Throughout my life I have looked for opportunities to do things differently, to expand my knowledge, and to look beyond the obvious. That is why I chose to leave home early, to live and study in six different countries, and to come to Yale.
I was born and raised in Austria, but my bicultural background (my dad is Bengali, my mom Austrian) piqued my curiosity about the world early in my life. When I was completing my undergrad work in Vienna, I had an opportunity to study in Chengdu, China. I’d never even heard of it even though the area has 15 million people. I went there and loved it. That experience truly opened up the world to me: it led me to want to know about China and to study with others who were fascinated by the world. I attended HKUST in Hong Kong for my first master’s and that’s when I learned about the Master’s Degree in Global Business and Society at Yale.
The whole idea excited me: I had this opportunity to become part of something new at Yale and to become part of this bigger network through the Global Network for Advanced Management. My experience from HKUST, another Global Network school, is amplified here at SOM through the GBS program. Yale SOM offers a broad range of classes that builds upon what I already learned in my first year. In our Perspectives class taught by Deputy Dean David Bach, we have had a variety of speakers presenting on topics related not only to business, but also to challenges different countries face. In a recent class, we talked about Aadhaar, a new system the Indian government is using for personal identification, and some of the challenges the technology has presented.
We’re not just learning skills; we’re applying them. We worked in teams on case studies and a consulting project with a financial firm to produce a plan for a new product in under a week. It required us to know our own strengths and where we fit into our teams to produce the best results. You learn from your classmates and the experiences they’ve had in their own respective countries and what they learned in their first master’s programs. I got a chance to learn from my classmates about the Chinese credit system, which is entirely different than the one in Europe. Meanwhile, we learned about credit here in the United States, and that brings its own challenges.
Beyond my GBS classmates, in elective classes, I’m with MBA students, who have a different approach to problems and have had their own business experiences. Beyond that, you have the MAMs, who are also very interesting because not only are they international, but they have at least three to five more years of experience than we already do. They have this global perspective combined with business that is fascinating to hear about, and they present ideas you might not have considered. No matter the colleagues I’m with, I feel entirely a part of this community, and we all have our own piece to share with everyone else.
Interviewed on November 13, 2018