About Me

Hometown: Bhubaneswar, India
Current Position: Principal, PTC, Inc.
Previous University: Utkal University
Undergraduate Degree: Mechanical engineering
Q: What motivated you to pursue a graduate certificate in corporate finance?

A: I'm a principal at PTC, a computer software and services company, and I focus on in-house implementation and support of IT solutions for corporate finance. In other words, I produce systems for our finance department that generate financial statements, forecasting, and so on. So I'm more on the data side of things, but I think that having a better understanding of the reasoning behind the data will make me better at what I do, as well as open up the doors to a bigger role in financial technology—fintech—in the future.

Q: Why did you choose Northeastern?

A: I live in Boston, and having an on-campus experience was really important to me. In this stage of my career, with almost 15 years of experience, I knew it would be especially beneficial to interact with professors and classmates in person.

Of the schools I was looking at, Northeastern was the only one that offered the graduate certificate option, which would allow me to take four courses in a fairly short amount of time. I had been contemplating getting a master's degree in finance for a really long time, but with full-time work and family commitments, I hadn't been able to make it happen. Starting with the milestone of a graduate certificate, with the option to carry credits forward into a future master's degree, gave me the confidence to get started. I knew that if I needed to, I could take a break between the certificate and the master's, and that made it feel more doable.

Q: Have you been able to apply your learnings on the job?

A: One of my courses, Financial Strategy, covered topics I deal directly with in my work. The professor was amazing. We learned how to evaluate companies based on the financial numbers and then make business decisions from a financial point of view: should they purchase more shares from the market? Should they diversify, or merge with another company? My current position is on the data side of things, but learning to understand those decisions helped me understand how the data I generate is ultimately used by our finance department.

Q: What part of the certificate experience has been most valuable to you?

A: The professors are excellent, and they design their courses to reflect what's happening right now in the real world of finance. We've had lots of discussions about how COVID is affecting the economy, and a course I'm taking now explores the impact of COVID on real estate prices. The courses are relevant to the current moment, and offer so much more than what a textbook alone can teach you.


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