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Career Catapult: how one Rotman MBA grad used his technology acumen to move from engineering to consulting

February 27, 2024

Arunabh Mishra (Full-Time MBA, ’22) was a capable and experienced fintech expert long before he began his degree at Rotman. 

Arunabh Mishra (Full-Time MBA, ’22)

After completing a Master's in Electrical Engineering from the National University of Singapore, he spent almost 10 years working in Southeast Asia. Much of this time was at Thales Group, a multinational company that designs and develops equipment for transportation and security industries. 

While at Thales, Mishra designed, developed, and supported payment application software used by banks. 

Thales also had an innovation business unit, which incubated new ideas internally within the organization. This is when Mishra began an entrepreneurial journey. He harnessed Bluetooth and 4G technology to enable telecom companies to engage with customers based on customers’ proximity to physical stores or organizations. Assuming the role of a startup co-founder, Mishra orchestrated the entire process, from product development to business strategy. Ultimately, he successfully sold the product back to Thales. This entrepreneurial experience led Mishra to strongly consider - and ultimately decide on - getting an MBA.

“While I was doing product management and having a startup founder kind of role, I realized that business acumen plus engineering muscle would likely be more impactful for pursuing other business opportunities,” Mishra says.

“Figuring out the sales and business development elements and talking with all the clients – that was very, very interesting for me.”

Mishra decided to apply to Rotman’s Full-Time MBA program, citing the school’s reputation and proximity to Canada’s business sector as part of the motivation. He enrolled in 2020. 

With one-third of Rotman’s full-time MBA students coming from the financial services industry, Mishra was surrounded by like-minded peers. Thanks to his previous experience, the most relevant classes for him focused on strategy, private equity and venture capital, he says. “In a way, I was going back to my startup roots, but then also expanding on that, and beginning to understand how everything in business comes together.” 

"Two years at Rotman is an investment in enhancing your strongest asset."

—Arunabh Mishra

While at Rotman, Mishra took part in the Business Technology Association and the Rotman Analytics Club, and participated in private equity case competitions.

Rotman Marketing Professor Dan Richards was Mishra’s advisor during his time at the school. Richards says students with a niche technical background can find particular benefit in Rotman’s MBA program. “For students like Arunabh with strong technical backgrounds,” he says, “Rotman provides the opportunity to move beyond narrow functional roles. Students dramatically broaden their knowledge of accounting, strategy, marketing and finance and develop the communication and leadership skills that are essential to rise in an organization.”

Mishra says his goal of rounding out his skillset was reached by completing his Rotman MBA. Even before he graduated, he was recruited by Ernst & Young (EY) in Toronto, who cited his technical background along with his Rotman education as reasons for the hire. He was at EY for a year and a half, before switching gears over to a smaller, boutique consultancy called Ravl, also in Toronto.

As a senior management consultant at Ravl, Mishra helps financial companies find solutions to complex workflow, resource, and funding problems, and helps to implement those strategies to create solutions. 

Mishra says he’s happy to have had the time in the tech sector leading up to his MBA, and thinks that experience helped round out his career.

“Ask yourself: what is your core strength? Identifying that is crucial. With that knowledge, two years at Rotman is an investment in enhancing your strongest asset.”

Written by Meaghan MacSween | More Student Stories »