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Featuring: Sudeepta Mohapatra


I grew up in a south-eastern state in India called Odisha. I graduated in agricultural science and as fate would have it, I landed in the energy sector, trading electricity. Since then, I have lived in ten different cities through three different countries over the past twelve years. I am fluent in English, Hindi, Odiya, Bengali (basic) and currently, I am planning on learning French.


I enjoy adapting to new environments. Because of engaging with clients from around the world, working alongside various project managers, engineers, consultants and multiple stakeholders in the public and private sectors, I have developed strong negotiation and mediation skills. I have an innate passion to tackle complex challenges through collaborative teamwork. I have successfully generated ideas and collaborated with interdisciplinary groups on several occasions.


Why did you choose an MBA at Haskayne and what do you hope to do with your MBA in the future?

I have around ten years of work experience in the energy sector across various segments (utility, trading, regulatory and consulting) and various functional roles, which makes me particularly excited about the specialization in “Global Energy Management and Sustainable Development” that Haskayne MBA offers. It perfectly aligns with my career both in terms of my background as well as my future goals. My long term career goal is to be a successful energy sector professional in leading roles within organizations where using the well-trodden framework of an MBA; I would be able to advance sustainability principles focusing on the intersection of sustainability, business ethics and success.


The global energy industry is continuously undergoing profound changes and to prosper as a professional, I would require more skills and knowledge. I hope to harness my motivation, technological ingenuity and managerial skills through this program. My fascination with business, direct interaction with clients, strategic overview and the view of a company as a provider of products and services that meet customer needs has motivated me to move from technical roles to business positions. I must learn skills related to finance, regulations, marketing and strategic planning, in order to effectively engage in the entire process of business innovation.


In addition, Haskayne’s strategic location in the state of Alberta, the networking opportunities offered by a strong and established alumni base and the excellent support in the recruiting process make it a strong advantage for students aspiring for a promising career in business.


How has COVID-19 affected your life personally and professionally?

Just like with all of us, Covid-19 has affected my life too, in various ways like restriction in movement, socialising etc. Professionally, however, the effect felt has not been anything out of the ordinary. Work did move to the virtual medium quite seamlessly. On the personal front in the other hand, my travel plans got cancelled. My family lives in India and I was supposed to visit them this summer after nearly two years. With the Covid-19 situation only worsening there, I feel clueless about when I will be able to see them next.


How do you think COVID-19 will affect your MBA experience at Haskayne?

There is no denying that a great deal of learning in an MBA comes from the everyday contact with peers. This includes learning about your classmates’ cultures, aspirations, strengths, and even finding out how it is to work in an industry you may not be familiar with. Natural interactions also happen during extracurricular activities, such as sports events, MBA competitions, TED-style talks, networking events and even the weekend trips. These are all great opportunities to learn more about yourself and experiment new things, that will push you out of your comfort zone. Unfortunately, the current circumstances have limited these social interactions. The visa and travel restrictions could also mean a less diverse class.


However, I expect to eventually experience an on-campus learning environment, even if I cannot do so right away, perhaps by the start of 2021. Technological innovation has meant virtual meetings can be run as smoothly as if you were meeting face-to-face. So, all-in-all, I am hopeful for a good balance between on campus and virtual learning.

Is there anything that you would like anyone reading this post to know about you?

I take keen interest in socio-cultural issues, especially gender based. I started blogging recently and my blogs, short stories and poetry have appeared on some popular digital journals in India like Women’s Web, Momspresso, Artoonsinn, Penmancy and Speaking Tree. My first ever short story won the “Orange Flower Award” in 2018, a national award in India to recognise emerging creative women in the digital media.


I am a seeker, which is why I keep exploring. I have travelled to ten countries so far, through twenty states in India, and fifteen in the USA. I am a nature addict and if after work, I am not caught up with a good book or some gripping web series, I would be chasing the sunset. I do yoga and love to go hiking. I also enjoy trying different recipes in my kitchen. I am an Indian folk dancer and have participated in group performances on stage in the community events.

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