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Real Humans of Carnegie Mellon Tepper MBA Class of 2022

Arnie Shivram, Carnegie Mellon Tepper MBA Class of 2022

Age: 27
Hometown: Plainsboro, NJ 
Undergraduate Institution and Major: University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, B.S. in Materials Science & Engineering
Pre-MBA Work Experience (years, industry): 4 years, Automotive

Why business school? Why now? 
Business school gives me the opportunity to expand my network and explore areas that I had never even thought of before. This was the perfect time as I had accomplished everything that I set out to do when I started working. The projects that I had helped launch when I first joined were coming to an end and I had built something that I could be proud of.

Why Carnegie Mellon Tepper? What factors figured most prominently into your decision of where to attend?
Tepper displayed a small, close-knit community that worked together to succeed. The school’s excellence in engineering and technology, coupled with its interdisciplinary approach seemed like a good fit for my future interests. Additionally, both the Masters Career Center and Accelerate Leadership Center staff showed a commitment to helping students achieve the outcomes they wanted.

What do you think is your most valuable or differentiating contribution to the Class of 2022?
I have helped launch a 150-million-dollar greenfield manufacturing plant from the ground up. My own personal responsibilities included designing a material testing laboratory and product testing program. But as one of the first employees (#16), I got a taste of everything. And it was an amazing experience to finally see the plant fully operational with more than 1500 people working there.

Fun fact that didn’t get included on your application? 
I was a passenger in a car that mistakenly drove onto tram (trolley) tracks in Freiburg, Germany. We went through three stations and a trolley-only bridge before managing to find an exit.

Post-MBA career interests? 
I am looking at consulting, leadership development programs, and opportunities in operations/supply chain management. For me, an MBA is a chance to explore different industries and roles. I intend to take full advantage of that opportunity.

Advice to current prospective applicants:
–One thing you would absolutely do again as part of your application process?
I would recommend taking the GMAT early. It is completely separate from the rest of the application and can be completed well in advance.

–One thing you would change or do differently?             
I would have split up my applications between different rounds. I completed 6 applications in a 3-week period, and it was difficult to dedicate an equal amount of time to each application.

–Part you would have skipped if you could—and what helped you get through it?
I dreaded writing essays. I only got through them by imagining what the payoff would be at the end.

What is your initial impression of Carnegie Mellon Tepper’s students/culture/community?
I would describe it as an extremely supportive environment. No matter what it is that you are interested in pursuing, there is someone else out there who is willing to work with you.

One thing you have learned about Carnegie Mellon Tepper that has surprised you? 
I have been surprised by how short each term feels. I knew that Tepper operated on a quarter system before I joined. But it feels completely different now that I am part of it. It was only a short time ago that I arrived in Pittsburgh ready to begin BaseCamp (Tepper’s orientation program). And now, I have just finished my first midterm and am fully immersed in the recruiting process.

Thing you are most anxious about in your first year? 
I am worried that the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic are going to stretch on into the summer of 2021. I am not sure if the networking skills that I am learning during this period will translate well to an in-person experience.

Thing you are most excited about in your first year?
I am excited to be part of the community at Tepper. It feels great to be here and meet so many different people with varying experiences and interests. The circumstances have not allowed us to meet the way that we would like, but everyone is trying to make the best of it.

Posted in: Real Humans of MBA Class of 2022, Real Humans of MBA Students

Schools: Carnegie Mellon / Tepper

About the Author


Christina Griffith  

Christina Griffith is a writer and editor based in Philadelphia. She specializes in covering education, science, and history, and has experience in research and interviews, magazine content, and web content writing.

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