Rahul Prakash Pandey

MSc Environment and Development, 2011
Partner, Ace GMAT

I chose Environment and Development due to my interest in the topic. I was on study leave from my employer TATA Consultancy Services (TCS) while at LSE and re-joined them after my graduation. However, I shifted to environmental consulting based on my studies at LSE and was able to handle large accounts in North America at TCS. I then joined a private Indian bank, YES BANK and headed its environmental banking division for North and East India. My responsibilities included integrating environmental principles within the core banking ethos of the bank and using sustainability as a business driver.

I quit YES BANK to start my own venture, Ace GMAT. It is a start-up in the field of education based analytics and helps clients understand their core strengths and weaknesses for GMAT. My responsibilities include everything from creating an algorithm to developing solutions and then marketing it to prospective clients (and hunting for the clients!). I chose to start my own business because it has decent earning potential and also for the creative satisfaction of developing something tangible. I love the fun of developing one’s own tools, but the unpredictable working hours and lack of predictable cash flow can be challenging. My longer term goals are to help the company create a niche in the market and start a PhD.

In some ways, my career path has not developed as planned! Joining environmental consulting was my priority at LSE, and I was able to achieve that. However goals and aspirations evolve, hence the new venture; something that was not on my radar while at LSE.

Perhaps the most valuable experience of LSE is the confidence that it equips you with. LSE helped me to develop an analytical approach, to learn the habit of challenging any solution and improving on it, and the confidence of being able to benchmark with world class compatriots.

My advice would be to keep on learning new skills at LSE. The skills that I picked at SPSS gave me the confidence of being able to develop the algorithm I needed for Ace GMAT.

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Rahul Prakash Pandey