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Dartmouth College Engineering Management Graduate Shares her #StudyAbroad Story

Updated: Jan 17, 2023


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ISHA GADA

Undergraduate: Veermata Jijabai Technological Institute - Bachelor's Degree, Engineering.

Postgraduate: Dartmouth College - Master’s Degree, Engineering Management.

Current Role: -Organization Development at RVH


LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/ishagada/



Q.1 Can you tell us a little bit about yourself? Your Educational and Professional Background? Which college, company and role did you work in to get you where you are today?


Answer: I attained my Bachelor of Engineering from Veermata Jijabai Technological Institute, Mumbai in 2014. I then moved to US and attained a Master’s in Engineering management from Dartmouth College. This was a unique program at the time, similar to a STEM MBA - a collaboration between Tuck School of Business and Thayer School of Engineering at Dartmouth College . After graduating in December 2015, I have worked in geographies of US, Canada, and India primarily in the functions of business analytics, learning, organization psychology, management, and leadership, in industries ranging from education, healthcare, non-profit, technology and software. I also have exposure to organizations of varying sizes ranging from start-ups, medium, large and Fortune 100 and have worked in environments of mergers, acquisitions, family-owned and matrixed organizations. Looking back, I can attest that the program prepared me well to lead and add value cross-functionally in organizations in this VUCA world.


Q2. Is it worth taking a loan to study abroad? How does one measure one’s ROI?


Answer: Whether to take a loan or not depends on the risk appetite of the individual, calibre of the university and their career plans after graduation including where they would like to work and settle. One can do a financial break-even analysis based on the estimated expenses and projected income post course completion. The outcomes for my Dartmouth MEM program are here. Expenses vary by cost of living in different cities. Tuition is usually cheaper in public universities, and one may qualify for being a Teaching Assistant and Research Assistant that can significantly cover the living expenses. You should reach out to the professors in advance for RA and TA roles. You can find the placement data published on university websites and can speak to alumni for their experiences. You can also reduce your loan requirement by applying for scholarships and financial aid at Dartmouth.


Q3. What are the non-financial benefits of studying abroad?

Answer: Studying in a new country can be a great cross-cultural experience. We were 40+ students from different places 50% being from India and China and the remainder being from Europe and Africa. Living alone with limited support in a new country taught me valuable life skills of independence, resilience, self-sufficiency, and self-care. At Dartmouth, one can also build a strong network and friendships with people having similar backgrounds and professional goals. Studying abroad is also a direct visa route in most countries (such as US) to work and eventually settle.


Q4. Any particular advice you would like to give for SOP Writing. Other things which you thought were important that helped you get in?


Answer: Your SOP is the marketing collateral for brand YOU. It is best to be authentic and genuine to bring forth your uniqueness and showcase what differentiates you from other applicants. You must also highlight why you want to do that program in that university, your motivation, strengths, and interests towards your career choice and, career goals post-graduation. You can also reference in your SOP any conversations you have had with alumni or research done to help you decide that the university in question is the best fit. If you plan to apply to Dartmouth MEM, do attend an information session for prospective students.


Q5. Tell us something about the faculty which were there on campus.


Answer: The professors were world class. Some of the best minds of the subjects in business and engineering research and teach at Dartmouth College. You can read about them here.


Q6. How was your university experience? What was campus life like? What were extracurricular activities on campus?


Answer: The experience studying at Dartmouth was transformational. The courses were high-quality, cutting-edge, and practical. The campus was beautiful and the overall experience unparalleled with access to high calibre network, world-class libraries, student led associations and opportunities for personal and professional growth. Education at an Ivy league is worth it.


Q7. Tell us a little bit about your current job profile and work.


Currently, I am working in the space of L&D / OD at RVH. Dartmouth MEM gave me a solid foundation few years back, but learning should never stop. I find meaning in consistently adding value and delighting those I work for. This enables me to go above and beyond and persevere, constantly upskill, and stay relevant. My recent self-directed learning is in the space of psychology. I am also a certified coach.



 

We hope that you have found this interview insightful. Do let us know how in the comments section below!


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