The decision to go back to school
You can leave your comfort zone in lots of different ways. You might move to a new country. You might try out a new activity. In Anmol’s case, she decided to push herself by studying something completely new.
Anmol’s background is in finance. After graduation, she worked in a number of roles in the industry, most recently at the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston. She enjoyed her time there but also sensed it was time for something new.
“My time there really laid the foundation for my career,” says Anmol. “I met a lot of great people and learned a lot of good skills. But I felt like an MBA would really help me take my career to the next level, which is why I thought ‘Okay, now it’s time to go back to school and get my degree.’ So, that’s really kind of how things played out.” (00:58)
But, the journey from deciding you want to do an MBA to actually completing one, is long. How do you make the next step of that journey – deciding on the school and program that’s right for you? Anmol narrowed her shortlist down to a few schools and after she started chatting with alumni on LinkedIn. It was these conversations that ultimately convinced her to choose the Gabelli School of Business, Fordham University.
“Prior to coming to Fordham, I actually reached out to a few students on LinkedIn. I just asked them to talk me through a day in the life of a student there – what they liked or didn’t like, what they got out of it or were learning and what the classmates were like. I really enjoyed my conversations with them and I felt like I could see myself at Fordham,” she tells us. (01:38)
Finding an MBA in fintech at Fordham
Fintech is a burgeoning industry, expected to grow into a $324 billion market by 2026. However, that rapid growth isn’t yet reflected in MBA programs. Anmol says that the Gabelli School was one of the few schools to offer a specialization in fintech.
“Fintech is a concentration that isn’t really offered in other schools, from what I could see. And coming from finance, I knew that getting an MBA in finance would help me boost my career. But I also wanted to add a little bit else, something else to it that I hadn’t done before,” she explains. (03:15)
By pursuing an MBA in fintech, Anmol wanted to learn more about a fast-growing industry and potentially launch a career in the field. More than anything, she also wanted to challenge herself by staying on top of one of the most innovative and fastest-changing industries in the world. Really, it was all part of the process of stepping out of her comfort zone.
She says, “It’s always developing and I knew that I wanted to be on the front edge of all the new technology and new advancements that are coming out of fintech. I know for me, most likely this is going to be my last time in school. So I was like: let’s just make the most of it.” (03:35)
Networking in New York City
The Gabelli School of Business is based in the heart of Manhattan, considered by many to be the financial center of the world. That alone makes it an attractive place to do an MBA in fintech, but Anmol says the alumni network she found at the Gabelli School was every bit as valuable to her.
“The alumni network at Fordham has been unmatched,” she says. “I used to reach out to people all the time to let them know I’m looking for an internship or for their help or guidance. That was always met with nothing but encouragement and support. I think that just speaks to the community that Fordham has fostered.” (07:51)
Networking is a fabric of New York City life, and it’s something that’s encouraged at Gabelli. As a self-proclaimed introvert, networking doesn’t come naturally to Anmol. However, during her time at the Gabelli School, she has learned how to make the most of a skill that is a huge benefit to anyone’s career.
“I think the ability to reach out to someone you don’t know and just be like ‘Hey, I’m currently at the school you used to be at. Do you mind giving me a helping hand and answering some questions?’ I think that is not something a lot of people do. But Fordham has taught me that it’s okay to do that,” she says. (09:10)
How Fordham has pushed Anmol to be the best version of herself
Anmol’s desire to break out of her comfort zone and overcome her natural inhibitions has been the driving force behind her MBA experience. It convinced her to study fintech, an area she knew little about. She also wanted to use her MBA in fintech to develop as a person. Her time at Fordham has helped her do that.
“I was a very shy child. I didn’t like public speaking,” she admits. “I never raised my hand in class. I was never involved on campus. I never really spoke up – but I knew I wanted my graduate school career to be different. I wanted to step out of my comfort zone, and I think I’ve done that.” (09:45)
She continues, “I wanted to make the most of my time here and make sure that when I graduate, I could look back and be proud of the steps I took and the actions I took. I have definitely seen a big change in myself. I think Fordham has pushed me to be the best version of myself.” (10:49)
Personal growth that comes from education often gets lost in a wave of facts and figures about salary boosts, ranking rises, and career development. But, it shouldn’t be ignored. An MBA can provide you with all of the above. But it’s also a chance to work on your weaknesses, build up your strengths, and become a better person in the process. As Anmol says, it may well be the last time you’re in education, so you may as well make the most of it.