As part of Scheller’s Countdown to Commencement series, we interviewed a few soon-to-be graduates from our undergraduate, MBA, and Ph.D. programs to learn about their backgrounds, why they chose Scheller College, and what they plan to do after Spring 2019 Commencement.
Meet Anuj Gupta:
Anuj hails from Gwalior, India, and is completing his Full-time MBA. He describes himself as “an ambitious, empathetic, and pragmatic change-maker striving to make a difference in the world.” He will be joining Deloitte Consulting in Atlanta after graduation. Prior to graduate school, he obtained his Bachelor of Engineering in Computer Science at Prodyogiki Vishwavidyalaya and worked in technology consulting projects at companies including Infosys Limited and Deloitte U.S.-India.
Why did you choose Scheller College of Business?
Technology is revolutionizing the way companies conduct business. It is also constantly changing how companies compete. Scheller College of Business recognizes the importance of technology. This, along with the practical preparedness aspect of education at Georgia Tech, prepares the students for the best and brightest companies.
Moreover, the Scheller MBA career services team has consistently had an outstanding placement record. The way they are completely invested in your success from day one is completely phenomenal! Career Services was extremely helpful in developing my soft skills and preparing for my dream job. I got my internship through the job posting in career services and I was fortunate to intern at my top choice company. Looking back I can say with utmost certainty that the career services team was instrumental in my job search success.
Finally, I believe people make the experience. The small size of our program and the close-knit community makes Scheller even more special. You come in looking for classmates and friends and end up with an amazing family!
Who was your favorite MBA professor (and why)?
My favorite MBA professor would be Professor Steve Salbu. His course focuses on legal and ethical issues in business. Almost every class has interesting and thoughtful discussions amongst the MBA cohort. Professor Salbu does an amazing job in moderating these discussions and sparking thoughts on intricate problems through the cases that he has written specifically for this class.
What was your favorite course (and what was the biggest insight you gained about business from it?)
I thoroughly enjoyed Service Operations Management taught by Professor Manpreet Hora. The course focused on the tertiary sector or the “services sector” that contributes about 70% of the gross domestic product of the U.S. economy. My biggest insight was gaining an appreciation of the complexities associated with implementing change in services and handling service failures. Today’s innovation is tomorrow’s commodity experience.
Where did you intern?
I spent last summer at Deloitte Consulting in Atlanta as a senior consultant in the Enterprise Operations offering portfolio. My project was to help a top-tier Medicare advantage company carve out a differentiated Medicare Advantage business. The outcome was a comprehensive implementation strategy to guide the client in spending $500 million over the next two years.
How do you think Scheller College embodies the intersection of business and technology?
Technology and business are inseparable; Scheller recognizes the importance of technology and has a lot of courses and initiatives that are geared towards bringing the students up to speed with technology. For me personally, courses like data analytics in business, pricing analytics, and revenue management and emerging technologies were extremely helpful in understanding the role technology and data play in successful implementation of business strategy.
Scheller provides numerous opportunities to connect with resources in Tech Square. I was part of the innovation labs tour in and around Tech Square where we looked at breakthrough technologies and their impact to business. The Tech Square career fair and the coffee with catalyst event in the ATDC also connects students to technologists and people looking to hire Scheller’s talent.
What dollar value would you place on your MBA education?
Getting an MBA involves a huge opportunity cost. I wish I could place an intrinsic or relative valuation here. However, the learnings that I’ve gained, the connections I’ve made, and the goals I’ve achieved makes it invaluable for me and definitely worth it!
Did you participate in a practicum? If yes, which practicum(s) and what year(s)?
Yes, I participated in the Strategy Practicum, IT Practicum, and Lean Six Sigma Practicum in the first year of my MBA program. I selected practicum projects because I wanted hands-on experience in working on a project in the United States. One of my objectives was to understand the work culture and apply the business knowledge and learnings I gained in my core semester.
The business issue was to help businesses determine inefficiencies and help them solve their challenges to make an impact on their bottom-line. We relied on the knowledge and skills gained through different electives and applying them on the job. We could also tap into the knowledge base of our peers with diverse work experiences and professors at Scheller. More specifically: Strategy Practicum – Deloitte Consulting: Working on helping Deloitte industries that are undergoing significant disruption and how Deloitte can adapt to these disruptions with focus on the insurance industry. IT Practicum – NCR: Helped NCR identify revenue leakage by analyzing U.S. Financial Hardware Service and uncovered $6.4 million of unclaimed revenue. Finally, Lean Six Sigma – Chick-fil-A: Helped Chick-fil-A reduce their borrowed items from other stores.
How do you feel your experience with practicums has prepared you for post-graduation?
