Two Step Promotion For Indian IT Specialist After Aston MBA
Himanshu Luthra got the promotion he was looking for when Cisco Systems hired him as a Programme Manager after he graduated from Aston Business School
Himanshu Luthra gained a two-step promotion on completing the full-time MBA programme at Aston Business School.
Himanshu, 27, was born in New Delhi, India and graduated with a B.Tech, Information Technology from Maharshi Dayanand University in 2006.
He graduated from Aston Business School in 2011 and was quickly scooped up by global IT giant Cisco Systems. The firm's products include computer hardware, software, and accessories, as well as support services.
Himanshu is now based at the company’s Newcastle office in the north of England and we caught up with him to find out how the Aston MBA delivered on his expectations. He also offers his two cents worth on moving into the workforce after an intensive period of studying.
Can you tell us about your current job at Cisco Systems?
I’m currently a Project Manager for Cisco and I’m based at their Newcastle Office. I’ve been there for about six months now and it’s been going well. I’m responsible for overseeing the sales of our products in the EMERI region (Europe, Middle East, Russia and India). Cisco is an IT-based solutions company and makes things like routers. If you’ve ever hear of a router called Linksys, they make that. I currently manage a 180 people. Of course this is broken down to other managers and team leaders. I’m currently devising ways to improve the sales process.
How did you get the job?
I applied for it myself. I started the job application process early on so that I could maximize my options and get the right role. We all know having an MBA is not enough anymore so you have to put in a lot of effort when it comes to job-hunting. Everyone has a reason for doing the MBA and it's very busy time, but you need to be able to juggle studying and job-hunting and all your other responsibilities for it to be worthwhile.
When did you decide to do the MBA?
My senior manager at my last job saw that I had a certain drive and potential and during one of my reviews discussed the possibility of an MBA, to help me advance my career. The idea of an MBA had been on my mind but he was my guiding light and helped me from a purely technical career towards business. In India everyone is a computer engineer and I wanted to standout from the crowd with my technology management skills.
What criteria did you use to choose a Business School?
I did not want to go to a US school because they were far away and expensive, and I didn't want to be out of the workforce for more than year. I considered the fees and the rankings and set a cut-off point for programmes in the top 100.
The two major reasons for choosing Aston were because of its location in a major UK city and because of its faculty. The professor for organizational behaviour was well known and respected, and my strategy teacher turned out to be my favourite teacher of all time and also an eminent professor of the subject.
Has your MBA knowledge been helpful in your new job?
Very helpful! I was doing a similar job in India but not at a managerial level. As soon as I finished the MBA, I got a two-level promotion. The strategy and management courses from Aston were the most interesting and developed ones and they specifically gave me the launch pad for my career.
The core parts of my MBA such as SWOT analysis, Cost and Benefit Analysis, and Strategy Tools are things that I currently employ within my business unit to create the overall strategy for the firm.
The organizational behaviour course has also helped me understand the way different people perform in the workplace and how to manage my team and be a good leader.
What do you miss most about being an MBA student?
Being part of the community. I miss activities like the class discussions, the group work and competitions, cultural nights and representing my fellow students on the University Board, which is one of the most important things I did at School.
Do you have any advice for current MBAs preparing to transition into the workforce?
In terms of jobs I would say start applying really early. There is a lot of competition out there so concentrate on your strongest areas. Highlight your past experience because companies are looking for evidence of the impact you’ve had. If you have a final project, work hard on it and use the results from it to boost your job applications.
Interested in an MBA in UK universities? Read more about popular programs