Kartik Shah is a MBA Candidate & Co-founder uberessays.com. Alongside, he is working full-time with a communications company as a Sr. Software Engineer. He also holds a Masters degree in Computer engineering from University of Southern California and a Bachelors in Electronics Engineering from University of Mumbai, India. We recently were able to connect with him and ask him about business, b-school and living in the bay area.
1. What's the most rewarding part of your studies?
Life of an MBA student is much more than just books and studies. In fact, those are the minor aspects. The most rewarding aspect is the opportunity to work with high-flying peers who share your drive, ambition and passion. Irrespective of whether your end goal is consulting or investment banking or entrepreneurship you will find classmates who have the same goals. They will be your friends, your study group, your collaborators and will provide you that extra bit of inspiration to achieve your goals.
2. What are you looking forward to in your studies?
I joined the MBA program to be an entrepreneur. To run a business successfully, I believe that you need to understand all the aspects of a business – marketing, finance, strategy, HR. I am glad that I am at Haas where we have a general management program. This does not enforce a particular track on students. Instead, I am free to learn any of the above subjects I want. The opportunity to learn the whole gamut of business is what I look forward to in my studies.
3. What's the experience like attending school in the Bay Area?
The entrepreneurial spirit on campus is remarkable. There are so many groups who started working on their own venture in the first year of their MBA itself. Being in the Bay Area also gives us a great access to the VCs in and around the area. For the ones whose goal is not entrepreneurship, but working in the technology industry, being in the Bay Area is a tremendous leverage. We have regular career treks, lunches with VPs of well-known technology companies, internship opportunities as well as many short-term project opportunities in the technology industry. All these are great methods to “get-your-foot-in-the-door”.
4. Do you have advice for applicants just starting to research MBA financing options?
Research. Research whether your company can finance you. Many companies finance candidates in a certain role. See whether it’s a good / easy option to transition into that role. Research the scholarship options. There are many foundations who can finance part of your MBA based on criteria such as ethnicity, income group, gender etc. See if you are a fit for such organizations. Check with the school’s financial aid office to see if you are eligible for any aid. If the above three options do not work for you, then you better start improving your credit history for that bank loan or start saving for you education. Remember this is an investment you are making on yourself and it will pay off in the future.
5. What's the importance of networking / do you have advice for how to network during your MBA?
As I mentioned before, studies is only a small component of MBA. The social component is huge. My advice is, do allocate some portion of your time to networking events, conferences, speaker series and plain hanging out with your new MBA friends. Whenever you are at any of the above networking events, do not hesitate to reach out to that VC or that VP of marketing or that alum that you really wanted to meet. You would be surprised how much liberty the “student” tag provides you at such events.
6. What are your career plans?
Since I joined the MBA program to become an entrepreneur, I am really glad that I’ve started www.uberessays.com with two of my classmates. The startup was born on a bus ride to the campus and I don’t think I would’ve met my confounders if not for Haas. The brand name of the school was also a tremendous leverage in generating interest and attracting partners from other business schools.