Sahil Shah

Sahil Shah
Class Year
New York, NY
Areas of Interest
Financial Services
Previous Education
B.S. in Finance and Accounting, Indiana University

What brought you to business school? Why did you choose Columbia Business School?

I always had business school on the back of my mind and viewed the experience as an incredible opportunity to round out my skill set. After working in the financial services industry for 8 years, there are still so many different topics that I want to learn about and explore. My long-term career goal is to run a business, and I see Columbia as an important step in helping me achieve all of my ambitions. I chose Columbia not only because of its highly regarded curriculum and professors, but also because of all the positive stories I have heard from alumni!

What was your first impression as a student?

I was immediately impressed by the diversity of students’ backgrounds and how quickly I felt as part of the Columbia community. While I wasn’t sure what to expect while starting school during a pandemic, I was frankly impressed at how well Columbia adjusted the curriculum to a virtual model.

How do you balance between work, school, and your personal life?

Before starting the program, I made sure to set expectations on how demanding the next two years will be both at work and at home. It is a precarious balance, but luckily, I have support from both my coworkers and family. My learning team has also been instrumental in helping me balance work, school, and my personal life. We often have open discussions about which team members are extremely busy during a given week, and their support has been critical to helping me find a balance.

What’s your favorite part of the EMBA experience so far?

Easy – the community! Everyone in our class has been so accepting — truly I believe my classmates are the most important part of my Columbia experience. Not only are my classmates incredibly successful, they have all been more than willing to share their knowledge and help one another out.

What was the most challenging part of the program?

I feel like there is so many Columbia resources, tools, and additional activities that would be amazing to take advantage of; however, I do not always find the time. Time management is in general fairly tough and I always feel like I’m cheating myself if I’m not spending enough time taking sufficient advantage of all the resources the School has to offer.

How have your professional skills translated into success at business school?

In my career, I have been fortunate to work with many different types of businesses in a wide array of industries. Each day working at Blackstone, I feel as though I’m constantly on the learning curve and usually have multiple different deadlines that I’m running up against. Work in general has helped me become an efficient multitasker, which has been heavily utilized in business school so far.

Which faculty member(s) and/or courses influenced you the most, and how?

I consider Paul Ingram’s leadership class to be one of the best classes I have ever taken. Professor Ingram really helped me discover how to become a better leader and co-worker. Having his class every Saturday and being able to instantly apply the lessons learned on Monday has really helped me become a better manager.

What are your long-term career goals?

My long-term goal is to become an executive at a consumer goods company. Business school has been helping me develop an understanding of topics and skills that are important to C-suite management. My hope is for Columbia’s MBA to help fill the “white spaces” in my career and make me a better overall leader!

What’s your top advice for new students?

Learn as much from your classmates as you can and participate actively in class and extracurricular activities to make sure you get the most out of CBS. I’ve honestly learned just as much from my classmates as I have in class, so while grades are important, new students shouldn’t dismiss the importance (and fun!) of grabbing the after class beer at 1020 bar.

What will you take with you from Columbia Business School?

A lifelong network, first-class knowledge, and incredible friendships.