“The MBA taught me to look far ahead and then plan backwards”

Nitika Kaushal, Full-time MBA participant, is doing an internship with Deloitte in technology strategy with a focus on supply chain sustainability in the consumer industry.

What are the benefits of studying your MBA in Copenhagen?

Many! I’m from India but I moved to Denmark in 2016 for work, so I was already here, and I really liked it. I knew I wanted to do an MBA but was waiting for the right time. I applied to other good schools in Europe but when it came down to choosing, I realised I wanted to be a part of the Scandinavian education system. I appreciate a lot of things about the mindset here as the work culture is very merit based.

Copenhagen is a growing tech hub in Europe. My background is within the tech industry, so studying for an MBA in Copenhagen alongside leveraging my existing professional network in Denmark made most sense for me. Copenhagen is also at forefront of the sustainability so it gives me the opportunity to build a foundational understanding of sustainable business practises.

I came to Denmark when I was 24 and one and a half years into working full-time in industry. In terms of gender equality, Denmark is top ranked in the world. Here they promote growing and competing with yourself rather than pitting people against each other. There’s this collaborative mindset and that’s what I fell in love with. In IT there are not many women, but I never felt out of place. And the fact that I got the opportunity to come here even though I wasn’t experienced was amazing.

Is there anything you found particularly challenging about the MBA? If so, how did you successfully manage this challenge?

The most challenging thing about a one-year MBA program is time management. With the program being packed and fast paced, to do a good job you have to be able to manage your time effectively. I have found myself falling back at times because I didn’t plan one deliverable and it had a snowball effect. I was never a planner, but I think the MBA taught me to look far ahead and then plan backwards from there.

For me, the only way to approach it is through planning well and knowing your limits. One mistake I made was being too overambitious. But my biggest takeaway is: you have to be transparent about your schedule at the internship – make sure you plan when you’re working and when you have free time, but remember to be realistic.

What skills have you gained in your MBA?

I’ve learned to look at things more holistically – my approach to problem solving has evolved over time. I’m an engineer by education and worked for years as an IT consultant so I had this habit of looking at everything from a technical point of view or being too detailed. The MBA taught me to switch between different approaches and now I have a broader range of understanding across multiple disciplines.

Another thing that stood out for me was the leadership discovery process; learning the nuances of working with other people, conflict management, psychological safety and various styles of leadership. I feel I’m calmer now. I make sure I take a step back before judging anything. The MBA has also helped me to learn how to collaborate and foster collaboration. I can feel it as I apply it to my internship that the MBA has helped me a lot in this aspect.

What’s a quote that you live by?

I would have to say: ‘never say never’. I am very optimistic in general so when I’m confronted with a challenge I never shy away.

What motivates you? What guides your motivations?

Learning new things and then seeing how these new learnings complement what I already know. Even if they’re disconnected, I just feel like it never goes to waste. I always like learning and doing something new and combining it all together, so that’s what keeps me motivated.

Do you think your internship will benefit your career?

One hundred percent! It has been a very good match; I’m interested in management consultancies so my internship at Deloitte gives me a sneak peek into the best approaches to take in advisory roles. But besides that, I’m also working on something that is extremely new on the sustainability front, so the knowledge is valuable in the long-term.

Deloitte gives me insight. I found them appealing as they are a highly regarded name. Plus, they are in management consultancy and they are doing a lot of work in the digital space. So, getting to deep dive right now and learn more about regulatory frameworks is very exciting. It’s been massively beneficial.

What’s your internship focus?

Sustainability in the consumer industry is part of my thesis project and I seek to analyse the implications of upcoming EU regulations on the supply chain of businesses.

The focus is on the supply chain strategy specifically in the consumer industry. They currently have two forces working on them; the regulatory and they’re also highly fettered by consumer sentiments, so it becomes extremely important to bring transparency.

I did not have an industry preference for my internship, for me it was more about the intersection of sustainability and digitalisation. I think I was chosen for this internship because of my work experience in the consumer industry but I also think it’s very interesting because I understand that those companies are at a very sensitive spot of managing, showing traceability and not being accused of greenwashing.

What is one piece of advice you would give to those considering an MBA or embarking on an MBA journey?

I would say that it’s extremely important to know your ‘why’ – why the MBA. Even if you don’t know what your long-term goal is (and many of us don’t), how the MBA can bring you value is an important thing to remember. Because reminding yourself why you’re in it helps you to off-load.

Through the Copenhagen MBA, participants gain an internationally recognised qualification that is respected across the globe. But more than that, they gain critical insight into the admired Scandinavian business model – a model that prides itself on its ethical decision making, social responsibility and green agenda. If you would like learn more about the Full-Time MBA (a.k.a The Copenhagen MBA): Click here to download the brochure.