Student Profile: Aditi Gupta, UC Davis Graduate School of Management

Student Profile: Aditi Gupta, UC Davis, Graduate School of Management main image

Aditi Gupta, originally from India, is currently undertaking her MBA at UC Davis Graduate School of Management.

Before starting the graduate program, she held the position of Team Lead, Quality Assurance at Wipro Technologies, Pune, India, where she gained four and a half years’ work experience.

She spoke with TopMBA.com about her time on the program and what makes it special for her.

What key factors led you to pursue a graduate degree?

After working for almost five years, I wanted to move up in my career and as my role became more client-oriented, I realized a professional degree was necessary to bridge gaps in my skills and knowledge. An MBA not only provides the necessary expertise in multiple business functions, it also allows you to explore multiple career options. I wanted to switch to a different industry after working in technology, so pursuing an MBA was the perfect choice for me.

What were some of the tools you used to research different programs?

I referred to different b-school rankings, explored the profiles of admitted students and created my preferred list of b-schools and applied.

What helped you make your final decision on your current program and school?

I wanted to earn my MBA to provide me with multiple leadership and growth options from a good and highly reputable b-school in the US, and I didn’t want a large cohort. The UC Davis Graduate School of Management fit my criteria perfectly, and its location in Northern California, close to Silicon Valley was an added advantage.

What do you most love about the school and your program?

I love that UC Davis has an extraordinary culture—one of the best I’ve ever seen – and everyone is so helpful and cooperative. We’ve come to know each other on a first name basis, which speaks a lot for the collaboration and camaraderie, and professors and staff are always available to help students. We have the liberty to discuss our ideas freely and the Graduate School of Management does everything it can to help our personal and professional development.

What is your favorite thing about the city/town/campus?

Before coming to the US, I was anxious as it was my first time, and my first international student experience. Davis, being a small town, helped me to overcome my anxieties to an extent as everything was close by and easy to get to. It’s bike friendly and very safe, which put me as ease as an international student. There are some nice places downtown to chill and relax in your spare time.

What has been your best experience on the program?

Meeting billionaire businessman and philanthropist Warren Buffet and having lunch with him with my classmates in Omaha was an amazing experience—one I will always remember in my MBA journey. It probably wouldn’t have been possible to shake hands with one of the legends of business if I weren’t at UC Davis.

Were there any specific classes, concentrations, faculty or areas of focus that attracted you to the program?

The Industry Immersion courses were a big attraction before joining the program and it added great value to my MBA experience. Participating in the Food and Agriculture Industry Immersion course has been the best decision I’ve made at UC Davis. The program gives you direct access to top industry executives; it provides many opportunities to team up on real business case studies and present your ideas to top executives of major industry players. This helped me to land an internship at HM.CLAUSE, a major global seed manufacturer.

In addition, the Organizational Strategy course by Professor Gina Dokko and Statistics II taught by Mehul Rangwala, were two courses which were significantly helpful and very interesting.

What do you plan to do upon graduation?

After graduation, I intend to continue working at HM.CLAUSE in the US for a couple of years to better understand the global seed industry, get some international experience, and eventually move back to work in India.

What do you think is the biggest myth about applying to business school?

I think people focus a lot on rankings. Rankings do matter, but only once you realize which schools fit your career goals and expectations best.

What is the one piece of advice you would have for incoming students to your program?

It might get scary at times but think about the long-term whenever you have doubts about your decision. If you feel what you’re doing will be beneficial in the long run, just smile and keep working hard.

Written by Niamh Ollerton

Niamh is Assistant Editor of TopMBA.com, creating and editing content for an international MBA student audience. Having gained her journalism qualification at the Press Association, London and since written for different international publications, she's now enjoying telling the stories of the business world.  

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