Racking up skills is nothing new to our students, but MBA and Business Analytics Dual Degree student, Pallavi Sehgal, picks up new talents wherever she goes! A journey of grit and determination that has spanned the globe but is rooted firmly in her home state of Punjab, India—this is her story.
My family encourages me to spread my wings and see the world, travel—and follow my instincts.
Part One: Explore more
I was born and brought up in the Indian state of Punjab. I’ve lived all over India and now all over the world, but if there’s one place I had to say I relate to the most, it would be my birth town of Ludhiana.
I’ve always been excited by things that are a little out of my comfort zone, I feel that if it aligns with my goals then I must give it a try. I must explore more. And I’ve realized that the more you travel and explore, the more you are outside of your comfort zone, the more you grow.
It gives you a very different perspective. Suddenly you’re in a different environment, interacting with different types of people, your perspective and your views on the world change, and you grow more as a person. Sometimes the experiences are joyful. Sometimes they make you struggle. But in the end, you always feel that it added to your experience and knowledge.
One of the things that I’ve always appreciated is that my family has always, always supported me. Like, if I say that this is what I want to try, or I want to change my path—I’ll never be held back. Never having any resistance from your family is rare, but mine encourages me to spread my wings and see the world, travel—and follow my instincts.
I think my family would have been happiest if I chose to be a lawyer like my father.
Part Two: The easy life is not for me
I have an engineering background—I did my bachelor’s in computer engineering. I think my family would have been happiest if I chose to be a lawyer like my father. And I would have had a very easy life because I would have had a good foundation from him to build upon. Even now we have those discussions sometimes “It would have been so easy for you,” they say.
But I was always drawn to marketing, I always kind of knew that was the field I wanted to go into and I wanted to explore the possibilities. So, I did Global Business Operations at SRCC, Shri Ram College of Commerce, one of the most prestigious colleges of the University of Delhi, and got an overview of what global business is all about in terms of marketing, finance, and logistics.
From there I went on to work in the international marketing department of a manufacturing firm and worked on accounts like Walmart, JC Penny, Target before moving into e-commerce and heading up product marketing in fashion and wine verticals. That’s when I started exploring options for my next steps—luxury and a Global MBA.
For me, the fascination was never the luxury that you see, it was always the behind-the-scenes.
Part Three: A taste for luxury
There are three places you can go for luxury studies: France, Italy, or London. I went to POLIMODA,
which is in Florence, Italy and I did my Master’s in Luxury Business there.
Luxury has always appealed to me because of the business fundamentals. Luxury products are big sellers—that’s why luxury brands are some of the most profitable companies, even in a recession. But they create the illusion of exclusivity like you are one of the special few. That’s all strategy and branding. How do you take a bag and make it into an item that people start considering as an investment piece? What strategy did you employ for that? What exactly is the heritage that you build upon? For me, the fascination was never the luxury that you see, it was always the behind-the-scenes, asking the question: What makes a brand a luxury brand? It’s not just the price, it’s the heritage and the craftsmanship.
Part Four: Non-stop action
I went straight from my master’s in Florence to my MBA here in San Francisco. I felt now is the right time to take that leap, to launch myself into the global market.
My time here at Hult has been intense. I did my MBA and my Dual Degree in Masters in Business Analytics at Hult. For my MBA, I specialized in finance and rotated to London for my first summer and Boston for my second respectively. For my Dual Degree, I returned to San Francisco and now, after graduation, I’ve started working as Manager Business Analyst at Gilead Science Inc.
Being a bridge across various departments is an incredibly useful skill for a marketeer.
Part Five: Being the bridge
Having a grasp of business analytics seems like another change in direction but it actually compliments my career goals. Working in luxury fashion and particularly within the sphere of e-commerce, you need to be able to talk the language of the various technical departments that you interact with. Understanding data is kind of like speaking analysts’ language. I understand that omnichannel marketing is the future, and my skills are only going to become more valuable.
It’s the same working with creative people, like designers. When you’re on a project, you need to speak the creative language, to see which graphics work for the campaign or where to draw focus. Being a bridge across various departments is an incredibly useful skill for a product marketer.
It’s my nature to learn new hobbies and skills. The sense of achievement can’t be found anywhere else.
Part Six: The sky’s the limit
I have a content commerce platform where I post videos and discuss luxury brands and trends I’m noticing. The plan is to evolve it into a platform that blends e-commerce as well, where I gel the two things together.
The truth is, I just love expanding my skillset. It follows into my hobbies—I do yoga, I play tennis, and I run. I’ve even started climbing as well. It’s my nature to learn hobbies and new skills. The sense of achievement can’t be found anywhere else. My goal is to, every two years, learn something new. Aviation is one to keep an eye on, we’ll see if a pilot’s license is on the cards in 2025!
Connect with Pallavi on LinkedIn