Ever since receiving her bachelor’s degree from a university outside of her hometown in India, Anshul Gupta had dreamt of pursuing an academic degree in an international setting. However, upon graduating, she immediately joined Tata Consultancy Services (TCS), an Indian multinational information technology services and consulting company, as an engagement manager.
After 11 years of working for TCS, Gupta found an opportunity to step into the world of books and academics once again. “I waited patiently enough for the right time and the best opportunity to be able to live that dream,” Gupta said. “The pandemic gave me the opportunity to pay attention to going back to school.”
Case Western Reserve University Weatherhead School of Management lured her interest due to the profiles of great professors and 30-plus years of research labs on coaching practices, she said.
Gupta was accepted into the Full-Time Master of Business Administration (MBA) program and started classes in the fall 2021 semester.
One of her favorite classes in her first semester was the Leading People and Organizations course with Ellen Van Oosten, associate professor of organizational behavior, faculty director of executive education and director of the Coaching Research Lab.
“Ellen’s sessions were interactive, which gave us the opportunity to understand our cohort and ourselves so much better,” Gupta said. “The models were well timed to perfectly help us increase our leadership effectiveness and the feedback from our peers were eye-openers and helped me develop and grow as a person.”
The Leading People and Organizations course, also known as “LEAD,” is a flagship course that has been taught for over 30 years at Weatherhead School. The course was created in 1990 by Richard Boyatzis, professor of organizational behavior.
Among the topics covered are resonant leadership, inclusive leadership, learning styles, leadership vision and core values, emotional intelligence, deep listening, leadership styles, learning from 360-degree feedback, team development and coaching. Students also receive the opportunity to work with a leadership coach who supports them in discovering their purpose, core values, professional and personal aspirations and articulating them in a personal vision statement.
“In today's increasingly complex environment, it is essential for managers to know themselves well, manage themselves well and to be adept at working effectively with a wide range of people,” said Van Oosten. “Students learn how to be effective peer coaches for others, a skill that organizations increasingly expect of managers and leaders.”
This spring, Gupta was nominated to attend The International Coaching Conclave (TICC) in India to share her coaching journey as a student at Weatherhead School and how it has benefited her life both personally and professionally. She was one of four panelists at the event.
"When the invitation came for one of our Weatherhead students to be on a panel and share their experience with coaching in their MBA program, Anshul was the first person who came to mind,” said Van Oosten. “All of us are proud of her for sharing her MBA coaching experiences and grateful to her for helping us to spread the good news happening here at the Weatherhead School across the globe."
“The session was totally organic and a great aid to students who are struggling to make career choices, personal choices, and living in a space where our experience was helpful for them in digging deeper and defining their personal roadmap to success,” Gupta said.
At Weatherhead School, Gupta is also involved with the Fowler Center for Business as an Agent of World Benefit’s ThinkImpact program. The program gives students a hands-on opportunity to closely examine a global societal or environmental issue that impacts the lives of many, and think about the ways in which private, public and social sectors can collectively implement a solution that is impactful, sustainable, and scalable around the world.
“Being a part of non-governmental organizations in India, I am aligned to their goal to be a global initiative promoting practical outcomes and real-world impact economically, socially and environmentally,” Gupta said.
Upon graduation, Gupta hopes to return to TCS or another consulting firm as a business relationship manager and client partner.
“I wish to give back to my organization and be more impactful by having the holistic view of business and my domain,” she said. “The multi-domain exposure, networking opportunities, better communication skills, and leadership styles during my graduation period will leverage my technical skills and put my endeavors in the right direction.”
When reflecting on her first year at Weatherhead School, Gupta says, “The professors have been sincerely committed to the growth of the students in the professional world and we’ve received various opportunities to meet with alumni and different companies. I feel happy as a clam about my decision to join the MBA program at Weatherhead.”
Read about Weatherhead School’s Coaching Research Laboratory
Learn more about Weatherhead School’s Full-Time MBA program