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Never underestimate the power of coffee: Priyanka Kochhar

Posted by Kristin Clarke on October 26, 2018 in Alumni & Friends

Priyanka Kochhar was part of the Corporate Residency MBA’s class of 2018, and she was actively involved during her time at Dalhousie. Now in a position that she loves at Scotiabank, Priyanka explains what drew her to Dal, and how her educational journey led to her current position.

Priyanka was drawn to the CRMBA program by the eight-month corporate residency component, where students gain exposure to the real-world applications of classroom learning. “I had already been working, and was hesitant to put making an income on hold to go back to school. With the CRMBA, I was back in the workforce six months after starting the program.”  Dal’s coastal location was also an attraction: “Halifax is a great city and studying at Dal gave me the opportunity to spend time on the East Coast.”

She took advantage of opportunities to get involved, particularly in case competitions. “It truly enriched my CRMBA experience. The competitions pushed me outside of my comfort zone and opened the doors to networks of individuals I would have never otherwise met. They also solidified my relationships with my teammates. I have traveled to Shanghai with teammates to compete, and those are experiences I will always remember.”

Priyanka used her corporate residency with Scotiabank Corporate Banking in Toronto to figure out what she was interested in. “I was exposed to a variety of industries and found I really enjoyed working on energy accounts.”

The connections she made at Scotiabank and her networking skills helped her land her post-graduation position. “A managing director in Toronto was promoted to Head of US Corporate Banki

ng, and I asked him out to coffee. When I applied for the job in Houston, he remembered my name, as did the other senior managers who were on the hiring committee. And now I live in Houston! I work as an analyst on the US Corporate Banking Energy portfolio. Never underestimate the power of coffee!”

When asked how her new role is going, Priyanka acknowledged several facets of her work that she enjoys, but says one thing stands out: “seeing the classroom concepts come alive in a real life setting. Scotiabank in the US is undergoing a major strategic shift. I am seeing the practices of great leadership in change management and all the hardships that go along with it.”

She also passed along a key piece of advice for future CRMBA students: “Network! And that does not mean go to networking events and talk to whoever is there. That is fine, but you can shape your own networking experience. Do some research; reach out to people who interest you. Most people are more than happy to chat.” She also emphasized that it won’t always go smoothly: it’s shaping your skills and interests along the way that matters. “If they do not answer, or you meet but do not hit it off, no big deal! There is another, more fitting opportunity out there and that attempt was just a part of the journey to finding it.”