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Meet Bentley MBA Students: Aishwarya Pandey

Name: Aishwarya Pandey
Home country: Mumbai, India
Program of study: MBA Marketing concentration
Graduation class: August 2021

  1. Hi! Tell us more about yourself. Where are you from and what made you decide to study at Bentley University? " "

My name is Aishwarya Pandey, and I am from Mumbai, India. Before starting my MBA at Bentley, I had 3.5 years of work experience in India. While applying to Business Schools, I was looking for a flexible and innovative learning experience. I always wanted to pursue an MBA, but program rankings, faculty, and career opportunities post-MBA were my key priorities. I was intrigued by how leadership was aligned to all of the MBA courses at Bentley. I was looking for an MBA specialization in marketing with a leadership focus, and I found Bentley's curriculum aligned with my personal and professional goals.  After having an interview with Admission Officer Andy Crawford, I was sure Bentley was the right choice for me. Ironically, Andy is my immediate manager as I work with the Bentley Graduate Admission team as a Student Marketing Assistant! 

  1. Why did you choose to pursue your program? Was it sparked from a childhood ambition, parent’s advice, etc.? What goals do you plan to achieve in this field? 

I have an undergraduate degree in Information Technology from Mumbai, India. During my undergraduate studies, I was always involved in extracurriculars that had a leadership focus. I was the President of the IT Department, Marketing Secretary for Student Council, Industrial Visit Coordinator for 3 years, etc. These opportunities and support from my peers carved out my path to wanting to pursue an MBA. As an international student, typically you need a minimum of 2 years of work experience to be a competitive candidate for an MBA program in the USA. I gained experience working in corporate and startup companies to gain a 360-degree view of running a business. And after 3 years, I finally decided that it was the right time to hone in on my managerial capabilities and get a global perspective of the business world. After completing my graduation, I am excited to explore global opportunities in the marketing field and lead multifunctional teams across varied cultures. 

  1. What was your most memorable class and why? Who was the professor that taught this class? 

I am very passionate about marketing, so my favorite classes were Marketing Management and Strategic Marketing. I have an undergraduate degree in Information Technology Engineering, so I had never studied marketing but have practical work experience in the marketing industry. It was exciting to learn how to connect the dots with my marketing experience and education at Bentley. Marketing Management was taught by Professor Natalie Baucum, and Strategic Marketing by Professor Pierre Berthon. Both of them are fun, talented, and provide the best teaching methodologies in class. We had to build up a digital marketing strategy for a small business in our Marketing Management class that helped me apply all of the learnings. In our Strategic Marketing class, we had to build an ad from scratch that involved conceptualization, copy, and video production, and that was the absolute most fun I had in a class. 

  1. What are the top three hard skills and soft skills that you’ve gained here? How do you plan to use your skills and knowledge in a post-pandemic world? 

Go-to-Market Strategy, Data-Driven Marketing, and Project Management are a few of the hard skills that I have learned during my education at Bentley. It has become crucial to have an integrated marketing approach with a strategic focus on the customer mindset with the continually evolving marketing environment. Collaborating with peers from across the globe in all of my classes at Bentley has helped me become a competent communicator, an authoritative leader, and a creative storyteller. I believe that this combination of skills has helped me grow personally and professionally in this challenging pandemic climate. 

  1. What do your day-to-day activities look like? Can you please describe what a typical day is like for you pre- and post-pandemic? How do you stay motivated during these trying times?  

Beginning January 2021, my day looks jam-packed compared to last year. I am interning part-time at Schneider Electric and working part-time with Bentley Graduate Admission as a Student Marketing Assistant. Along with this, I am also enrolled in two courses at Bentley, so my day is completely packed. I am a hardcore workaholic, so I like to keep myself occupied. Before the pandemic hit, I used to be on campus for most of the day and return home in the evening after completing all project assignments. I also spent time in the Graduate Admission Office as part of my working hours. It was exciting to do many social media activities, engage and have good conversations with the team. 

After the pandemic hit, my traveling time was cut off, so I had more time to invest in things I like. After the pandemic, I usually edit videos or do vlogging when I am not working or studying. I started my YouTube channel for vlogging during the pandemic, so I like to brainstorm content ideas. Exploring new interests, the eager adoption of the new normal, and spending more time with oneself have been my biggest motivations to sail through these trying times. 

  1. Tell us more about your online learning experience. Who were some of your favorite lecturers and what were your most memorable classes? Which lecturers are the most engaging in your e-classes and why? 

Initially, I thought online learning would be challenging to execute as there are so many people involved, and adapting to an entirely new way of teaching would be challenging, but to my surprise I found this to be very exciting. I have given project presentations, client presentations online, and it has been very smooth. The most engaging e-class was Global Strategy, taught by Professor Jill Brown. I loved how the course had debaters and presenters every week, so we looked forward to an incredible amount of interaction and counter questions. Along with that, Strategic Marketing by Professor Pierre Berthon had some great case studies, and his idea of collaborating in groups to discuss every case study was excellent. I never imagined classes would be this fun and interactive. 

  1. Tell us more about any internship or placement you’ve joined. How did the university help you to secure them? 

I am currently interning at Schneider Electric as a Global Digital Marketing Hub Intern under the North America Integrated Marketing Campaigns team. My core mission is to reboot their social media strategy for 2021.  

Before interning at Schneider, I worked with the Bentley Graduate Admission team as a Student Marketing Assistant. I believe that experience gave me international exposure and helped me carve my way into the North America Social Media Marketing team at Schneider Electric.  I also want to mention that the 'Alumni in Residence' program by Bentley Career Development is one of the best ways to build promising networks. I connected with many alumni through this program, which helped me secure an internship position at a Fortune 500 firm. 

  1. What are your plans after graduating? How do you think your education will help you achieve these goals? 

After graduating, I plan to take up a marketing role with a leadership focus. The practical course experience, leadership focus, and strategic orientation in all of the Bentley courses have helped me learn to multitask, bring in innovation, and deliver results in the most challenging circumstances.  

  1. What are your top three favorite things to do on and off campus when you’re not studying?  

I have mostly been off-campus for the majority of my MBA. When I was on campus, I loved spending time in the Student Center playing pool, strolling across the beautiful campus, and enjoying meals at LaCava Cafe. I am mostly vlogging off-campus, a newly developed interest in baking, and cooking international cuisines is my newfound hobby.