Practicums have made me client ready from day one. My experience with practicum projects, working with clients on issues that are extremely relevant to the business, helped a lot in garnering the necessary skills to succeed post-MBA.
What is your best piece of advice to an applicant hoping to get into Scheller College?
My advice is to be honest throughout the admissions process. Scheller invests a lot in the success of its MBA candidates. Career services is involved in the admissions process from day one because they want to ensure that candidates are a good fit for their unique MBA program. Taking time to talk to ambassadors and leaders of the program would also be helpful in understanding what the program has to offer and recognizing if it’s a good fit.
What is the biggest myth about Scheller College and how was it the same or different from what you experienced?
Being an ambassador of the MBA program, I had the opportunity to interact with over one hundred prospective students. One big myth that people had is that you must have an engineering or a technical background to succeed at Scheller. This is not true as Scheller looks for students with diverse backgrounds and work experiences. Scheller provides a plethora of opportunities and resources to get up to speed with the innovations and technologies.
Who most influenced your decision to pursue business in college?
My older brother, who is also one of my role models, influenced my decision to pursue my MBA at Scheller. He has an MBA himself and knew the importance of quality education and enrolling in an MBA program that could help me meet my goals.
Think back two years ago. What is the one thing you wish you’d known before starting your MBA program?
Before starting my MBA program, I was a little anxious about moving to a different country, experience a new way of learning, and different cultures. I wish I had known that it would be so much fun; I would grow so much as a person, and have fun learning about business.
MBA alumni often describe business school as transformative. Looking back over the past two years, how has business school been transformative for you?
My experience at Scheller has definitely been transformative. Being stuck in one aspect of business robs you of the ability to appreciate a different perspective. My interactions with classmates, faculty, and program staff have given me the ability to appreciate different perspectives and considerations that are necessary for functioning as an effective leader. The ability to recognize bias in our thinking and not letting it impact our decisions, in my opinion, this has been the most transformative impact on me.
How did the extracurricular offerings at Scheller College help you during your time here?
Scheller offers a lot of extracurricular offerings. I was part of the intramural soccer team and thoroughly enjoyed seeing the Scheller MBA team reach the finals of the tournament. I was also able to participate in multiple case competitions giving me much-needed consulting skills to succeed in my desired post-MBA role. Finally, I was also proud to be part of Scheller Day of Service, organized by Scheller Philanthropy, and contribute to a cause close to my heart.
What activities were you involved with on or off campus, and did your business education impact those activities in any way?
I am truly passionate about consulting and believe in Scheller MBAs taking the consulting industry by storm. I was fortunate that my classmates believed in me to lead the MBA Consulting Club as their president. The current leadership was able to generate a lot of interest and we received the highest enrollment in the club in recent history. The leadership is actively working on making a difference on the ground by organizing one-on-one case prep sessions and the impact is visible in the consulting internship offers in the Class of 2020.
I was also involved with Junior Achievement of Georgia where I helped coach students through the essential techniques used to create an effective brand. The exercise helped students recognize their true potential and actively work towards achieving their goals. I have also volunteered for Trees Atlanta. Their primary goals have been to replace trees lost to development, conserve existing trees, protect green space areas, and educate the community’s residents and workers about the many benefits of trees.
I was also part of the Women in Business diversity initiative. It is inspiring to see our women leaders are working towards the empowerment of women in the workplace by establishing corporate connections.
Which academic or extracurricular achievement are you most proud of during your time at Scheller and why?
I am proud of working with Scheller’s Ray C. Anderson Center for Sustainable Business towards establishing United Nation Regional Centre of Expertise (UNRCE) in Atlanta. UNRCE is a network of formal, non-formal, and informal organizations within a region that facilitate and deliver education for sustainable development to local communities. The RCE program is a global initiative of the United Nations University, designed originally to support the UN Decade of Education for Sustainable Development. I worked with students from other universities in order to establish a working model of UNRCE on which further initiatives and developments will take place. I am extremely proud of this as I strongly believe in the triple bottom line in business and that businesses wield enormous power in making a positive impact on the world.
“If I hadn’t gone to business school, I would be…working hard on making advanced technology that’s indistinguishable from magic in an Applied AI and Machine Learning startup!
What are the top two items on your bucket list?
I firmly believe as humans, our goal should be to leave the planet in a better state than we found it. The top item in my bucket list is to help businesses and individuals embrace sustainable practices in business, whether it is at my job or outside of it. Second, I want to visit Iceland and see the Northern Lights.
Fun fact about yourself:
I have been part of two Guinness World Records: ‘Most Participants in a Software Development Jam’ and ‘Largest Human Smiley.’