Meet the IPMX Class of 2024: Monika Kothari, Indian Institute of Management Lucknow

Monika Kothari

Indian Institute of Management, Lucknow

“Embracing life’s dance, eager for challenges, driven by unwavering focus and a thirst for new experiences.

Hometown: Panchkula, Haryana

Fun Fact About Yourself: Tea is my superpower; it magically transforms me from “mornings are tough” to “ready to conquer the day!”

Undergraduate School and Major: PEC University of Technology, Chandigarh

Most Recent Employer and Job Title: Alstom Rail India Ltd, Traction System Engineer

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? What stood out for me here was faculty. I heard from people about it. After experiencing it, I can tell why people vouch for it. With expertise spanning Finance, Strategy, Economics, and Marketing, they form a powerhouse of knowledge. This aspect was pivotal in my decision because learning from experts who’ve excelled in their fields brings a real-world perspective to education. Choosing a business school with such an impressive faculty lineup was crucial for me as it guarantees a holistic and practical education, aligning perfectly with my aspirations.

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? Participating in case-based learning has been the highlight of my IIM Lucknow journey. The most valuable lesson it imparted is the ability to apply frameworks to solve problems, extending beyond academia to practical life situations. This approach instilled a broader perspective, enabling me to analyze not only cases and projects but also the nuances of real-life situations. Collective case-solving within groups added another layer of learning. Engaging with diverse cohort members enriched my understanding of people, providing varied insights and enhancing the overall value of our discussions. This experience has equipped me with a holistic problem-solving approach and reinforced the significance of diverse perspectives in decision-making processes.

What excites you the most about International Immersion?  The aspect that truly thrills me about International Immersion is the destination itself. Having spent almost 5 years in a French multinational company, I missed out on an onsite assignment due to COVID. The prospect of traveling to France, Belgium, and Switzerland as a student is like embarking on a roller coaster ride of experiences. The visit to IESEG School of Management amplifies the excitement. As part of the IPMX program, the International Immersion holds immense promise. Interacting with professors, peers, and industry experts on a global stage. What’s more, this module extends beyond traditional learning. The renowned institution’s curriculum—featuring Emerging Technologies, Big Data, Business Strategy, and more—aligns perfectly with my aspirations. Additionally, business visits across iconic European cities will impart invaluable practical insights.

Describe your biggest accomplishment in your career so far: My highlight in career accomplishment centers around my substantial contributions to Indian Metro and the e-locomotive project. This journey started from the very beginning – from the initial phases of bidding where strategic decisions were made, to the intricate design phase where every detail mattered. Witnessing the successful testing of the first prototype marked a moment of immense pride, further amplified by the recognition the projects garnered in headlines.

My role in these endeavours extended to leading the traction system engineering aspects. Notably, my emphasis on cost-effective design ideas received commendation and contributed to the success of the projects. Additionally, being the spokesperson for the Traction converter product added to my professional growth, enhancing my skill set and expanding my domain expertise. Throughout this journey, the guidance and mentorship from remarkable mentors have been invaluable. Their insights and support have not only facilitated my achievements, but have also played a crucial role in shaping my career trajectory.

Describe your biggest accomplishment as an MBA student so far: My most significant achievement during my MBA journey has been cultivating a strong affinity for subjects like Economics, Strategy, and Finance. Despite having an electrical engineering background and spending six years in a technical role, I had reservations about the intensity of these core business subjects. However, I found immense enjoyment in them, primarily due to the incredible professors and the dynamic study group environment. This accomplishment not only broadened my academic horizons, but also reaffirmed the value of effective teaching and collaborative learning.

What do you hope to do after graduation? After graduation, I aspire to take on a General Management role. This position involves overseeing the entirety of business operations, requiring a blend of strategic planning, financial acumen, and strong interpersonal skills. With prior experience in managing metro projects, I’ve honed stakeholder management and problem-solving abilities. During my MBA journey, I’ve also deepened my understanding of crucial business domains like finance, marketing, and operations. This combined expertise positions me to excel in a General Management capacity, where I aim to drive strategic growth, foster collaboration, and navigate intricate business landscapes.

What advice would you give to help potential applicants gain admission into IIM Lucknow? My advice is rooted in the power of mindset. Potential applicants should embrace the belief that they have what it takes. It’s vital to focus on their strengths while diligently addressing their weaknesses. Whether it’s GMAT preparation or interview readiness, concentrate on your individual journey, not on comparisons with others. Cultivate a growth-oriented mindset and direct your energies towards improvement. Remember, each applicant’s path is unique. Believe in your potential, stay focused, and give your best effort – that’s what truly matters in the admission process to IIM Lucknow.


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