Alumni Profile: Vartika Srivastava
Vartika Srivastava combines her passion for science and experience in business in her role at The Jackson Laboratory. The skills she learned at the Maine Business School perfectly positioned her to work for this global organization. Her advice to MBS students? Participate in an internship!
Why did you decide to attend the University of Maine Business School?
I moved to the United States in 2012 and lived in Bar Harbor, Maine. Previously, in India, I was working in a prestigious bank–ICICI Bank. I was looking for educational opportunities to further build on my banking background. During my research, I came across the Maine Business School at UMaine and was deeply impressed by faculty profiles, resources, and vast alumni network. I decided to apply to the MBA program at the Graduate School of Business.
What are some of the skills you learned at UMaine that you have put into practice in the professional world?
I believe I can summarize the skills that I learned while earning my MaineMBA into three categories:
- Technical Skills: The business program requires students to develop a deep understanding of Microsoft Excel functions, provided hands-on experience in Bloomberg terminal, and involved data modeling exercises to build financial models.
- Negotiation Skills: This is a critical skill if you work in any organization, especially if your job requires dealing with customers or vendors—the courses and training in the program help students build these skills.
- Relationship-building: This is an essential part of any job as in any organization, employees work not in silos but as part of a team. I believe team exercises, projects, and international tours helped students build relationships and learn from each other.
What drew you to seek work at The Jackson Lab?
I have a bachelor’s degree in biotechnology with a major in genetics and have always possessed a keen interest in biological sciences. The Jackson Laboratory (JAX) is the world leader in mammalian genetics and genomics and home to the most notable scientists in the field. This job uses my finance/management training to support the operational aspects of science.
Can you tell us a little bit about the work you do there?
I am currently working as a staff accountant. My duties involve working on enterprise resource planning (ERP) software and handling day-to-day finance and accounting operations. Interacting with customers, vendors, and the grants department is also a significant portion of the job.
Did you have a favorite professor or class at the Maine Business School?
I admire all my professors. They are great mentors. I want to thank each of them – Richard Borgman, John Mahon, Pankaj Aggrawal, Patti Miles, Nory Jones, and David Barrett for shaping my career.
In your opinion, what makes a degree in business a valuable asset?
A business degree gives career flexibility in different fields and could be useful in various professions such as general administration, finance, banking, accounting, marketing, or even teaching. Moreover, organizations consider business education to be a prerequisite for a leadership role. I further believe that a business degree provides technical knowledge and shapes the students to tackle real-world challenges.
What advice would you give to Maine Business School students?
Please make every effort to do an internship. Due to personal reasons, I could not do an internship, and I believe that deprived me of a few opportunities. An internship is the most practical training students can get to be ready to work in the industry.
For students near graduation, be confident in your abilities and keep up with your connections. One needs people skills to succeed in the business world.
Hometown: Kanpur City, India
Employer: Staff Accountant at the Jackson Laboratory for Genome Medicine in Connecticut
MaineMBA Class of 2016