Nandini Mazumdar - On Working in Fintech & Innovation, Loving London and being a Google Local Guide
Tell us about yourself 😄
Where are you from?
Mumbai, India (although I spent the last 8 years in NYC, USA)
What is your role in TMC this year?
What's a fun fact about yourself?
I write reviews for Google Maps (Google Local Guide Level 8). & I used to dance competitively until graduating from college!
Pre-MBA Life 🤓
What is your story leading up to the MBA?
I completed my undergraduate studies at New York University (NYU), pursuing a double major in Quantitative Economics & Econometrics and Politics (with a minor in Business of Entertainment, Media & Technology). I then joined Mastercard in New York and spent the next 4 (amazing) years in the Advisors team, working across sectors (from financial services and retail & commerce to public sector and non-profit), regions (working with teams in the US, the UK/Europe, Singapore and Australia), and clients (from large, global banks to up-and-coming fintechs). I also had the opportunity to work with StartPath, Mastercard's in-house incubator, and was exposed to several start-ups that Mastercard works closely with, which was really interesting!
Outside work, my hobbies are culinary experiences (whether cooking at home or dining out), dance, fitness and going to museums, art galleries and exhibitions.
Why did you choose to do your MBA? And why LBS?
For as long as I can remember, doing an MBA was always a part of my career game plan. My father had done his MBA in the late 1980s and, even though it's been 30+ years since he graduated, I have always been awed and inspired by not only the professional network that he gained through the MBA but also the personal connections / close ties that they have been able to foster through the years. I've always wanted the same for myself and began studying for the GMAT as I was approaching my 4th year at Mastercard (and the rest is history!).
How I landed up at LBS is truly serendipitous - I came to London in the summer of 2019 as part of an international rotation at Mastercard. Over a period of 4-ish months, I enjoyed a perfect summer in (pre-COVID) London and loved everything the city had to offer, knowing instantly that I (who never thought I'd leave New York City) wanted to come back. I was also lucky to meet a few LBS alumni in my final year at NYC, both at work and through personal connections - hearing about their LBS experience from a career front (especially those who sought and were able to pursue careers in tech) and a personal front (from school events such as Tattoo and Summer Ball to student-run events such as Sundowners, treks and ad-hoc travels) amidst a truly global cohort made me excited about the opportunity to pursue my MBA at LBS!
Why are you interested in technology / what about technology are you most interested in?
Technology, to me, is the ultimate conundrum - on one hand, our world is becoming increasingly technology-driven/digital and this trend is greatly improving human productivity and well-being. On the other, just being digital ("here's an app!") or having some tech underpinnings is not enough to deliver a meaningful customer experience (at its worst, using technology incorrectly can actually have terrible consequences).
Thus, as developers and users of technology, we need to be intentional with how we use technology as a means to solve a meaningful end-goal, whether that's making financial services more accessible (e.g. fintech), supporting the legal system (e.g. AI in criminology), improving healthcare (e.g. wearable devices such as smart watches) or anything else! This is a fascinating dilemma and I'm excited to learn the various ways in which we can meaningfully use our growing tech capabilities to benefit society.
LBS Experience 😎
Describe your LBS MBA experience in 3 words
Whirlwind. Transformative. Grateful.
I have no words to describe how incredible and life-changing my MBA experience has been. To think that, in just 1 year, I've had the opportunity to meet people from all over the world, make some incredible friends that I know will be around for life, travel within and beyond the UK, work on some incredible projects, learn so much about myself (through the good and the bad times)... it's crazy (in the best way) and I cannot wait to see what year 2 has in store!
You were on the TMC ExCo last year as well, is that correct? What was your favourite experience from your time on the ExCo last year?
Yes, I was part of the Careers & Applied Tech team, focused on Tech Recruiting at LBS.
It was exciting to support both TMC and the Career Services team in cementing tech as an attractive and accessible job market for MBA candidates. Through the events that I was able to run/support through TMC last year (especially the panel sessions for Amazon, Mastercard and Visa), it was great to see growing interest in tech at LBS and to help my fellow LBS candidates find opportunities that excited them in the tech sector.
What has been your most memorable experience from the LBS MBA so far?
There are simply too many incredible memories to name - while building engagement virtually was challenging at first, I think our cohort did a phenomenal job at making the most of our experience. From virtual workout sessions to trips within the UK and all over the world and my wonderful Stream E(xtraaa) to some amazing Club events (especially Foodie Club's "Back to Basics" series and other sessions with well-known chefs) and at-home dinners/games nights, I feel very lucky to have such an amazing cohort to have gone through this experience with.
What are your summer 2021 plans?
I am interning at ZX Ventures, AB InBev's corporate VC arm. Specifically, I am working on product roadmap development and innovation strategy for PerfectDraft, one of ZX's portfolio companies.
Plans Going Forward 🚀
What are your post-MBA goals/plans (in terms of career, life/living etc.)?
Through my internship this summer, I've learned a lot about innovation and product management, especially for smart devices, that has been fascinating - going forward, I am keen to continue working in a product management role within the tech sector, whether as a Product Owner / Manager or a Product Marketing Manager.
What's your motto/mindset going into the final year of your MBA?
Don't take life too seriously (we have plenty of time for that!), continue to grow but also be unapologetically yourself and don't be afraid to pursue that which makes you happy (in the MBA and life in general)!
What do you hope to achieve through TMC specifically this year?
Foster a proactive, engaged and collaborative community (both within the ExCo and in the Club as a whole) that is excited, passionate and committed to furthering the tech (and media) agenda at LBS!
Finally, what, if any, advice do you have for incoming LBS students?
It's okay to be a little lost, confused or even unsure what you want from your career / the MBA / life in general. It's also okay to feel pressure from those around you in terms of what you should be doing or what companies you should be recruiting for or what events you should be attending. Take time for yourself and to figure out what makes you truly happy and content, and don't be afraid to carve out a path for yourself, even if it doesn't work for / make sense to anyone else.