The five reasons I’m attending MIT Sloan this fall

A month away from starting business school at MIT Sloan, I am at the period where I am eagerly anticipating the intense, fulfilling experience that it promises to be. When I applied for business school, I thought about what I wanted to get out of it and why it was important for my personal and professional journey. After I got accepted and the time came to make a decision on attending school, there were a few key reasons I kept coming back to.

It has been five months since I put my deposit down, and eight months since I got the acceptance call from Sloan, so even though school hasn’t started, I feel like I am already a part of the experience. Upon some reflection, I see that my decision to attend has been reaffirmed by the experiences I have already begun to have without even stepping foot on campus.

The following are key factors for why I wanted to attend school. I am grateful to find that Sloan has already begun to deliver in these areas.

1. Be at the forefront of exposure to new technologies, processes and business models: With a background in digital health strategy and innovation, I am passionate about designing technology-oriented products that help consumers. At school, I want to have exposure to the latest ideas, products and innovations in the rapidly evolving consumer technology space. I truly cannot think of a better place than MIT Sloan to do that. A couple weeks ago, I attended a meeting (via Google Hangout) for the VR @ MIT club, which creates a community to support and explore virtual reality technologies at MIT and was started by a second year at Sloan, Jacob Loewenstein.  I am interested in the applications virtual reality provides for education, therapy and rehabilitation within healthcare as well as several other untapped areas of potential use of this technology. More importantly, I am excited to be in a creative environment and potentially work with a few of the products and technologies originating at MIT and Sloan, whether it be at the Martin Trust Center for MIT Entrepreneurship, the 100K Competition, or the Media Lab.

2. Form new relationships with interesting people I wouldn’t have known otherwise: Business school is a way to extend the circle of individuals I’d come in contact with. It may represent the last opportunity to make the kinds of strong friendships that develop during college. Already, some of the most active conversation threads beeping on my phone are two Sloan WhatsApp groups I am part of – one with adMITs from NYC, where I lived and worked for the last four years, and the second with adMITs from India, where I am originally from and spending part of the summer. I have attended numerous happy hours and meals with my future classmates, getting to know them and beginning to form friendships I know will last for a long time. The diversity of experiences I have already witnessed among some of my future classmates – whether it be working as a documentary film producer, on Wall Street, in social impact in Kenya or as an entrepreneur in India – makes me excited for the next two years and beyond. Conversations and interactions with this group of individuals will enrich discussions both in class and at the Muddy Charles Pub, a campus bar.

Some members of the class of 2018 at a bar in NYC

Some members of the class of 2018 at a bar in NYC

3. Stretch myself out of my comfort zone: If I am going to spend two years out of the workforce on the biggest investment I have ever made, I wanted to make sure I have experiences that I wouldn’t have otherwise. This means taking an elective in a topic that seems out of my range, traveling to a completely new place or having an experience that pushes my boundaries, in a supportive environment. I have signed up for the rafting pre-f(x) trip before classes start in August. Pre-functions or pre-f(x) are second year student-led trips that first year students take before the start of classes as a way to meet and bond with other classmates. I have never been in a raft, and the thought of going rafting is a scary one. Yet, I am sure that a weekend with my new classmates rafting through Maine will be extremely rewarding (if I can make sure to stay in the raft!) I look forward to several other experiences, both academic and otherwise, that continue to make me a little scared at the outset and eventually help me grow as an individual.

4. Strengthen my knowledge of the fundamentals of business and management: I had a liberal arts undergraduate education following which I spent 4 years in consulting. I wanted to go back to school to anchor my real-world experience to academic frameworks and theoretical lenses of approaching business problems and running efficient organizations. I am looking forward to the foundation that the core semester will provide in the basics of business. In addition, I am interested in pursuing the Enterprise Management Track which supplements the core semester by providing a holistic background to the way businesses work.

5. Hone my authentic leadership style: Business school is a relatively low-risk environment to experiment with different leadership and management styles. Personally, I am looking forward to the number of different opportunities that clubs, Action Learning and trips will provide to help mold an effective leadership style. At the same time, self-awareness and reflection are critical to fully take advantage of the opportunities available to us. The Leadership Center at MIT provides a 360 degree leadership assessment that I have begun to participate in this summer. After getting to campus in the fall, we will receive a feedback report and work with an executive coach to set goals. Additionally, I took advantage of “Career Leader”, a tool the Career Development Office provides to help students discover their professional strengths and interests. (I was excited to find that the evaluation rated my primary post-MBA career interest as the “highest match” for me!)

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At AdMIT weekend, defining what leadership means to me

 

 

Mallimalika Gupta

Malli is a first-year MBA candidate at MIT Sloan School of Management. Prior to Sloan, she worked as a consultant with PwC in New York City focused on strategy, innovation and program design in digital health. At Sloan, she will focus on technology-based innovation and consumer-centric product design within companies. Malli enjoys dancing, reading, looking at cute pets on Instagram, comedy, trying different kinds of food and travel.

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1 Comment

  1. Thanks for sharing your experience at Sloan with us. Very helpful !

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