MBA Valedictorian: Megha Tretha
Hometown: Kathua, Jammu and Kashmir (India)
What is the degree and subject you pursued?
I pursued a Master of Business Administration (MBA) from DeGroote School of Business. Though I did not specialize in any domain, I focused a lot on marketing courses during the program.
Why did you choose to attend McMaster?
The decision of pursuing an MBA in Canada was not an easy one! After much analysis and contemplation, I decided to attend the DeGroote School of Business, McMaster University because of the reputation of its MBA program, strong alumni network, incredible faculty and staff, collaborative culture, and a strong emphasis on experiential learning and extra-curricular activities.
What do you plan to do/see yourself doing after graduation?
I recently accepted the rotational offer (Leadership Development Program) and will start working full-time at Eaton Corporation. I see myself utilizing the skills and learnings from the classroom to bring innovative changes to the organization. One should never stop learning, so I have created a list of certifications and books that I want to finish by 2023. Also, I intend to continue writing articles to share my experiences with future MBA students. I want to highlight that I belong to a place in India where females are not allowed to leave their hometowns for higher studies. I am fortunate that my family and husband supported me in pursuing my dreams and completing a degree in Canada. With an aim to support other female candidates, I plan to do online talks with the help of an NGO in India.
Any advice to your first-year self?
I would say to my first-year self to believe in yourself and don’t compare your journey with others. Don’t be afraid to ask the question that you just asked yourself in your head. Don’t be too harsh on yourself. Believe, focus, and you will succeed.
Any advice for current or future students?
You do your MBA once, so grab every opportunity that comes your way. Focus on learning something new every day, invest time in building meaningful relationships, and become a better version of yourself. I always say, ‘There is a phoenix in each one of us, all we have to do is spread our wings and fly!’
How has McMaster shaped the person you are today?
DeGroote-McMaster has equipped me with skills that form an excellent foundation for new careers. I learned the art of managing and juggling life pretty efficiently in school, I learned and polished my people skills, I learned the importance of ‘education with purpose’ but most importantly, I learned how to manage my time. As quoted by Michael Altshuler, “ The bad news is time flies. The good news is you’re the pilot.”
I have always been incredibly fascinated by how the most successful and influential personalities in the world manage their times. I guess all of us will agree that in one or the other stage of our lives, we have faced challenges in managing our time as per the requirements. By definition, we know that time management is a process that teaches us to set priorities, set and achieve goals, organize daily tasks, manage to meet deadlines, and make decisions faster. The school, however, has taught time management from a different perspective. It has taught me to multiply time and equipped me with the ability to critically think and ask, what are the things I could do today that would free up more time tomorrow?
What events did you enjoy the most at McMaster or in Hamilton?
I enjoyed my time working with the TEDxMcMaster organizing committee and planning the 2021 conference. Being the sponsorship Coordinator, I supported my team with fundraising this year.
What is your definition of success?
To me, success is the courage to stand up and focus on achieving goals after a failure. I believe success and failure are not connected, you didn’t succeed doesn’t always mean you failed, it may simply mean that you will come back with greater strength.
How has McMaster helped you to create a brighter world?
DeGroote-McMaster has taught me the importance of relationships, collaboration, diversity, openness, and teamwork. From the very beginning of the program, students are encouraged to support each other. I believe that the outside world is also a classroom but may a gigantic one. The in-school learning to get along with others and support will help me not only succeed but also make a positive impact on individuals, organizations and create a brighter world.
Who is your favorite professor?
I am truly blessed to learn from some incredible professors. The professors that have had a great impact on me are Dr. Milena Head, Dr. Manish Varma, Professor Paul Tedesco, Dr. Haniyeh Yousofpour, and Dr. Behrouz Bakhtiari.
If you could have any superpower, what would it be?
I would love to have a photographic memory. In a world of data where we are constantly bombarded with new information and updates, I would remember everything without any alternation to the details. Acquiring skills and learning new technology will become super easy!
If you could live anywhere in the world for a year, where would it be?
I would love to live in Indonesia for a year with my husband where we would have some time to relax and embrace the pristineness of nature.
What have you been doing to self-care during the pandemic?
I make sure to follow a strict schedule. Each day, I start by meditating, which helps me to stay positive and motivated. Also, I jog in the evening followed by some exercises.
What’s the hardest part about working virtually for you? The easiest?
The hardest part is to collaborate with people whom I have never met. The easiest part is I believe to manage the schedule as I am the in-charge now. I can easily fit in a short meeting or a call with a coworker or some exercise to my schedule.
While at Mac, did you receive donor-funded financial assistance (e.g., a scholarship, award, bursary)? Any thoughts on the importance of giving back to your alma mater to support future generations?
I received the entrance award in recognition of excellence in academic achievement, 2019-2020. I hope to give back to the community one day and support the journey of the future students.