When clients first come to Divia Patodia, MSc IB CEMS ’16, with a problem, she needs to make sure they’re asking the right questions.
They may say they want to increase revenue for instance, but it’s up to Patodia to dig deep enough to figure out why that business’ revenue are low in the first place.
“I work with hundreds of customers, taking in all of these data points around what is their revenue, what is their problem, what have they done to fix it, why are they looking to change,” says Patodia, an Account Executive at Salesforce.
“I’m understanding the full picture of their business to be able to give them recommendations for a potential solutions.”
It’s the same approach she took with her family’s ophthalmology business, where she spent two years after her MSc developing a sales program and helping her parents revamp onboarding to increase revenue from value-as services that aren’t covered by insurance, like laser eye surgery.
She credits Ivey with teaching her how identify a company’s crucial problems, come up with solutions, and sift through those ideas to come up with the right one.
“It gives you that ability to critically think through a problem – what is the issue you’re having with the business now? Are you not functioning, are you not profitable? It allows you to get at the real sticking point behind the client’s ask,” she says.
Patodia joined the MSc CEMS program at Ivey hoping to get a leg up in her career, which initially pointed toward marketing.
Once there, she realized the technology space was a more accessible and exciting place to be.
“It was a complete mental shift from when I first started to when I ended in my Masters,” Patodia says.
Through the program, she was exposed to different industries, including logistics and tech, by working with companies including ABInBev, Microsoft, HP, Salesforce, and Dropbox during placements, cases and workshops. That helped her broaden her career scope and realize that the fast-paced tech sector was where she wanted to be.
“If you’re stuck and you don’t know where you want to go, or if you’re looking to make a career change, the MSc and CEMS combination is an incredible opportunity, and the duration is so short that it’s just a great rush of information and knowledge.”