The INSEAD Q+A
Tejesh used the opportunity of studying at INSEAD’s Singapore campus to visit Thailand, China, India and Vietnam
Tejesh Mistry graduated from New York University with a Bachelors in Economics and Political Science with minors in Finance, Accounting, and Spanish in 2002.
He spent five years working with the Big Four accounting firm Ernst & Young before embarking on the INSEAD MBA to take his career in a different direction. We caught up with Tejesh ,who graduated from INSEAD in 2008, to find out what opportunities his MBA opened up to him.
Where did you grow up?
I’m from California. I lived there until I left for college in New York.
You studied two majors and three minors at college. Was this usual?
When I went into college, I already had almost a year of college credits that I could transfer so I went on to study courses I was really interested in. It was very intense but I didn’t expect anything different. NYU is very competitive so I wanted to make the most of it.
Did you always have an interest in financial services?
No, I wanted to be a lawyer but I discovered I didn’t like the field. When I did my summer internship with Arthur Andersen in 2001, I discovered that I liked finance so I made the switch.
Can you tell us some of the highlights of working with Ernst &Young?
I was at Ernst & Young for five years and in that period I got the chance to work with major consulting firms all over the world. My role was in the Business Risk Services group so I performed a great deal of auditing and compliance work for firms. I really got to see all sorts of operations. You don’t get that kind of opportunity every day.
Why did you decide to go for an MBA?
I really wanted to leave my comfort zone at Ernst & Young and try something new. I did a lot of thinking and researching, I talked to friends and colleagues and decided that the best way forward was the MBA.
Why the INSEAD MBA?
The first thing I considered was that I did not want to go on a two year programme because a lot of the course work on those is similar to what I did during my undergraduate years. Secondly, being in an international environment was very important to me. I knew the INSEAD MBA would give me a chance to study abroad and that's what happened! I spent four months in Singapore which was fantastic. Singapore is a very different world as compared to being at Fontainebleau. Education-wise, it was no different but I used the opportunity of being in Asia to travel to Thailand, Vietnam, India and China.
Can you recall a favourite memory from your time on the MBA?
Its difficult to pick one. On the social side, the daily interactions with people from different backgrounds and learning about so many cultures and traditions during nationality weeks was just amazing. I’ve kept in touch with classmates and professors and we host regular alumni reunions. Its incredible to think of the vast network created out of 12 months of school.
How much have the courses you took on the MBA translated into your professional life?
The things I learned from the MBA such as soft skills, presentation skills and working as part of team have translated fairly directly to my jobs post-MBA. In the sense that my jobs have been like being thrown into case studies that reflect very strongly what I learnt at b school which is fantastic overall.
You’re now at Burberry? How is working for this luxury brand different from being at Ernst and Young?
Today is actually my first day on the job at Burberry! My position is regional internal audit manager and I’m based in New York. I’m going to be very involved in steering committees and making changes to the company’s business strategy. I’m really excited to be here because the company is growing like crazy! I’m also excited to be one of those people making sure Burberry’s future is open and sustainable.
More about students, alumni and programmes at INSEAD here
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