Originally from Kolkata, India, Souvik earned his MBA from Queen's University, Smith School of Business in Kingston, Ontario. Souvik shares why he chose to pursue his MBA in Canada and provides advice for prospective students.
Name: Souvik Adhya
Profession: Management Consultant, The Boston Consulting Group (Calgary office).
Why an MBA?
When did you decide you wanted to pursue an MBA? What inspired you?
Despite a good career growth, I was motivated to go for an MBA after working in a strategy role in Africa. I realized that I had a keen passion in building long-term plans to help businesses achieve their true potential, and I wanted to pursue this passion across a multitude of industries. The decision to pursue an MBA was based on both the desire to work in strategy consulting as well as pick up formal skill sets that would enable me to deliver value to organizations.
Why did you choose your MBA program? Do you have advice to students on how to make a decision?
My choice of Queen’s was based on 3 factors:
- I wanted a program that I could customize and build to position myself in the job market, rather than a generic MBA.
- I wanted a 1 year program given my work experience.
- I wanted to play a role in the developing oil and gas market in Canada.
The MBA Experience
What do you think is your program's greatest asset?
I believe the program’s greatest asset is the experiential learning it is able to deliver. Sticking to the core principle of enabling students to learn through real life experiences was the best part of the program for me. From the beginning until the end of the program, we were working in teams of contrasting personalities, on real life consulting projects. We applied classroom lessons to analyzing entrepreneurial businesses in Kingston through site visits, work on individual consulting and new venture projects, along with many other opportunites to apply what we learned. Classroom sessions were always supplemented with plenty of simulations, site visits and team projects, with a significant emphasis on hands-on learning. All of these factors gave a real life feel to the program. This made the program extremely practical and helped me to better prepare for challenges in the work place.
Did your school’s Career Services have a strong presence in your MBA experience?
Whatever I try to write about the Business Career Center at QSB will never adequately capture the critical role they played. From personal coaching, to helping build a professional network, to helping prepare for consulting interviews and so much more, they were as core to the MBA program as the regular classes!
Pursuing Your MBA Aboard
What are some of the first steps an international student should take after being accepted to ensure they are prepared for an MBA program?
- Reach out to current students and get to know the program outside of what is listed in the brochure and on the website. Learn about the day-to-day student life to understand the program’s value proposition in detail.
- Understand the implications of being in a multi-cultural environment with people from all over the world in a single room. This can come as a huge culture shock, especially if the applicant is not used to working in a diverse environment.
Advice for Future Applicants
What is the one thing you wish someone had told you before you started the MBA application process?
I think the one thing I wish someone had told me before the program started was to start building networks and reach out to people even before the program starts. Building a strong network is the key to professional success in most places and sometimes makes or breaks a job offer. Thankfully I realized that fairly early on in the program!
My advice for any prospective MBA candidate would be to not just go for a brand name, but to also try and see which MBA program best fits one’s career ambitions. The MBA degree is a career launch pad with significant costs involved, and it is important to analyze it from the perspective of a financial investment to get the best returns!
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