Name: Alankrita Nigam
Tell us a bit about yourself: I graduated with Bachelor’s degree in Chemical Engineering from Vellore Institute Technology, India, and then started working with an Indian firm, ITC Limited, for about a year. However, the idea of impacting a larger set of people directly and bringing about a change in the educational system of India drove me to join Teach for India (TFI). TFI provided me immense exposure and opportunities to initiate my own projects at the community level such as Project Jagriti (“Awakening”) and Project Go Green. Teaching 60 underprivileged students in one of the largest slums of the world — Dharavi, India — was truly a life changing experience. After completing my two years of fellowship with TFI, I am here!
What led you to the MIT SCM program? The close association of this program with business concepts, even though it focuses on traditional engineering skills, prompted me to apply. The amount of exposure coupled with the steep learning curve in a span of just 10 months was exactly what I was looking for. Coming from a non-traditional background, I was very concerned as I wasn’t sure how would I cope with the extreme rigor of the program, especially being one of the youngest in the cohort. The first few weeks were a roller coaster ride, but thanks to the great faculty, staff, and other students, I managed to survive!
How’s it going so far in the program? I love this program! And I have been recommending it to my friends. It offers the opportunity to work with people from different countries (the students in my cohort are of 14 different nationalities!), corporate partners on thesis projects, outstanding trips (Panama- looking forward to it) and, yeah, not to forget the endless parties on weekends (obviously after completing assignments).The beauty of MIT is that whatever you want to explore, you will most likely be able to find it here.
Where do you want to go after this? I have been interviewing with companies for positions in the management or supply chain space post graduation. I’d like to stick to this field for at least a few years.
What is your favorite thing about the program? The extremely collaborative learning environment is something that intrigues me. I think it’s mainly because of my classmates and supportive staff members that I’m able to keep up with the pace of the curriculum. Everyone is so open to helping each other, whether it is academic or personal, and you can really count on these people!
Memorable moment in your SCM journey so far? This would surely be the Outward Bound program at Thompson Island on the second day of my SCM journey. It was just…wow! You will find out more about it in the coming blogs.
Favorite thing to do in Boston? Boston is a great place. I’d say my favorite thing to do in Boston is probably exploring the city more as I love to try out new things and I still haven’t been able to find time to get to know Boston properly. Remember: the program is just 10 months long, so maximize the opportunities you engage in by “optimizing” your time (you will come across this term a lot once you join SCM :P)
Any advice for prospective students? If you are looking for something to dive into the professional world by equipping yourself with knowledge of sophisticated business and engineering tools, algorithms, data analytics, and high-level business and engineering concepts, then I’d surely recommend you join this program. It is an opportunity to not only learn but to practice those concepts at the same time through your thesis projects. Not to mention, this program offers various fun activities (organized unofficially) — all you need to do is prioritize your activities and save some time to indulge in the exquisite panorama that MIT has to offer.