10/09/2018 | EMBA

One Degree for Many Degrees of Success

As a career engineer and project manager, Deepa Malhotra had a deep understanding of her own role and specialty. To advance further, she recognized a need for a broader understanding of all facets of business, as well as deeper knowledge and skills that she could apply to be more effective in her management role. She knew an MBA was the best path to achieve her dual goals, so she set out to find the right program for her.

Malhotra did not want to attend MBA courses online, so she weighed the options in her home city of Pittsburgh: part-time programs and the Executive MBA at the Joseph M. Katz Graduate School of Business. After attending several informational meetings, she knew the EMBA was the perfect fit. Several factors influenced her choice—the international aspects, the 18-month accelerated timeline, and the opportunity to learn with and from a group of other experienced professionals.

She graduated with her EMBA in 2017 and believes the EMBA met her multifaceted goals. “In addition to enhancing my leadership skills and providing formal management training, the program is very effective from a personal development perspective,” she said. “Regardless of your role in your company, it is important to understand all aspects of the business and what it takes to run a publicly traded company”

But she also gained more than she expected. In addition to bolstering her technical skills in finance and information technology, for example, Malhotra benefitted from training in “soft skills,” such as human resources, organizational culture, and the diverse ways that various cultures approach business ethics.

Although the coursework was rigorous and time-consuming, it also was fun, she said, adding that the knowledge and networking were well worth the effort.

Now with the broader perspective and enhanced management techniques I constantly seek and take on increasingly challenging assignments that I perhaps wouldn’t have in the past”

Indeed, as she neared graduation, Malhotra was promoted to manager of power retrofit projects at Emerson Automation Solutions. She now oversees a team of project managers in charge of more than $30 million/year in business. She believes that her EMBA contributed to her promotion, and it also helps her daily to better plan and execute strategies, identify competitive advantages, and successfully grow her organization.

There are benefits at home, too, for her 11- and 15-year-old children. “It was a good message for them to learn—to see their mom work hard and get through this,” Malhotra said. “I hope I was able to motivate them and show them that they too can achieve their goals through perseverance

In fact, she believes that the EMBA program unlocked her potential and showed her that she is capable of more than she imagined. “I was able to stretch myself. I truly believe, you have to push yourself outside your comfort zone and strive to fulfil your potential. The reward is well worth the effort.” she said. “Most of us limit ourselves. But you can really do a lot more than you think.

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