innovative startups. Being surrounded by this thriving business ecosystem will undoubtedly create an immersive learning environment. I look forward to accessing a plethora of networking opportunities, internships, and industry events, allowing me to apply classroom knowledge to real-world situations and gain practical insights from successful professionals.

Beyond the professional aspects, New York City’s vibrant cultural scene and numerous recreational activities are incredibly appealing. Engaging with the arts, attending various comedy/music events, and exploring the city’s diverse neighborhoods will not only provide a balance to the program’s rigor but also foster creativity and a broader worldview.

Aside from your classmates, what was the key part of NYU Stern’s MBA programming that led you to choose this business school and why was it so important to you? Apart from the prestige, rankings, career outcomes, and location, I was inspired to join Stern for its flexible curriculum. There are opportunities to take electives from several other New York University schools and waive off core courses if one has prior expertise and take electives instead. A cherry on the cake is that one gets to learn directly from rockstar Professors that need no introduction such as Scott Galloway and Aswath Damodaran.

What course, club or activity excites you the most at NYU Stern? While working in consulting, I had to develop strategies for market entry, pricing, competitive analysis, and tackling oligopoly. However, since I never had a formal business education, I had to learn on the job, making my already hectic day even more strenuous. In this respect, courses such as “Firms and Markets” taught by Professor Maher Said, which deal directly with economics and game theory, are going to impart me with skills directly applicable to my desired role and help me perform better and faster.

What does EQ (Emotional Intelligence) mean to you and when have you seen its value in your career? To me, EQ means being able to put oneself in another’s shoes. It has helped me be client-centric and conduct empathetic consultative selling. Additionally, it’s helped me effectively coach new joiners who traced the same talent development journey as I did when I had launched into my career. EQ helped me not only in driving business outcomes, but also in developing long-lasting relationships at the workplace.

Describe your biggest accomplishment in your career so far: I started my career in cross-functional business development at Deloitte. In this capacity, I was required to grow strategic priority accounts by selling professional services across functions such as strategy, technology, risk, finance, and audit.

My accomplishment here was that I was able to generate significant revenues, despite being the youngest professional in the role, and the only one with no business education (not even knowing what a balance sheet is!). This helped me land a promotion just within six months, a rare occurrence in the team.

What do you hope to do after graduation (at this point)? I aspire to continue working as a strategy consultant. In the roughly two years I spent with Deloitte Consulting, I enjoyed the pace of the work and continuous learning opportunities. I loved the feeling of a new job consultants get every three-to-five months with a new project – new colleagues (project team), new boss (clients/leaders), new office location (client office), and a constant need to develop new skills.

What advice would you give to help potential applicants gain admission into NYU Stern’s MBA program? Be interesting. Don’t just try to look interesting (adcom will know!), be interesting. That’s what classmates are looking forward to and that’s what our co-workers want when stuck at the airport. Furthermore, chasing this goal will inevitably help in developing a holistic personality with varied interests, all of which are valuable assets not just in gaining an admission, but also in life in general.

Some more general tips – be authentic, make sure your story lines up with your experiences (this will require deep introspection!), and try to cover ‘Why MBA, Why now, Why NYU Stern’ in the application.


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