Student Spotlight: Shilpa Mohanty, MBA Candidate 2016


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Program:  MBA

Concentration(s):  Marketing and MIS

Full-time/Part-time Student: Full Time

Industry/Field of work: Marketing and Advertising

Class of: 2016

Undergraduate degree in: IT & Computer Science

Undergraduate School: Silicon Institute of Technology, India

Career Goal: My career goal is to leverage my interdisciplinary experience in MBA curriculum, non-profit marketing management, business analysis, IT processes, and volunteering to generate a successful strategic marketing career in the CPG industry.

Organizations involved with: Director of Marketing -GMARK, Secretary – GFIN

LinkedIn Profile:

Interests/Hobbies: Reading English classics; my favorite books are Animal Farm by George Orwell and Pride & Prejudice by Jane Austen, writing short stories and travelling. I am not an outdoor sports person however I do watch a lot of Soccer (my favorite Soccer team - Arsenal) and love playing Chess and Scrabble.

Internships: At during UNDERGRAD

Favorite Chicago Activities/ Places: My favorite places in Chicago: Art Institute of Chicago, Lincoln Park, Chicago River walk and my apartment.

My favorite activities: Biking all around the city, exploring new cuisines and spending time at the Oak street beach during the summer

Favorite Chicago Restaurants: Cocello (Italian), Avec (Wine Bar), Embeya (Asian Fusion Food), Iguana Café (European) and Carnivale (Latin American/ American)

Favorite Part of your day:  Spending time with my husband, Pritam

Hometown: Pune, India


  1. Can you tell us about your personal and professional background?

I have a Bachelors of Technology degree in IT and Computer Science from India. I finished my undergrad in 2011 and joined one of the top multinational IT companies in India, “Infosys Limited” in their product division, designing a sustainability reporting solution which was one of their core Intellectual products. I worked as a business analyst before moving to quality assurance and designing an automation scripting solution for the project. After moving to United States, I started volunteering at a couple of places. Currently I am a certified ESL tutor and teach at “Erie Neighborhood House” and also work as the Director, Social Media at “Save the Water”.


  1. What prompted you to return to school to achieve your master’s degree?

At Infosys, I worked on a product to ease the task of reporting organization’s sustainability in social, economic and environmental aspects, complying with various regulatory authorities like GRI. There was a lot of data involved. Being on the technical front, I lacked substantial business knowledge. There were no analytical insights embedded into my action. I wanted to understand business in a more holistic way, interpret data and be an integral and indispensable contributor, delving into business problems and providing expedient, strategic and optimized solutions, not just the ability to perform some nifty modeling. I wished to grow my career in order to achieve my objective, thus a program in business became imperative.


  1. What factor(s) did you consider when choosing a master’s program and why did you choose UIC Liautaud for your graduate study?

I felt that Liautaud is the best place to receive my MBA education. Liautaud had all the qualities that best fit my expectations, objective, and background. The more I heard and read about Liautaud - the more I felt I belonged here; it is considered as one of the best schools in Chicago and I am glad I am a part of this school today.

The close community, the convenient geographical location and the strong emphasis the MBA program has on team players and teamwork creates a special atmosphere. I feel most comfortable learning and exchanging ideas in this type of environment. Its informality allows me to easily open up and express my opinion or risk making a mistake. This special trait reflects also in the UIC alumni community. Talking to Liautaud students and Alumni, I was impressed with their willingness to go to great length to assist each other. I also enjoyed being a part of the Improvisation & Leadership class by Professor Popowits and currently enjoying every bit in the IPD (Interdisciplinary Product Development) class.


  1. We all know that people pursue graduate school to increase their business knowledge, but since you have started the program, what has been the most unexpected gain the program has given you?

The most unexpected gain has been from Professor Popowits class that helped me becoming more confident and firm and taught me different effective networking and communication techniques to apply in the real world. Education is imperative to build a successful career but knowing how to apply soft skills and carry your personality through self-discovery is the key to achieving your goals consistently.


  1. Which class/professor has been your favorite thus far and why?

Attending the IPD class has introduced me to the innovation center, open, creative atmosphere of classes and the kind of top-tier professors offered by UIC from the school of engineering, design and business. In addition, it taught me that the interdisciplinary team experience, as used in IPD to link between students from different backgrounds, could help me truly leverage differences in multicultural approaches. Besides that Professor Spanjol is my favorite professor. “She is extremely knowledgeable and enthusiastic about the subject. At the same time, she makes me passionate about a future in marketing. A professor who allows you to learn and have fun simultaneously is very rare.”


