Graduate Profile: Debolina Gupta, MBA

Lina completed her MBA (Marketing) in May 2014 at AIS and is now working full-time as an IT services analyst at Fujitsu New Zealand. She finished all 25 required MBA modules in just 8 months – the quickest we’ve ever seen for a student on record.

Debolina Gupta, MBA graduate

Originally from Kolkata, West Bengal, India, Lina showed early promise as a capable student when she hit high marks in her Plus Two exams at Calcutta Girls High School, including over 93% in English. She later completed her B.Tech in Information Technology at Techno India College of Technology (TICT) and went on to work full-time as a software analyst for Cognizant (CTS). Having worked at CTS for 2.5 years, Lina decided to take one more step and get a Master’s degree.

When I was working in Cognizant, I used to not only develop and test the software, but also talk to clients and do presentations. I was more into interacting with our clients and they appreciated the fact that I was so flexible. I knew I could market the product that I could develop, so I thought why not take one more step?

Lina wanted to study overseas and had a choice of two countries: US and New Zealand.

I’m a single child but I’ve got relatives out here, they are New Zealand citizens. My parents were comfortable sending me someplace where I had relatives living close by.

She had a choice of 4 education providers in Auckland.

I chose AIS because they offer an internship programme that would let me be exposed to the real world rather than restrict me. At the same time AIS has weekend studies which allows me to utilise my weekdays to work and get experience: New Zealand experience is very important if you are going to work full-time.

I wanted to do an MBA because it’s rather not focused on one particular subject. In the first initial phase you are taught everything from finance to marketing to international business: all your compulsory subjects. When you’re looking for a full-time job, and if you have New Zealand part-time work experience, it actually helps you because you’re not restricted to one kind of a job, but rather you can just choose whatever comes your way and go ahead.

The best thing I found about AIS was that it gave me freedom to not just be one person with one major. Initially I had experience in everything, so if somebody tells me about something in finance, I might not be a major, but I’ll understand. It’s very important to know your basics very well.

I desired to do MBA and when I came here initially my major was in international business, but once I started doing marketing classes, I changed over. Since then I’ve been doing everything in marketing.

Only a month into her MBA programme, Lina got hired to work part-time in marketing and telesales for Slingshot, a privately owned telecommunications company in New Zealand; she worked there until May 2014.

The only thing I had to do was drop my resume – that’s all. I came here in February and in March I got hired by Slingshot. I applied online, had two telephone interviews and they were happy to go ahead.

She spent only 8 months at AIS making time for a short trip back to India to visit her family at end of the year. With guidance from the marketing and MBA departments, she took her MBA modules one after the other, in rapid succession, and always made sure to submit all coursework early. Her final results came in 2 months after she finished.

That was an achievement because I wanted to finish all my papers before I went home for 4 weeks. After that I went home, and when I came back I did my internship and it was over. I finished really early. The professors were really good, and I had good guidance from Bharath (marketing) and Taruna (MBA department): these people are really there to guide you.

Lina entered the internship phase of MBA in early March 2014: she did it at Slingshot since she was already working there at the time.

I chose the internship because, unlike the other two pathways (Field Study and Dissertation,) I didn’t want to do something that was related to just writing or investigating: I would rather go and talk to customers.

I did my internship in marketing. Slingshot gave me a lot of independence to market different products, design logos and do a lot of other things. They actually incorporated some of my work in their marketing practices. There were a lot of things that I could actually do – and because I was working with them for so long they were happy to let me. That was a big thing for me.

Lina completed her internship at Slingshot in May 2014. A short while later she got picked up by Vodafone to work as a Customer Services Representative (CSR) in IT. At the same time she distributed her CV to a number of other places. Having worked at Vodafone for only 3 months, Lina got a better offer from Fujitsu New Zealand: full-time, permanent.

It’s awesome! This is what I actually like. The work environment is great and they give me full freedom to work my own way.

As a services analyst, Lina works as part of a second level escalations team to help Fujitsu provide IT supportto various SMEs in New Zealand and Australia.

I’m not planning on leaving Fujitsu. There’s a good chance for me to grow as a person and career-wise. I plan to climb up the corporate ladder. I’ve got a good launching platform and I want to make the most of it. I'm definitely staying here.

Lina is currently enjoying her stay in New Zealand on a 12-month post-study work visa and plans to settle.

I would like to thank my parents and my family for their support. If they didn’t believe in me, I wouldn’t have got here.