From India to Birmingham: Aston MBA Ambassador Swaps IT For Creative Media
MBA and Aston student ambassador Tuhina Khare has left her IT background behind to pursue a career in the creative Media & Entertainment industry!
Tuhina Khare’s message to prospective MBAs is simple: “Apply to Aston to experience the cultural diversity in your MBA programme and reap the benefits of intercultural composition.”
The Aston student ambassador is from the culture-rich country of India, a South Asian economy recognised as an emerging market place. Birmingham might not be renowned as England’s culture-capital, but its multiculturalism that Tuhina speaks of in her message to new MBAs is a defining characteristic of the UK.
It is not a change of scenery that is completely at odds. But a switch from IT to the Creative Media & Entertainment industry is somewhat harder to envisage. Tuhina began her career as a software developer for Oswal Computers and Consultants, based in Indore, India, after graduating from Medi-Caps Institute Of Technology and Management with a BE in engineering, also in her home country.
After three years working in the IT industry, including a two-year stint as a system engineer with TATA Consultancy Services, Tuhina left India in September 2012 with the aim to “pursue an MBA from an academic institute where I would have the opportunity to meet people with global thinking”. The Aston MBA says that the UK “has a worldwide reputation for academic excellence with a vibrant culture” and Aston was an easy choice. “It was an obvious choice for me because of its supremacy in terms of curriculum, location, global environment and reputation,” she said.
“Learning alongside students from more than 100 countries, giving me a chance to interact in a truly international culture, the Continuous Professional Development Courses, the international study experience and Aston Business School being among an elite 1% of business schools worldwide, with triple accreditation, were the magnetizing points for me.”
The switch from IT to an MBA represents her desire to change career paths. “I plan to change my field from technical IT to the creative Media & Entertainment Industry,” she explained. “I wanted to optimize my skills and adaptations of contemporary edges.
“I wanted to balance my technical brain with the business brain. Since my basic specialization was technical, there was a limit to the exposure and learning opportunities I received through my role at TATA Consultancy Services.
“I was exposed to the various sub-branches of business modelling, the modus operandi of multinational organizations and the know-how of project execution.
“At times I could feel the proverbial ‘glass ceiling’. Continuing with my role would, after a considerable period, have allowed me to cross that ceiling and engage in more intense management responsibilities.
“The smarter way, however, was to increase my learning potential and to accelerate the rate at which opportunities are available to me. An MBA was the ideal choice.”
Tuhina says that the highlight of her MBA so far has been her class cohort. “Every person I met here was a new door to a different world. I have met people from different walks of life who have become great friends and colleagues,” she said. The former IT specialist is also a student ambassador at Aston, and her most memorable experience in that role has been an international study tour to France, organised alongside EDHEC Business School. “The trip gave me the perfect mix of culture and an opportunity to have a great time with my classmates and EDHEC Students,” she said.
“Assisting prospective students to make a decision in order to consider applying to the university is only helpful if we share our real experience of being at the university. And that is exactly what I did.
“Sharing the experience, providing the required information and contacts does give confidence to prospective students to apply.”
Experiencing business in France is part of a broader passion to get involved in international business – Tuhina’s current speciality on the MBA program at Aston. “I want to travel the world. Travel to exotic places and experience all that the world has to give. Starting from America to Europe and Asia because of the ease of language and living styles,” she explained.
Although studying on a full-time MBA program at Aston, Tuhina still found time to lead a six-person sales team at Success Photography, a company that is based south of London. “Honestly, juggling between the job and studies wasn’t an easy task at all,” she said. “The key to this juggling act was time management. I took the shifts on days when I didn't have any classes.
“I maintained a calendar that helped me manage my hectic daily schedule, full of personal, professional and academic activities and deadlines. Prioritizing and allotting a block of time for each task made it a little easy for me to manage.”
With three years’ experience in the IT industry in India – a country that’s economy has just grown at its slowest rate for a decade - Tuhina thinks that the government’s policy changes to provide long-term economic benefits “should be to address the root cause behind the deficit", such as the country's poor infrastructure. “Slowing economy and falling currency by easing foreign investment limits across sectors will provide the short-term economic boost but is not going to have a long-term effect to attract investments (sic),” she said. “For example, Walt Disney, which is investing $5 billion in a brand new theme park in Shanghai, has ruled out any investments in a theme park in India due to lack of support infrastructure.”
Tuhina pictures herself in a position in "elite echelon management” at a company like Walt Disney in the future. She envisages working for the “creation of new marketing opportunities” and managing projects on a global scale - leaving her IT past well and truly behind. To begin a new career in the creative Media and Entertainment industry, an MBA from Aston is a good place to start.