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Learning to Think Like an MBA

Gupta equips himself for problem solving (and much more)

Eeshat Gupta
Senior Product Manager – Technical Products, Amazon

Vanderbilt MBA 2018

In less than four years, Eeshat Gupta rose at IBM in India to become a Project Manager and Analytics Consultant, leading cross-functional teams focused on such goals as process optimization and reduction of cell-tower energy consumption. Among his group’s accomplishments were developing analytics for a 4G revenue recognition strategy that reduced the company’s estimated tax exposure by $8 million, plus an integrated financial big data analytics platform that helped IBM identify another $2 million in upsell and cross-sell opportunities.

In his role at IBM, “I was communicating with executives who had MBAs, Eeshat says. “I aspired to talk, act and think like them. Over several years, I was able to incorporate two of those traits, but I could never understand their decision-making process that made them so effective. I realized that the missing link was an MBA.”

Eeshat chose Vanderbilt for the small size of the MBA program and the quality of the academics. And even though he didn’t have the opportunity to come from India to Nashville for a campus visit, he got to know some of the people from long-distance, and he was sold. “My interactions with the admissions office, Career Management Center, faculty and alumni before joining the school were among the friendliest interactions I had,” he recalls.

Eeshat’s positive initial feelings were borne out by his actual experience. His goal was to “become an efficient and effective problem solver.” Now, in looking back, he says that Vanderbilt put him “on the path for rapid and long-term success by instilling in me the tools to figure out the root of the problem, create a solution and communicate to get buy-in from peers and managers to execute.”

In the process, he also found a bonus in relationships with faculty and staff. “I can’t stress how often it feels that they will always have my back in any future endeavor I choose to pursue,” Eeshat says. “I guess you can say that it feels like home.”

Fun Fact: When he was nine years old, Eeshat had a small part in a TV series in India.

“I can’t stress how often it feels that [faculty and staff] will always have my back in any future endeavor I choose to pursue.”