Manisha Mehrotra
 

Manisha Mehrotra

Current Employer: Bloomberg
Title: Diversity and Inclusion Manager 
Hometown: New York, New York
Undergraduate School: University of Connecticut

I have learned from all my professors. They have taught content that I can directly apply professionally and they’ve inadvertently taught me things about myself.

What was your first impression of Cornell upon arrival?

I was struck by how warm everyone was. I expected people to be smart, focused, and interesting, which they all were; I did not expect people to be as warm and fun to be around. Everyone from the administrators to current students and professors to alumni were happy to engage and answer any number of inquiries that I sent their way.

Give one residential session survival tip.

My suggestion is to get to know your classmates as well as possible; they are the ones who know what you are going through and can be an incredible support (everything from helping with classwork to being there for you during difficult times to creating a strong professional network). I have learned a lot from my classmates, and have made friends for life.

Share one of your most memorable experiences.

A few weeks into the first semester, I had a death in my family and had to fly to India unexpectedly. My teammates/classmates and professors made sure that I was supported and had everything I needed before, during, and when I got back. I was surprised because at that point I had known my classmates for only a few weeks. They were incredibly supportive and offered their friendship in a way I did not expect for knowing them only a few short weeks.

Specifically, what makes the EMBA program unique?

The residential weekends and having the residential sessions in Ithaca are what make this program unique. I have really enjoyed getting to know my classmates and forming bonds with them over everything from statistics and debates about politics and current affairs to the World Series. Because class time is packed with coursework and learnings, outside of class is when I have gotten to know my classmates better and gotten more connected to the Cornell campus and brand.

Who is your favorite professor, and why?

I have learned from all my professors. They have taught content that I can directly apply professionally, and they’ve inadvertently taught me things about myself. One of my favorite and humbling lessons was by Professor David Juran. In his last class with us, Juran gave us a speech on living in the moment, reminding us that no matter how miserable, exhausted, and frustrated we might be feeling, there still are scores of people who would trade places with us, and more so—and we had been those people. Now that we are on the inside, we take every bit of opportunity and own our experience. That speech exemplified how much our professors care, and how much this experience means.

What is one must-do thing when you’re in Ithaca?

Explore the campus and experience the activities! Walk the trails, visit the libraries, eat ice cream from the Dairy Bar, enjoy free concerts, and check out the gorges. It’s a beautiful campus and visiting it makes you feel connected to Cornell no matter where you are in the world.

How do you strike a balance between school, work, and family?

Striking a perfect balance has been difficult for me and I can’t say that I have done it well. Instead, what I have come to peace with is that one out of the three takes the back seat depending on what needs to take priority. Exceeding in all three of these aspects has been tough; I have shaved off the amount I sleep, travel, and relax. However, I have made these sacrifices willingly and with pride. Managing all three aspects of my life is a lifelong skill that I will carry with me.

Post-graduation, what do you think you’ll miss most?

After graduation, there is no question that I will miss seeing my classmates. My classmates have made the program an incredible experience. I could learn the subject matter almost anywhere, but the people who have been with me and who I hope are always in my life are the ones I will miss the most. We have learned, stressed ourselves out, and laughed a lot together; they have been my support system. I know I will be in touch with many of them no matter what, but the reality is that people move, life happens, and it is not always easy to stay connected. Not seeing them every two weeks will be sad but I only wish everyone the best and can’t wait to see the incredible things that everyone will accomplish.