Shabarni Sengupta: “I’m always looking for new challenges”

After working as a computer engineer for a few years in India, her country of origin, Sharbani decided to explore new horizons. She decided to study in France and enrolled at the SKEMA Business School in Nice. Now living in Germany, this ambitious woman tells us about her key moments, her challenges and her successes during her expatriate journey.

This program was closely related to what I wanted to do

Can you describe your academic and professional background?

I was born and raised in a very small town in eastern India. I worked in India for three years as a computer engineer, developer and in a technofunctional role. I then decided to go abroad for my studies to learn more about the practices outside of India and gain knowledge in another country. I went to France and enrolled in the one-year training program “Business Consulting and Information Systems Management” offered by the SKEMA Business School in Nice.

This program was closely related to what I wanted to do (consulting, trading, etc.) and was not limited to information technology. Following this training, I completed an internship in France in the field of strategy and process consulting and then continued to practice there in this function. After four years in France, I moved to Germany, where I currently live.

Initially, my profile focused mainly on engineering, business consulting and information systems management. After that, I went more in the direction of strategy consulting, innovation, process consulting, project management, change management, etc. These are my main areas of work.

I am also a trainer for certifications such as PMP (Project Management Professional), Change Management, Knowledge Management, CAPM (Certified Associate in Project Management), Scrum Master, Agile etc.

What do you think of your experience at SKEMA Business School? What were the main benefits of the program?

Overall it was a great experience. Coming from a very multicultural country like India, I’m used to being surrounded by many cultures. But European culture is very different: the working methods, the camaraderie that everyone shows… I have undoubtedly made many positive discoveries from a cultural point of view.

I also dance and am very interested in art and culture. I also like meeting new people, learning from others… And SKEMA Business School offers countless opportunities to do all this thanks to the different clubs and communities.

The program was also very international. This allowed me to meet people from all over the world. It was very interesting for me because I could learn from French people, but also from people from the United States, Latin America, Asia, different parts of Europe… SKEMA Business School gave me this opportunity.

From a pedagogical point of view, I was impressed by the competence of the teachers. Your teaching methods have inspired me a lot.

I also really appreciated that the program was very dense and that a lot of knowledge had to be acquired in a short time. This program was a perfect fit for me because I like to learn at a very dynamic pace. I also liked the variety of subjects, which offered an excellent overview of the business world. The program was very well structured.

I am proud to be able to apply most of the knowledge I gained at SKEMA Business School. I think it’s very rare. I was able to benefit from an excellent return on investment.

I am currently leading many strategic projects

Can you tell us something about your current job?

I am currently working as a consultant in Munich. I work for various companies specializing in retail customers, production customers and training.

I work in project management for one of the customers. On the other hand, I work in strategy, process and innovation consulting. And for the latter, I work as a strategy consultant.

I am currently leading many strategic projects, which is very interesting: what actions to take after a business analysis, how information technology can bring companies many additional leads, how to ensure the correct implementation of a strategy by the operational teams…

In your opinion, what are the main differences between France and India in terms of leadership culture?

Although I’ve been pretty lucky with the leadership culture in India, from what I’ve seen and heard there is still a degree of micromanagement and the need to prove yourself every day and work as many hours as possible.

Also, schedules in Europe are very flexible. In France and Germany, I have the impression that it doesn’t matter whether you have to leave the office for a few hours for a face-to-face meeting or whether you arrive a little later in the morning. In India it’s a bit more complicated. I don’t want to generalize, but personally I have felt a greater degree of flexibility and trust in Europe.

This program was a perfect fit for me because I like to learn at a very dynamic pace.

What do you think of your experience at SKEMA Business School? What were the main benefits of the program?

Overall it was a great experience. Coming from a very multicultural country like India, I’m used to being surrounded by many cultures. But European culture is very different: the working methods, the camaraderie that everyone shows… I have undoubtedly made many positive discoveries from a cultural point of view.

I also dance and am very interested in art and culture. I also like meeting new people, learning from others… And SKEMA offers countless opportunities to do all this thanks to the different clubs and communities.

The program was also very international. This allowed me to meet people from all over the world. It was very interesting for me because I could learn from French people, but also from people from the United States, Latin America, Asia, different parts of Europe… SKEMA gave me this opportunity.

From a pedagogical point of view, I was impressed by the competence of the teachers. Your teaching methods have inspired me a lot.

I also really appreciated that the program was very dense and that a lot of knowledge had to be acquired in a short time. This program was a perfect fit for me because I like to learn at a very dynamic pace.

I also liked the variety of subjects, which offered an excellent overview of the business world. The program was very well structured.

I am proud to be able to apply most of the knowledge I have acquired at SKEMA. I think it’s very rare. I was able to benefit from an excellent return on investment.

I am currently working as a consultant in Munich

Can you tell us something about your current job?

I am currently working as a consultant in Munich. I work for various companies specializing in retail customers, production customers and training. I work in project management for one of the customers. On the other hand, I work in strategy, process and innovation consulting. And for the latter, I work as a strategy consultant.

I am currently leading many strategic projects, which is very interesting: what actions to take after a business analysis, how information technology can bring companies many additional leads, how to ensure the correct implementation of a strategy by the operational teams…

In your opinion, what are the main differences between France and India in terms of leadership culture?

Although I’ve been pretty lucky with the leadership culture in India, from what I’ve seen and heard there is still a degree of micromanagement and the need to prove yourself every day and work as many hours as possible.

Also, schedules in Europe are very flexible. In France and Germany, I have the impression that it doesn’t matter whether you have to leave the office for a few hours for a face-to-face meeting or whether you arrive a little later in the morning. In India it’s a bit more complicated. I don’t want to generalize, but personally I have felt a greater degree of flexibility and trust in Europe.

Do you have any tips for students from abroad who are aiming for an international career?

I find it extremely important, especially when you come from outside, to have confidence in your own knowledge.

For example, during an interview, remember that the company is interviewing you because you have the skills and knowledge required. And if you’re hired, it’s because the company believes it can benefit from your talents. You have to remember that you deserve it.

And if it doesn’t work, it’s not a bug, just a mismatch. I think we should never see it as a failure.

In addition, I think it is important to make an effort to integrate into a new culture because we can benefit much more from it than if we limit ourselves to not trying to learn the language, interact or Finding friends… We can learn a lot from others and are enriched by it. You don’t just have to come, study, get good grades and find a job.

It always fascinates me to immerse myself in an international culture and to live in different countries.

Was it important to you to pursue an international career?

Absolutely. It always fascinates me to immerse myself in an international culture and to live in different countries. I love that. My mother often says that I’m like a bird that’s always flying and doesn’t know how to stay still!

I love to move and make the most of every new country. I hate comfort zones and always say I don’t like when things get too easy. That’s why I’m always looking for new and exciting challenges.

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