Short summary about yourself
My name is Deepak Misra and I am 31 years old. I was born and raised in New Delhi, India and am currently living in Leuven (Belgium) with my wife Mala who is a doctor. At the moment, I am a Senior Associate at McKinsey & Company. Previously, I worked for Procter & Gamble (EMEA) based out of Belgium. When I am not working or travelling, I try to spend as much time as possible with friends and family.
Could you tell us more about your educational and professional background?
My interest in international business was sparked during the final year of my undergraduate studies in India. Despite available options in the banking sector, I wanted to supplement my quantitative skills with business acumen and, more importantly, get some international experience. I was attracted by the MIF programme’s flexibility which allows for taking a combination of quantitative finance and business courses. What tipped the scales for me was the highly international mix of people in the programme.
After completing the MIF, I joined Procter & Gamble in Belgium to build on the business fundamentals I obtained in the programme. I enjoyed working there for about four years across various departments (logistics, finance, internal consulting). Then I decided to take a break to step back and re-assess my career priorities and decided to pursue a MBA at INSEAD. Given my finance and business fundamentals obtained previously in the MIF programme, I chose to focus more on organisational behaviour and strategy while travelling across Asia and Europe.
As I wanted to continue my international trajectory and work in a fast paced environment after completing my MBA, I decided to join McKinsey & Company in their Brussels office, where I now advise senior executives in leading multinationals on their most pressing issues.
Why did you decide to pursue the MIF programme at the Amsterdam Business School?
I didn’t wanted to pursue the standard path out of India and move to the US, despite receiving offers from American universities. Instead, I decided to focus on Europe and made a decision matrix based on a number of factors, such as the MIF programme’s faculty, curriculum, the University’s reputation and accreditations, and its international exposure. I was attracted by the research conducted by Dr Stefan Arping and Dr Peter Boswijk, as well as the positive feedback received from alumni about the quality of education and post-education employment opportunities. Most importantly, Amsterdam has a very open culture which encouraged me to make a leap of faith.
You currently hold the role of MIF Mentor. Can you tell us more about it?
I have found the role of mentor very enriching and it’s a way of giving back to students what I myself got from MIF alumni during my own student days. It’s a privilege to hear stories from different students and their questions, which are sometimes similar to mine from when I was in the programme. My role is that of a catalyst in which I share my experiences and journey while encouraging students to make their own conscious choices in line with their long term goals.
I believe it helps some students that they can count on a neutral and unbiased opinion when coming across tough choices or dilemmas.
What was the highlight of your studies?
Leading the ABS team to victory in the Global CFA Investment Research Challenge in Netherlands and reaching 3 rd place in EMEA was a memorable experience. Five groups applied to represent the ABS, but Dr Stefan Arping picked one member from each and formed a truly multicultural and diverse team. We entered the competition to put our learning to practical use and get some exposure to the field in our spare time. It was a great experience working with uncertainty and people from very diverse backgrounds. We got a lot of support from the business school and alumni, which made the experience very memorable.
Who was your favourite professor?
Peter Boswijk, professor of financial econometrics, was very inspirational and logical in his approach. He was passionate about learning and advanced research as opposed to regular coursework. His final exam was the toughest of the whole programme.
How would you describe yourself in 3 words?
Adventurous, reliable and focused.
What is your favourite place?
Leuven for its peaceful and cosy environment where Mala and I spent a memorable three years.
What is your favourite sport?
What is your advice for potential MIF students?
Don’t limit your focus to short term gratification within the MIF programme, but leverage this opportunity to broaden your horizons, learn from your peers, hear their stories and lay foundations for a solid, international career. The MIF programme has been a critical junction in my journey, just as my other alma mater and employers have been. Most importantly, have fun!