  1. UIC Liautaud professors are continuously involved in researching new business trends and innovations. How have you felt the professors have been able to integrate their theoretical knowledge into practical applications? Do you have any examples?

Yes, I would like to talk about Professor DeBerry Spence. I took Introductions to Marketing, MKTG 500 with her. She has extensive research experiences in Global Marketing & African Market Development. She provides excellent examples while teaching us in the class that helps us to strongly develop the critical reasoning part while solving the marketing cases. I highly appreciate her way of teaching. She applies the real world situations in class.

  1. What is your favorite aspect of the UIC campus and why?

My favorite aspect of the UIC campus is the energy of the students. I love sitting in the second floor of the Douglas hall and observing everyone. Watching the various activities going around such as people coming for classes, talking with their friends, doing assignments, holding meetings etc. gives me a sense of joy and happiness. Also organizing the different activities for GMARK is my favorite job. We are a passionate group of individuals at GMARK this year and I love working with the board.


  1. What advice would you provide to incoming UIC Liautaud students?

I would advise the prospective students to come and aspire for their passion. Liautaud would provide you with the right tools needed to design your dream career however it is you who has to make the final decision of choosing which tools you need to carve out your dream. Don’t be ever intimidated by something, just be brave to go and try your best to achieve it. Be an active part of student organizations, make friends and don’t feel shy to ask for help if you need any.

  1. If you have completed an internship, can you tell us about your experience? If you   have not had an internship yet, what would your dream internship be?

      I would like to illustrate my experience during my undergrad. I was a part of a successful startup by some of my college seniors, “” which was an e-platform for providing educational support and career advice to undergraduates and graduates. I was involved in the ideation, development and marketing of the website for which our CEO received an award from the President of India as well.

     My dream internship has to be challenging and should have the wow factor. It should bring out the best in me by providing a productive team environment.


  1. Many courses require students to complete a project that applies course concepts to real world situations. If you have had a course project that was very insightful, what course was it for and what did you like about the project?

It would be definitely IPD (Interdisciplinary Product Development). Our Corporate partner for this year is Cigna. IPD is a two semester long program focusing on early stage development of a product from concept to first-stage prototyping in an organizational environment. We are working in a cross-functional team environment and the team dynamics make the project even more interesting. I like the fact that we are able to unleash our creativity in the product development process amidst the challenges of a cross-functional team structure, understanding of the complex business models and analyzing data.

  1. Do you have an elevator speech? If so, what is it?

My name is Shilpa Mohanty. I am a first year MBA candidate at UIC, Liautaud. I worked in Infosys Limited, one of the largest IT services firms in India with a global footprint; in the product team of Sustainability Unit. I aspire to become a marketing strategist on graduation, leveraging my analytical, management and leadership skills, fully prepared to take up a challenging role in the business world.

I am a passionate reader, a keen writer, an ardent chess player and an enthusiastic traveller. I have my ambitions perched in clouds yet I pursue small earthly pleasures.

  1. Is there anything you wish we would have asked you, that we did not and you wish to share with students?


With my life painted in colors of unusual and diverse challenges, personal and professional, I am a product of my experiences, and stand unique. I have been a proactive stage anchor and have anchored SPIC MACAY (Society for the Promotion of Indian Classical Music And Culture Amongst Youth) cultural functions nationally and the Infosys Annual Awards for Excellence successfully. I also contributed myself socially by volunteering as an ESL tutor at a NPO in Chicago called “Erie Neighborhood house”. I am a certified ESL tutor by the state of Illinois. My students are non-native adults from the age of 30 till 65. Teaching ESL can be challenging, but for the dedication it requires, the rewards outweigh the costs. A major attraction of ESL teaching is getting to see the impact of my work almost immediately as my students improve and I find pleasure in seeing them able to communicate their ideas in English and not in their local language. I am proud of the fact that I am able to use my skills to provide people with a way to achieve their dreams and happiness.

13. What is the best part about your UIC Liautaud experience?

The best part of my UIC Liautaud experience has been making some really good friends from all over the world and being an active part of student organizations. Apart from studies and job-hunting, which can be stressful at some times, spending some quality time with my friends gives me a welcome relief. I would also like to appreciate the fact that the help and guidance I get from my friends, classmates and faculties are immeasurable. This phase has been one of the best phases of my life.