Perveen Gulati graduated Spring 2019 with a double major in Finance and Information Systems. Gulati served as one of the Center for Global Business’ student interns for three consecutive years and participated in several programs, both while working at the Center and independently. Gulati’s interview focuses on her experience participating in the Center’s programs, some of her work at the Center, and how her global journey helped her land a job with JP Morgan Chase in New York, NY.
CGB: How and when did you learn about the Center for Global Business and what drew you into our office?
Gulati: I first heard of the Center during Global Young Professionals Institute (Global YPI) my freshman year. We met at Riggs for a whole morning, we were introduced to the passport to global mindset, and that was the first moment I learned about the Center and what they offered.
CGB: How was your study abroad experience? Did you choose the destination or did you discover your destination along the advising process?
Gulati: I participated in two global mobility programs, one was during my sophomore year where I went to Dubai and Hong Kong for the winter, faculty-led, short-term program. I really enjoyed my experience there, particularly in Hong Kong, and returned to College Park with a strong desire to go back to Asia. At first, I was a little concerned with language barriers, so through some advising from the Center, I selected Singapore as the destination for my semester exchange. At this point, I was already working at the Center and this was the first year the Center did exchanges with Singapore, so it was a good opportunity for me to return to the continent of my choice, but also to bring back some valuable feedback to Center about the experience.
CGB: During your experience as an intern at the Center, you participated in many events and helped with many of our programs. Do you have one in particular that was most impactful?
Gulati: The RMIT hosted program is one that stands out in my head because I was very involved from the beginning until the conclusion of that program. This is probably the biggest project that I worked on, and it was a good experience because I learned to work with different professionals around the area. I also really enjoyed the experience when RMIT students were visiting because it was a different group than what I am used to; they were also all older and more experienced in their academic or professional careers, so I had some really good discussions from which I was able to learn.
CGB: During your undergraduate career, you’ve probably heard us talk about Global Mindset and the seven competencies that compose it. As a participant of our study abroad programs, which competency did you develop while abroad? What about as an intern for the Center?
Gulati: During my study abroad experiences, I would say I developed a tolerance of ambiguity. There were so many times, almost every day, where I was in a situation where I had to navigate unfamiliar circumstances with which I was not comfortable or did not have all the information to get around. Successfully undergoing those moments enhanced my tolerance of ambiguity and equipped me with the confidence to know that I can deal with unknown circumstances.
For on-campus opportunities, I would say cultural curiosity and global business savvy. The Distinguished Speaker Series in International Business (DSS) allowed me to elevate my curiosity and savvy by introducing me to several trending topics in international business. I particularly enjoyed how each DSS provided a general global business context, but also niche topics, so it was a good combination of both.
CGB: Tell us about your new position.
Gulati: I am currently finishing my training for JP Morgan Chase in NYC. I am a software engineer for the Global Technology Infrastructure team, which is quite fitting, and I am working with a platform that JP Morgan uses internally and across the world. My job will be to maintain and improve the system.
CGB: How was the interview process? Did you fold your experience abroad into the interview and do you consider it an asset in your candidacy for the position?
Gulati: Study abroad, or generally abroad experiences, were a topic of conversation in every single interview I had. I learned that it was an immediate conversation starter during the interviews, so I made sure to list my abroad experiences very close to the top on my resume. For JP Morgan Chase, it was a great coincidence that my interviewer also participated in a study abroad program in Hong Kong, so we immediately connected over that. I have to admit that prior to every interview I had, I would review language about the seven global competencies to incorporate into my interview because it really converted the benefits of study abroad into tangible assets for the position. As an example, two competencies that I emphasized, were tolerance of ambiguity and relationship building. Tolerance of ambiguity for the reasons mentioned above, and relationship building because I developed some great connections while abroad, but also the professional relationships I built as an intern for the Center.
CGB: What are the top skills or knowledge that you bring to your new position? For example, you played a major role in the organization of the Global Young Professionals Institute, do you see any connections to the experience you gained there to your current role?
Gulati: Biggest thing for me, and in particular during my senior year, was communication and outreach. Because of Global YPI and RMIT, I had to engage and coordinate with so many different professional entities that this experience elevated my communication skills and relationship building. I had the opportunity to practice both of these skills quite a bit during my time with the Center.
CGB: If you could impart some knowledge to current Maryland Smith students about study abroad, what would it be?
Gulati: Get started as early as you can. The earlier you start looking, even if you are not sure what you’re interested in, the better. There are many opportunities available, both abroad and on-campus, and starting early gives students more time to get familiar with the Center and more time to discover where they want to go. During your junior and senior years, students will be very busy with interviews and other projects. Furthermore, at that stage, students have less flexibility with what courses they must take prior to graduation, and all of this is important to keep in mind when planning to study abroad.
CGB: Where will you go next?
Gulati: I would love to work abroad for a year or two, so that is the next big challenge. It would be difficult to move to a different country, but I am excited about the idea and the challenge. If I had to pick a destination right now, I will choose Singapore!
This interview was conducted and recorded by Santiago Luna, coordinator, Center for Global Business.