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Real Humans of Washington University Olin’s MBA Class of 2022

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Shikha Khare, Olin MBA Class of 2022

Age: 30
Hometown: Indore, India
Undergraduate Institution and Major: L.J Institute of Management (Ahmedabad, India), Bachelors of Business Administration (BBA) – Finance
Pre-MBA Work Experience (years, industry): Corporate Finance, Real Estate Sector (8 years)

Why business school? Why now?
My previous job allowed me to work across diverse leadership roles and learn about a business ground up. This brought clarity about the kind of work I wanted to do. I realized that to transition into the career I want; I had to take a step back to relearn and gain the experience that would enable me to develop my knowledge in the target sector. I needed to cultivate a network that expanded globally and also hone my leadership skills further. I am also confident that I can now contribute to my classmates’ learning with my experience, which led to my decision to pursue an MBA.

Why Olin? What factors figured most prominently into your decision of where to attend?
Given that I wanted to transition into a different career path from my Pre-MBA career, one of the most important factors that I was looking at was the opportunity to integrate the theoretical concepts with hands-on practical experience. Olin’s Centre for Experiential Learning provides students with various options, from working for non-profits to collaborating for consulting projects with global corporates. Also, the amazing support that I received from the alums, the admission committee, and the current students during and after the application process further cemented my decision to be a part of the Olin Community.

What do you think is your most valuable or differentiating contribution to the Class of 2022?
Working across different regions has taught me the value of understanding different perspectives and given me the ability to manage multi-disciplinary teams. I hope to bring this diverse viewpoint to the classroom discussions.

Fun fact that didn’t get included on your application?
I am into adventure sports and am working my way through my bucket list.

Post-MBA career interests?
Consulting/Corporate Strategy

Advice to current prospective applicants:
–One thing you would absolutely do again as part of your application process?

The first thing is to know yourself, what you really want, and target the schools that will enable you to obtain your goals. Also, in your application process, reach out to the current students. They are always there to help you and provide you with constructive feedback.

–One thing you would change or do differently?
Better manage my time. As the entire application process, including giving GMAT/GRE, is time-consuming, I could have managed my time more efficiently. It’s necessary to give ample time for the application process post giving the entrance exam.

–Part you would have skipped if you could—and what helped you get through it?
I would definitely have skipped the video interview if I could. The stress of having to talk to the camera was very real.

What is your initial impression of Olin’s students/culture/community?
The entire Olin community is really helpful and supportive. The culture here makes you feel inclusive. Be it getting mentored by an alum or have seniors who cook up meals for us, every member of the Olin community is always there and ready to help us.

One thing you have learned about Olin that has surprised you?
The staff’s level of commitment, be it the admission, academic or career team, or the faculty, in making the hybrid learning experience so seamless and handling student’s anxieties given the current situation.

Thing you are most anxious about in your first year?
Handling my fear of missing out. At an MBA school, you have so many opportunities in terms of courses, recruiting, career development, social and club engagements that it is necessary to learn to prioritize.

Thing you are most excited about in your first year?
Meeting my classmates from different walks of life and experiences and learning new skills to stay ahead in such trying times.

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.