When Abhishek Nichat was working at Tata Consultancy Services Ltd — India’s largest IT consulting firm — he had to rely on intuition and experience. As team leader, he had to develop roadmaps and set milestones for his team and the company to realise long-term goals. It was challenging for the engineering graduate who felt he lacked the management and inter-personal skills to excel at his role. He knew he needed more formal training in management.
Nichat decided to go back to university and pursue an MBA, allowing him to hone his business skills, improve his management know-how and meet similarly ambitious people. “An MBA from a prestigious business school has allowed me to enhance my leadership skills and expand my professional network globally,” he says.
The business school Nichat is referring to is the Whitman School of Management at Syracuse University. The two-year, 54-credit MBA is industry-focused and highly customisable — students can choose from specialisations such as accounting, business analytics, entrepreneurship, marketing, real estate, and supply chain management. Whether it is focusing on product management or risk mitigation in global supply chains, these in-depth specialisations are taught in small classes with easy access to professors. Collaborative and supportive, it’s a setting that nurtures and not only provides students with the skills, but also the network to become leaders in their fields.
MBA student Nandita Rebello found this setting empowering. The Mumbai native enjoyed her classes and was very impressed with Whitman’s ability to meet the needs of students. “Back home, we don’t have the ability to customise our classes. Now, I have a say in what classes I take, based on my interests,” she says.
To enhance the MBA learning experience, many business schools now provide a myriad of inquiry-focused and project-based learning beyond chalk-and-talk classroom sessions. At Syracuse University, there is no shortage of such experiential opportunities for students in this programme ranked 77th in the nation by US News and World Report 2021. From internships to special projects, from business case competitions to the Whitman Consulting Club, these are invaluable opportunities to gain industry experience and insight into the American workplace.
“The Whitman School of Management’s industry-focused curriculum coupled with experiential learning opportunities help candidates build a competitive edge in today’s ever-changing global business environment. On-campus clubs and organisations provide a platform to work with established professionals on real-life projects,” shares Nichat.
During the summer holidays, he worked at Thundr Media, Inc. in New York City as a marketing intern. He developed campaigns for several fashion and automobile companies, conducted a competitive analysis of brands by understanding industry trends, delivered engaging presentations and researched clients’ websites to understand their online marketing objectives.
As the president of the Whitman Consulting Club, he also led real-life projects that provide professional business solutions to companies and gives executives the opportunity to interact with potential future hires. “The leadership experience that I gained at these organisations is invaluable,” he says.
Graduates often speak of the “Whitman edge” — the galvanisation of specialisations, experiential learning and diverse campus community that set their B-school experience apart from their competition. For MS in Business Analytics graduate Wenqi Wu, her Whitman edge led her to an internship at DiDi Chuxing Technology, one of the largest ridesharing companies in the world, where she was able to utilise predictive models and statistical tests to provide actionable insights to senior managers. Soon, she is set for another career-boosting move: as a data analyst for an e-commerce company in Shanghai. Step-by-step, her Whitman experience has landed her from one success to another. “Whitman has been a great experience for me,” she says.
Four-season fun in Syracuse
Scenic, tasty and vibrant — Syracuse is not known as one of the country’s best college towns for no reason. Located at the gateway to the Finger Lakes region and in the heart of New York State, it offers the best of both worlds: the great outdoors for the adventurous and the Big Apple for the urbanites.
Syracuse itself is a hub of activity. From seasonal marketplaces to unique boutiques, from engaging art exhibitions to exciting live performances, there is something for every international student to discover and enjoy year-round.
On campus, students from 50 US states and 127 countries lend a vibrant, cosmopolitan vibe. “The Whitman community is incredibly welcoming and is made up of individuals from a variety of professional backgrounds,” explained MS in Marketing graduate An Ni Hsu, from Taoyuan, Taiwan. “Being able to network with students from the US but also other international locations truly does give Whitman a global feel.”
In 2020, this is also a campus that has risen to the moment. Masks are worn, physical distancing is practised and gatherings are kept small — a collaborative effort that has paid off to curb the spread of COVID-19 and let students reap the full benefit of remaining on campus. To find out more about how the Orange community takes care of each other and how it’s set to finish this semester safely, together and on campus — click here.
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