In this “MBA Reflections” blog post series, we will be featuring the profile and thoughts of a select few Whitman MBA students graduating in May 2016.
Episode 6: Ankit Sharma
Major: MBA – Marketing and Supply Chain
Background: B.A. (Honors) in business management from The University of Nottingham, UK
LinkedIn Profile: https://www.linkedin.com/in/ankitmsharma
Why an MBA?
After I finished my undergraduate degree, I interned with DuPont for six months. It was a great opportunity in terms of personal and professional development. The firm had a great culture, ethics and growth opportunities. The work was challenging and rewarding. I was on the road almost 20 days a month for six months meeting executives from construction companies, contractors and government officials. Then I started working full time for another company, a channel partner of DuPont.
After working at that job for more than two years, I decided to start my own business in the field of web and software development with a business partner. He took care of the technical aspects, while I handled the management aspects of the firm. We did really well from the start by catering to budding entrepreneurs, like ourselves, worldwide. In the process, my partner got a lucrative opportunity to work in Australia full-time. It was an opportunity that was too good for him to give up. I didn’t have all the abilities to solely operate the business. When he left the firm unceremoniously, I realized that I don’t have all the abilities to solely operate the business or a plan-b to fall back upon. It was then that I decided it was the most opportune time to get my MBA.
My priority was to be in or around NYC. I was looking for a campus university over a city university and I knew if I went to NYC I wouldn’t get that experience. At Whitman, I still have access to the city but without the little inconveniences. Whitman also has a well-recognized ranked MBA program that incorporates experiential learning into the curriculum, which I felt would give me real life hands on exposure. It also made sense from an expense perspective. I also enjoy the college sports life here at Cuse.
What have you gained from your time at Whitman?
When I worked in India, most of the marketing that I did was sales and business development. I had a preconceived notion that marketing was only that until I joined Whitman and learned more about the field though our core classes and group work. I have gained valuable insights on the various aspects of marketing and a strong understanding in marketing research, strategy and analytics.
What is your most memorable moment from your time at Whitman?
I took part in Whitman’s Fall 2015 Mini Case Competition. It was my first experience at a case competition. My team won and it was a really proud moment for me. I really enjoyed the competition. There was no preset framework, which gave us a creative outlet. I am very thankful for the opportunity because the competition realistically reflected the framework of how fast pace projects happen.
From day one at Whitman the faculty and staff stressed the importance of internships. I really appreciated that. Their guidance led me to my internship at Quicken Loans, where I served as an operations intern. At Quicken Loans there was amazing opportunities to shadow other teams in departments. By shadowing the consulting team, I realized that consulting is what I want to pursue as a career. The role was flexible, collaborative and adaptive. You had to think on your feet and be in tune with all departments to do things well. Also, the company culture, growth and work life balance was great! I have noticed a change in myself since that internship. I have found my passion.
Are your goals or plans different since starting your MBA?
I came to Whitman thinking that I would focus my coursework on marketing and finance because the subjects fit in well with my background. However, the experience I’ve gained at Whitman has shifted my focus toward consulting and marketing strategy.
What is your dream job?
To be a strategy consultant and start my own consulting firm that helps small sized firms.