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Getting to 30,000 Feet

Owen helps tech engineer see the bigger picture

Maulik Handiwala
Senior Global Product Manager, Abbott

Vanderbilt MBA 2014

Maulik Handiwala had been involved in some very big business. He was part of the team that launched the first Android phone in 2008. He helped T-Mobile USA, where he was a senior engineer, roll out its first 3G network in New York City and was involved in the strategic planning for the company’s 4G network deployment.

Yet for the high profile of the work he was involved in, the native of Bridgewater, New Jersey, also recognized how his role constrained him. “At times, I didn’t quite understand what drove certain business decisions,” he explains. “I realized I was seeing the picture at my level — 10,000 feet — when I wanted to see the big picture from 30,000 feet.” So he decided to shift careers and to learn the business fundamentals that would complement his engineering experience.

His choice of business schools, he says, came down to Carnegie-Mellon and Vanderbilt. He picked Owen for its class size and diversity. At Owen, he says, “I felt I would have a better opportunity to learn from peers with different backgrounds than mine. Today, I have friends who are doctors, lawyers, bankers and teachers, and who have significantly contributed to my learning outside the classroom.

Maulik, an aspiring pilot who also enjoys landscape photography (you can check out his work at www.flickr.com/maulikh), especially appreciates one other Vanderbilt strength: the Career Management Center. After his first year, he says, “I received internship offers from Amazon, IBM and Medtronic—thanks to our outstanding CMC team and alumni that supported me every step of the way in getting my dream offer.”