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It's an extra special treat when one of those students wants to then share insights about their life post-Booth. We recently chatted with alumna Monisha Shivakumar, '19, about life at Amazon, her continued connection to Booth, and the benefits of our data driven approach to education. Read on to learn more about where she is now.

How has your Booth MBA prepared you to navigate obstacles in your current role?

While my time at Booth has prepared me to navigate obstacles in my current role in many different ways, it has also provided me with a great toolkit to build a solid foundation that I can use to proactively prevent obstacles from coming my way. For example, a major way in which Booth has equipped me to tackle the learning curve in my job is by giving me a framework for data driven decision making. Whether it’s a meeting where I know I will have to influence without authority or an email where I am providing my recommendation, Booth has taught me to utilize data, and the insights it lends, to support my endeavors.

How have you stayed connected to the Booth network and the community you gained during your time at Booth?

The Booth community in Seattle is very strong and I’m connecting with it all the time. I’m lucky to have so many Boothies from my class and beyond who get together on a regular basis and make this new city feel like home. Aside from the Boothies in my city, I also stay connected with fellow Boothies who went through the Leadership Fellows experience with me during my second year. The values we defined for ourselves during that process has resulted in continuing conversations about how we are approaching this new chapter in our lives and how we are staying accountable to the goals we set out for ourselves when we graduated from Booth. I also stay in touch with the Booth community through events like Worldwide Booth Night and connect with professors who travel to give talks at Amazon. 

Can you talk about a time in your current role when you saw the power of Booth’s analytical approach to problem-solving come to life?

Booth’s data driven approach has been the guiding factor to how I solve most of the problems I am presented at work. What has surprised me is how Booth’s analytical approach combined with the soft-skills training I received during my MBA has helped me not only analyze data and deliver recommendations, but empowered me to communicate this information in an effective way. Whether it’s the exercises I went through in my Negotiations course or the activities I did with my squad in LEAD, the experiences I had at Booth helped me solve problems in an analytical way while working with others to reach a mutually beneficial goal.

Anything else you want to share about your life now that you think was influenced by your time at Booth?

It sounds a bit crazy but almost everything about my life now—from my full-time job, the city I live in, and the people I spend my time with—was influenced by my time at Booth! Business school was the launchpad for a lot more than simply my career. It helped me meet smart people from all over the world, gain new skills and experiences in and out of the classroom, and think about what I wanted my life to look life after the two years were over. While it has only been a few months since I left Booth behind and I’m still working to set myself up for success in the next stage of my life, the time I had during my MBA has been the driving force moving me forward.

Monisha Shivakumar obtained her MBA from Chicago Booth in 2019 with concentrations in Marketing and Strategic Management. Prior to Booth she was an Electronic Trading Product Manager at Barclays. In the short time since she has left Booth, she is settling into life in Seattle (complete with fellow Boothies alongside her) as a Senior Vendor Manager, Software at Amazon. While at Booth she was a contributor for The Booth Experience blog. You can read more about her student experience here

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