Meet the MBA Class of 2022: Archana Sohmshetty, Stanford GSB

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Curious about everything and everyone. Passionate about our inner world, our physical world and our digital worlds.

Hometown: Canton, Michigan

Fun fact about yourself: I was on an undergraduate dance team! I love to dance and share my passion for it – anyone can do it, and my mantra is that dancing is 90% to be confident in yourself and 10% to be able to keep a beat.

Undergraduate and major school: University of Michigan, Industrial and Operational Engineering

Most recent employer and job titlee: Roblox, BizOps and Strategy Partner

Apart from your classmates, what was the key element of the Stanford GSB MBA program that led you to choose this business school and why was it so important to you? Stanford GSB’s emphasis on values-based leadership. I firmly believe that our digital and physical identities merge as immersive technology takes more place in our lives (due to trends in AR / VR, gaming, social media, computing power, telecommunications infrastructure, etc.) I think the leaders and decision-makers in these industries have a huge responsibility to ensure that the technologies they build and the people they influence positively benefit society. While I aim to develop my own leadership skills, foundational courses like Management Ethics and programs like Arbuckle Fellows or Knight-Hennessey Scholars have signaled to me that training students into thoughtful, compassionate and ethical leaders is a central objective at Stanford. Beyond GSB resources, the proximity to Silicon Valley and access to cutting-edge courses and research in other departments at Stanford appealed to me.

What’s the most surprising thing you’ve learned about Stanford GSB so far? How quickly and with what eagerness my classmates mobilize. Whether it’s a startup idea, a cause students care about, or even a social event, I’m amazed at how quickly my classmates can execute and deliver. For example, in the summer before we enrolled, a handful of students set up a COVID-19 response lab to organize our classmates and tackle various issues related to the pandemic. I think this is motivated by the power of having a supportive community – having resources, help from teachers, and encouraging classmates makes it easy to try out new ideas.

What quality best describes your MBA fellows you have met so far and why? Humility. All of my classmates are extremely talented and come to GSB with a long list of accomplishments, but are incredibly down to earth. My classmates have won Olympic medals, created nonprofits that changed lives, and created great organizations from the ground up. Yet, they approach every conversation here with a sense of modesty and intellectual curiosity that is inspiring. This attitude stems from the ‘growth mindset’ many of my classmates have: they believe there is always room for personal and professional development and that they can learn a lot from each other. other.

Describe your greatest achievement in your career so far: Switch from financial services to gambling! While covering the media and communications industry during my time in investment banking, I had a hunch that immersive experiences would begin to play a much bigger role in society. Pivoting in the gaming industry was my way of taking a leap of faith behind this thesis, and as Roblox has grown it is gratifying to see the thesis validated. But ultimately winning the pro lottery for me was finding a team that I enjoyed working with that made Mondays as exciting as Fridays.

Describe your greatest achievement as an MBA student so far? In the traditional sense, my greatest achievement has been to be part of the View From The Top leadership team for the 2021-2022 school year. So far we have worked hard to set a vision for next year’s list of speakers who can bring a wide range of perspectives on effective leadership for our classmates. However, the truth is that the biggest accomplishments as an MBA student that I have had so far are the friendships and relationships that I have built here. One of the main goals I had upon arriving at GSB was to meet exceptional people from all walks of life, hear their stories and deepen my understanding of different points of view. GSB is a special environment where I have had the privilege of building strong relationships with people other than myself, and it has been incredibly rewarding and revealing.

What other MBA programs have you applied to? HBS 2 + 2

What has been the biggest revelation you have gained about yourself or the world since you started your MBA program? The importance of effectively giving and receiving feedback, and how difficult it really is! Something you can hear (perhaps far too often) at GSB is that “feedback is a giveaway”. No one teaches this in life as explicitly as I have seen it teach at Stanford GSB, yet it is perhaps the most important tool for building high quality relationships, both personal and professional. I still have a hard time accepting or providing constructive feedback, but it is a skill that I want to develop and practice more after realizing how essential it is to be a good leader and a good mentor to others. .

What advice would you give to a potential candidate looking to join the Stanford GSB class of 2023? Use the application process as an opportunity to reflect on your own path: find out what motivates you and sets you apart from others. Even though our classmates may have overlapping interests, each has a unique and differentiated perspective. Finding yours through the application process will be rewarding, at GSB and beyond. It’s easy to get lost in the number of exciting opportunities that demand your time and attention (especially at GSB). Figuring out what really motivates you will go a long way in distinguishing signal from noise.

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