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Undergraduate | BPE in Practice: Shivangi Khanna

Shivangi Khanna, BPE '17

Tell us a little about yourself.

I was born in New Delhi, India but mostly grew up in New Jersey. Neither of my parents had attended a U.S. college, so I was the first in my family to go! Outside of work, I love spending time with my friends and family, dancing at concerts, planning trips to meet friends abroad (many met while traveling during BPE!), running, yoga classes, and journaling about my adventures. In the winter, you can catch me on the ski slopes or hibernating in my apartment with a book. 

What is your current professor role?

MBA Candidate at Harvard Business School (Class of 2024)

Could you walk me through your career trajectory?

I began my career on the Institutional Rates Sales desk at JPMorgan, as a sales trader for G10 bonds and interest rate derivatives. This role heavily utilized learnings from our macroeconomics and geopolitics classes. Wanting a more direct impact on financial inclusion and fintech, I then joined Partnerships at Better Mortgage, where my work spanned operations/relationship management, business development, and corporate development. Most recently, I moved to the Strategic Finance group at Better, before my acceptance to start at HBS this fall. 

What stands out to you most about your BPE experience?

The experiences! At nineteen, I was touring the Skoda car factory in Prague with the Dean of the Undergraduate College and sitting in the meeting room of the European Commission in Brussels. Talking about cross-border manufacturing and multinational organizations is one thing; walking through them is wholly another. Also, the academic experience itself is truly unique. I came into undergrad unsure if I wanted to double major in Political Science & Economics, but I also sought a global maybe I'd try Foreign Policy & International Trade instead...but I also wanted to minor in Computer Science, but I also thought maybe I should go to an undergraduate business school...and I definitely wanted to prioritize studying abroad. As convoluted as that amalgamation of interests sounds, BPE actually let me do all of that while pushing me out of my comfort zone to try even more than I'd planned. 

What advice would you give to current BPE students?

Take a breath, and take it all in. Stern can feel overwhelming with recruiting seemingly starting the moment you walk in the door — but careers are much longer than your first gig, and if you take advantage of it, the school can give you both the space and the resources for self-discovery in learning about what you actually care about vs. what others tell you to prioritize. If you are curious about understanding the world beyond your bubble, BPE presents an unprecedented opportunity to grow and evolve — not just academically but fully as a leader capable of complex and nuanced thinking, with deep empathy for worlds and cultures unfamiliar to yours, to embrace energy and curiosity around uncomfortable environments and conversations, and become the next version of yourself. 

How have you found the BPE community, both as a student and now as an alumna?

People matter more than anything else. The Stern community spreads so far and wide across industries throughout the globe, and I've been continuously awed by not only the willingness but the excitement to engage with younger alums. However, it can be easy to feel drowned in the sea of students. BPE takes a community to an astonishingly high standard. Think about it: we all have this strange shared experience with its own set of challenges and beautiful moments that don't exist in the same way at any other university in the country (NYC + Europe + Asia?!). Because the community is small (but powerful) and the arc is unique, the empowerment from peers and alum in BPE is that much greater. I can cold-email any BPE alum in any industry anywhere in the world (but I likely won't have to, because chances are someone I know already knows them — it's that small of a world), and I know I'll have someone truly invested in my success. It began with the mentorship program, where the class 2 years ahead of mine created an informal program, with pairings based on our backgrounds and plans for careers ahead. My 'mentor' remains one of my closest friends to this day, and some of my best friends from college, in general, are actually older and younger BPE alums, not just my own peers.

Shivangi Khanna

Shivangi Khanna