Meet the MBA Class of 2024: Aakanksha Jaiswal, Imperial

Aakanksha Jaiswal

Imperial College Business School

“Very excited to create a strong community of women that can help each other grow in their careers.”

HometownChennai, India

Fun Fact About Yourself: I have lived in six different cities across two countries

Undergraduate School and Major: BSc Economics and Industrial Organisation, MSc Economics, University of Warwick, United Kingdom

Most Recent Employer and Job Title: Senior Consultant, Deloitte

What makes London such a great place to earn an MBA degree? London is an incredible city for working hard and playing hard. It is a hub for business, creating amazing opportunities for us to apply all that we’re learning on the MBA, along with ample opportunities for exploring history, art and culture. At the same time, there are plenty of nature getaways just a train ride away, offering something for everyone.

The first term isn’t over yet, and we’ve already kicked off the term at the Science Museum, went to the Victoria and Albert Museum as part of a leadership module, did our first hike as a class to the Seven Sisters cliffs in Sussex, and my study group won tickets to the Royal Albert Hall as part of an analytics competition!

Imperial College Business School is one of the most culturally and professionally diverse MBA programs in the world. How do you see these global perspectives enhancing the value of your business education over the next year? The MBA cohort is incredibly diverse, with 21 nationalities represented. The global perspective definitely elevates the conversation on every level, inside and outside the classroom. Each person brings a completely unique point of view, helping us approach business problems from different angles. The debate in the classroom is engaging and conducive to learning because of the different cultural and professional perspectives.

Your MBA is known for innovation, business and technology. Has the program lived up to its reputation? What advice would you give to future students to help them thrive in the early months of the program? Absolutely, the Imperial MBA is the best place to be if you want to work with cutting edge technology and innovation. As a matter of fact, we just completed the Imperial Innovation Challenge, which is a week-long learning lab where students work on deep tech acceleration. I got to partner with Pulpatronics, a start-up developing sustainable RFID chips, which was born out of an Imperial group project! There are ample opportunities to work with innovative ideas at the Enterprise Lab, which helps novice entrepreneurs develop their ideas from scratch. Additionally, Hack Space is Imperial’s prototyping lab where students have access to all kinds of equipment to build their own product prototypes, from 3D printers to a fully functional wet lab.

The early months of the program can feel like a whirlwind. I would advise to keep an open mind and go with the flow. The workload and the number of activities on offer can feel overwhelming, but do take on stretch projects and participate in things that might feel like they’re out of your comfort zone. Everything falls into place slowly and you will find your place within the Imperial community!

Aside from your classmates and location, what was the key part of Imperial College Business School’s MBA programming that led you to choose this business school and why was it so important to you? The Imperial program had a great focus on making a positive impact on society, whether through the self-development modules or through the ESG and Stakeholder Impact specialization, both of which appealed to me and aligned well with my values and goals.

What has been your first impression of the Imperial College Business School MBA students and alumni you’ve met so far. Tell us your best Imperial story so far. Both Imperial MBA students and alumni have been friendly, supportive and professional in the first meeting. With the camaraderie, it is easy to forget how accomplished everyone here is. We also get up to all kinds of hilarious shenanigans in the name of friendly competition.

For example, during innovation week, one of my classmates pretended to faint as part of their product pitch to the judges, which was a heat sensing device to help with dehydration. Unfortunately, he did such a convincing job that I almost called an ambulance! Needless to say, a lot of laughs ensued after the presentation.

What course, club or activity excites you the most at Imperial College Business School? As President of the Women Mean Business club, I’m very excited to create a strong community of women that can help each other grow in their careers. I’m also looking forward to Global Experience Week, an immersion week which is part of the program. I’ve chosen to go to Nairobi, Kenya, where we’ll be studying how businesses tackle inequality. We are also planning as a class to extend our trip to visit Masai Mara or Serengeti, which would be a dream come true!

Describe your biggest accomplishment in your career so far: My biggest accomplishment in my career was definitely working with Deloitte’s Global Sustainability and Climate team to drive their ESG technology strategy. Working at the crux of technology and the marketplace, it was a unique role bridging the gaps within the vast Deloitte ecosystem in pursuit of a greater goal.

What do you hope to do after graduation (at this point)? I hope to continue my career in consulting, specializing in ESG strategy. I am aiming to achieve the ESG and Stakeholder Impact specialization during my MBA to help me on this career path.

What advice would you give to help potential applicants gain admission into Imperial College Business School’s MBA program? Be authentic and tell your story! Think about how you want to make an impact on the world and make sure you convey that in your application.

Describe your biggest accomplishment as an MBA student so far? As an MBA student, holding multiple positions of student leadership where I can create a positive impact and bridge the gender gap in business has been my biggest accomplishment. I get to work with like-minded women to help women advance in their careers as President of the Women Mean Business society. Additionally, as a Forte Fellow, I get to work with the school in partnership with the Forte Foundation to help more women pursue MBA.

What has been your best memory as an MBA so far? Along with some of my Indian friends, I had the privilege of organizing a Diwali party for my international classmates, complete with Indian food, gifts, sweets and music. It felt like bringing a piece of home with me to my new friends.

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