Originally from Bangalore, India, Nupur Gokhale talks about her experience earning her MBA abroad at Whitman School of Management at Syracuse University.
Name: Nupur Gokhale
School: MBA, The Martin J. Whitman School of Management, Syracuse University
Profession: Digital Marketing Analyst, Publicis North America, New York
What are some activities you were involved with outside of class? How did you balance your time?
I split my time between classwork and outside activities evenly. Class was one of my priorities in school, but I was involved with organizations, such as Whitman’s Women in Business, where I served as an assistant vice president of marketing. I also worked with campus publications, including The OutCrowd, an LGBT magazine, and served as a social media intern at the Whitman School, which helped me to grow my digital marketing skill set. Aside from that, I also played soccer on a weekly basis.
No one can tell you how to plan your time. You have to select your personal priorities, commitments and things you care about. Having a daily checklist can help. Time management is probably the one thing that can make or break your graduate school experience.
What is the one thing you wish someone had told you before you started the MBA application process?
Start networking as early as possible.
Coming to a new country and getting acquainted with a new culture is difficult enough, but constantly talking to new people and staying permanently out of your comfort zone is even harder. Although you do not start looking for an internship on day one, treat every conversation as an opportunity to learn something new and get to know someone new, even if they may not be relevant to your field of study. Remember, someone will offer you their time only if you have something of value to offer to them in return.
How much are you in touch with the alumni network? Are they helpful in making connections with companies? What did you learn about creating and utilizing networks during your MBA?
One of the reasons I was able to start a career with the company I am at now is because of the help of an alum. The Whitman School and the Syracuse University alumni networks are widespread and help you to engage with many prominent companies and positions.
The Career Center at Whitman constantly strives toward making these connections possible through networking events. Also, the professors bring in guest speakers for real world knowledge and relationship building. The important thing to remember is that even if the guest may not work for your dream company, they may always know someone who works for your dream company.
How did your program help international students with career placement after graduation?
The Career Center was instrumental in job placements after graduation. They were able to:
- Make the right introductions.
- Equip us with the right language to be able to market ourselves to our desired companies on cover letters, resumes and more.
- Teach us the appropriate etiquette with which you approach the American job market, especially when discussing things like sponsorship with a prospective employer.
- Get us acquainted with tools, like job portals, to make applying in volume easier.
What inspired you to pursue your MBA abroad and what have been the greatest benefits of doing so?
I studied mass media during my undergrad. I pursued an MBA because I was looking to get some analytical skill sets under my belt to complement my communications education. I also knew I wanted to broaden my opportunities by learning about the business side of media. The reason I decided to go abroad was because the available career options increase exponentially when one has international experience.
The biggest benefit of doing an MBA program is the network that you create while you are in it. Your cohort ends up becoming one of your biggest assets. In addition, my world view was made so much more holistic just by the virtue of being surrounded by such a diverse set of people.
What were the biggest challenges of pursuing your MBA?
The challenge was in translating any experience that I had on my resume into something understandable and relevant to the American job market.
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