Divya Joshi graduated with an MBA in International Business from EU Montreux in 2015 received the award for the highest graduate GPA – 3.9 on a 4.0 scale. Joshi recently told us about the importance of international experience, her time at EU and her steps post-graduation.
You graduated as the best graduate student from EU – can you give to our students any reasons to study an mba?
After my successful completion of high school in India, I immediately set my foot on foreign soil, leaving behind the comforts of home. Until and unless we voluntarily give ourselves into the hard and unknown world, we cannot find success.
What made my academic journey extra smooth was my regularity in work and my study-extra curricular ratio division. My active involvement in industrial visits, EU events and classroom guest lectures helped me in attaining an all-rounded development. It is of utmost importance that what you learn in class, you should be able to relate it to the real practical world outside. In addition to these, I utilized my passion for write for my personal lifestyle blog as well as for the EU business blog. My keen interest in hobbies outside of study-work place is what helped me maintain a perfect balance.
You’ve had quite the rise in professional standing since graduating – congratulations on behalf of EU! Can you tell us more about your professional journey?
After I defended my thesis in February 2015, I luckily bagged a marketing and leasing internship at Abdali Boulevard Company – a luxury real-estate development firm in Amman, Jordan. Working there was a great learning curve for me. I could combine my theoretical education with the empirical one and upgrade my skills. After having gained good experience for a span of six months, I grabbed the next opportunity which paved my way to New York. It was for managing an enterprise as well as enacting as an investment consultant for an organization in collaboration with the government of Montenegro and Jordan. I accepted the challenge and today I feel I have come a long way on the road to success. This opportunity has certainly been the turning point of my life.
What do you enjoy about your current position?
With a strong foundation of education and work expertise, I am able to run an office and execute my duties in a foreign land with a better and deeper understanding. My current position helps me to exercising my knowledge and experienced gathered over-the-years. It involves a bit of everything, ranging from marketing to finance and from HR to PR. So, it is an all-in-one job, in which I never stop learning or growing. During the last six months, I have learned more about myself than by being in any job anywhere else. The responsibility of maintaining an office is so prodigious, that at times it is supremely intimidating as well as tremendously powering. I feel, my education and experience in different fields serve justice to this position.
Where do you see yourself in five years’ time? As a student we remember that you enjoyed your time in Montreux – do you see a change geographically from your current location in New York?
In five years’ time, I hope to see myself settled in a country (which I cannot say will be which), handling my family business as well as executing one of my business plans in full throttle. I would also hope to continue with my blogging and photography, for those two hobbies are a positive distraction for me from the mechanical work life. They help me feed the creative part of my brain and help me maintain my individualism on a regular basis.
As far as the geographical part is concerned, Switzerland was undoubtedly a once in a lifetime experience. I have lived in several countries such as India, Jordan, U.K. and now U.S.A., but Switzerland had a unique charm. The peace and calmness in the air along with the unparalleled beauty of Montreux had a long-lasting impact on me.
If you could give a piece of advice to yourself as a student at the outset of your academic career, what would it be?
I would definitely encourage myself to undertake more internships or on-campus recruitment opportunities; make the most of campus exchange at least once to another EU campus; and to take part in international study tours. Despite my best efforts, I somehow missed out on these incredible opportunities during the course of my student years.
What is the most valuable thing you learned at EU, which has helped you in your career?
EU taught me to think, act and work like a business leader. My course and the faculty helped train me thoroughly to understand complex business issues and to think strategically. EU provided me with the business skills I was lacking in and enhanced my soft skills such as leadership, cross-cultural understanding and teamwork. My growth as a businessperson was structured in a disciplined way, which equipped me with the necessary frameworks and models to analyze real-world business problems and opportunities. Overall, EU built me into a better learner and worker, who now analyzes situations more intricately and strategically than before, and who now searches for opportunities in the bleakest of situations.
What is the most valuable thing that you have learned in your professional career?
Once you are out there, you have to learn to be self-sustaining and non-reliant on anyone but yourself. Continuous self-appraisal will help you get to the shore rather quickly. You will have to judge if your work is taking you toward or further away from your goal. Set a goal in mind and work toward it, even if it means doing something completely unrelated. Every day you work, you learn something entirely new and you are then left to use that new fed knowledge to your advantage, without people backing you or helping you get across. It is a rather super competitive world, in which, either you move forward or become stagnant and get left behind.