Career Advancement

Forté Role Model, Shreya Jaggi, Strengthened Her Career with a Deferred MBA

MBA programs are not “one program fits all” — There are different types of MBAs that Forté partner schools have to offer for all career paths. Shreya Jaggi graduated in 2022 from one of those programs, the deferred MBA program at The University of Pennsylvania (The Wharton School). With her career and educational path in mind, Shreya was able to turn her internship at Forté partner, McKinsey and Co, into a full-time job, and has since been promoted to her current role, Senior Associate. Below are Shreya’s words of advice to future MBA candidates.

Why was a deferred MBA program the right choice for you?

The deferred program enabled me to think through my career and critical milestones early. As I considered my career trajectory and transition into management, I realized that there was more I wanted to study in an academic setting. I am so grateful that the MBA gave me the opportunity to learn about management from multiple perspectives – from world class professors, a variety of cross-industry cases as well as from my diverse classmates. The MBA is also a low-stakes environment to practice my own leadership style, which enabled me to discover how I want to lead in the future. Finally, it also opened the door to new opportunities for me career-wise, especially internationally.

How did you balance the admissions process with other responsibilities?

I applied to Wharton’s Moelis early access (deferred MBA) program during my senior year. At this time, I knew what job I was going to do post undergraduate and had a strong perspective on how the MBA could help me pave my long-term career. Applying to a deferred program gave me the optionality to return to school in 2-4 years which provided additional flexibility as I navigated my early working years. Applying to the MBA program as a student meant I was already in ‘study mode’ and could more easily study for the GMAT. I treated the application like another extracurricular or class that I carved out time for every week.

What are 5 words you would use to describe yourself?

Hardworking, kind, reliable, bubbly, and helpful

How does business school differ from the undergraduate student experience? 

Despite going to the same undergrad and MBA institution, my experiences were vastly different (both wonderful in their own ways)! During my undergrad at Penn, classes were much more focused on theoretical learning and building a strong toolkit. On the other hand, the academic experience during the MBA was enriched with a practical lens partly due to my classmate’s diverse working experiences prior to school. Additionally, because my focus during the MBA was far more indexed on leadership, I chose classes and activities that would enable me to practice these skills. In short, my undergrad degree at Penn equipped me with the right tools and skills, and the MBA taught me how to apply those skills across a variety of situations, especially as I move into a manager role.

What advice would you give aspiring MBA candidates?

It is important to think carefully about how the MBA will fit your career goals – there are so many things to do within the MBA making it vital to prioritize and spend your time effectively. This journey should be highlighted in your admission essay to make it clear to the admission teams how you will develop post-MBA and how you will contribute back to the school.

What is your favorite part of business school?

Meeting a range of incredible and diverse classmates who are all incredibly passionate. From former startup founders to engineers, there was such a range of people I was exposed to! What I loved the most was how helpful everyone was – people were all willing to support each other in our various journeys.

What does #MoreWomenLeading mean to you?

When we look at leadership (across organizations) today, there is a serious dearth of female leadership. While many companies have solved for the entry-level gender balance, they are losing out on the top. To me #MoreWomenLeading means driving opportunities for women to lead while solving for some of the reasons why they are currently not getting the opportunities to do so.

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