What brought you to business school? Why did you choose Columbia?
During my undergraduate years, I interned with HP to launch a product in Bangalore. As such, I had the opportunity to team up with a lot of MBA students, graze the world of market research, and learn the impact that a complex strategy can have in deciding a product’s success or failure.
After college, although I had a core engineering job offer, I decided to pursue a short career in consulting at KPMG India where I directly worked with software publishers and their consumers to manage the product compliance for licensing policies. This gave me an opportunity to observe consumer analytics for business development at play in big tech firms.
At the end of my stint with KPMG India, I decided to pursue my Master’s in Marketing Science to hone my consumer analytics skills because I fundamentally believe that a consumer is at the heart of a product and the subtleties in an interactive product-consumer ecosystem is a valuable skill that I would like to master as I move forward with my career.
Columbia Business School has given me a terrific opportunity to pursue my academic and professional goals. I applied and was fortunately admitted to three other programs outside of Columbia, but the choice of selecting Columbia was a no brainer. Its MS programs offer a challenging yet flexible curriculum that nurtures excellence for the self-motivated and CBS was a clear winner in terms of alumni network and post-graduation work opportunities.
What’s your favorite part of the MS experience so far?
The pandemic has put a pause to a lot of regular functions, but my favorite experience at Columbia might just be sitting by the Alma Mater in the winter noon and reading a book. There is something about that vibe that is just matchless. My friends and I would meet by the campus, get a coffee and a bagel, and just sit by the steps against the all too powerful sun during the winter. That’s honestly the best part of my MS experience.
How have you been involved in the student community?
After a discussion with the MS Marketing Science (MSM) program director, we were able to revive the MSM club. For the upcoming spring term, I am planning a few outdoor activities for those located in New York. Apart from that, I am the point of contact for my class and the Career Management Center. I regularly attend events hosted by school clubs like the Marketing Association of Columbia (MAC) and the Technology & Data Analytics Association (TDA).
Which faculty member(s) and/or courses influenced you the most, and how?
Professor Alonso Martinez’s course, Winning Strategic Capabilities, was one of the most influential courses I took last term. Taught by the MSM program director, the course was packed with practical information on how businesses — whether startups, small and medium, or even enterprises — can grow throughout the different types of market structures across the globe.
What are your long-term career goals? How has your MS experience translated into growth in your career?
I would like to begin my career in product analytics and eventually transition into a machine learning role. Columbia is training me to get a good command and understanding of consumer behavior that is required to succeed in product analytics. The course flexibility also allows me to take more long-term courses that encompasses machine learning and deep learning. My focus is on progress over perfection. I have been able to take advantage of the strong alumni network at Columbia and also connect with the School’s faculty to obtain a lot of important advice that has been very valuable toward my progress.
What’s your top advice for new students?
I would suggest students to prepare well in advance by utilizing the flexibility in curriculum and to plan ahead by looking up their desired courses and respective syllabus in the course catalogues. Since the program is going to be extremely time consuming, figuring out how to balance your time in preparation and execution is key.
What will you take with you from your CBS experience?
The holistic training is something that I will take with me. Rituals continue to exist long after reasons have been forgotten.