Saakshi Gupta (M.S. '15)
Since Saakshi attended Carnegie Mellon University for her undergraduate degree, EST&P was an easy transition for her to make. Saakshi was initially interested in the EST&P program because it is interdisciplinary and could therefore best prepare her for a professional career. She also chose this Master’s program because it allows students to take classes outside of EST&P, such as courses in the Engineering and Technology Innovation Management (E&TIM) program which count toward the degree requirements. One of the valuable parts of Saakshi’s education at CMU has been her ability to take classes outside of the College of Engineering. Her favorite classes include the EST&P core class Energy Policy and Economics, the E&TIM class on finance, and Energy Finance at the Tepper business school. Energy Policy and Economics taught her how to explain her opinion on key issues in the energy sector. Her finance course allowed her to apply problem solving to real work situations with many case studies. Energy Finance enabled Saakshi to network and engage in discussion with local industry representatives.
Another valuable part of Saakshi’s experience both at CMU and as part of the EST&P program has been the opportunity to contribute to interdisciplinary teams. In this way, she has made connections with students of all backgrounds and learned from a wide range of perspectives. Outside of academics, Saakshi has been extremely involved in CMU. As an undergraduate student, she worked as a research assistant for a professor at the Tepper business school. She also worked as a teaching assistant and as a Junior Staff Writer at the Tartan student newspaper. As a graduate student, Saakshi assisted the EST&P program as a Co-Editor of an online, bi-weekly energy newsletter and as a Communications Intern.
Now that Saakshi is preparing to graduate, she feels that she has definitely strengthened her understanding of both engineering and business, gaining credibility with an advanced degree. Saakshi recommends that future EST&P students seek out project opportunities with an engineering professor on a relevant technical topic. She reminds students that the semester can quickly become overwhelming, so it is best to explore possible project options in the first few weeks after orientation. Technical projects allow students to gain insight on topics that are especially of interest to them but which they may not be able to examine in class. Upon graduation, Saakshi is interested in an energy consulting position that will allow her to apply her data analytics skills to the energy field.