Parth Aggarwal is an international student from India’s University of Delhi. Coming from a business family, he wanted to gain real-world skills and exposure to leaders in the field in order to prepare him for his career in business. This summer, he’s enrolled in Business Edge, an intensive six-week summer program offered by Columbia University’s School of Professional Studies in partnership with Columbia Business School. We asked Aggarwal about what he enjoys about the program and what it’s like to be in New York City for the first time.
What led you to apply to the Business Edge program?
When I was researching the program, Business Edge was the best mix that I saw. It was graduate level coursework along with practical, skills-based workshops.
Also, the program, by virtue of being in New York City, provides me with an environment to live and learn in a rich, diverse environment.
The best thing was the collaboration with Columbia Business School. I get to learn from the gurus there.
So far, it’s been an ecosystem where you’re challenged with intensive, graduate level coursework. You’re definitely allowed to be adventurous in your findings. And you get a glimpse of the corporate world out there.
What have been the highlights of the program so far?
We have these Wednesday career lunches. This week, we have the dean of the Columbia Business School. So every Wednesday, we get to interact with CEOs or people from the real business world who share their experiences, people who have diverse expertise.
Definitely, the professors are very engaging. The coursework is being taught through real-life case studies, so it’s interactive and gives you a sense of what’s practical in the field. There’s less of the theoretical part and more of a real-world approach with practical skills and their applications.
Any professors whom you particularly liked?
We’ve only had two professors so far, so I wouldn’t be able to tell about the professors much. But, definitely, to be taught by the senior deans at the Columbia Business School is definitely a life-changing and rewarding experience.
The amalgamation of New York City and Columbia Business School – the whole environment helps you think big in the Big Apple. It helps you to take the leap towards your goals.
What has your experience in New York been like?
The coursework has been so extensive, I have not been able to go around New York City much. But I come from a completely different culture, so the vitality of the city helps you to inculcate a sense of independence and grow personally as well as professionally.
What’s the Business Edge community like?
We’re working on case studies, so we work in groups and spend a lot of time working together. All the business students who are living on campus have been placed on the same floor in the same residence hall, so you get to know each other pretty well apart from the academic experience, which also helps you to meet other people and network with them.
Do you have a specific goal that you’re trying to reach?
I come from a business family, so my goals are more specific to being in business. This was an opportunity for me to view different aspects of business. It’s a simulated M.B.A. program for me where I can get a global view and prepare myself for the next business venture I encounter.