<p><span class="clear">Subbha Padmanabhan studies international finance and management at the Monterey Institute.</span></p>

Subbha Padmanabhan is an International MBA student at the Monterey Institute.  

A Journey of Serendipity: India to Monterey

February 3, 2014

Subbha’s career began when she earned her first master’s degree from Chennai University in computer applications.  This led to a job in software development management in India.  Subbha had always wanted to have “some sort of overseas learning experience,” and lucky for her this job included international travel. Over the years, she traveled on business to Japan, Singapore and the United States. 

Japan was her first trip abroad, and Subbha recalls knowing she “had gotten the first step right in terms of starting an international career.”  Visiting Japan, Subbha explained, was a “first for so many things.  I was in awe of everything I saw; they were so advanced in technology.”  But for all the differences she experienced, she also felt cultural similarities between Indian and Japanese culture.  For example, both have strong connections to their family’s previous generations, they have a similar language constructs and both have worked hard to build everything they have from scratch (India as a developing country and Japan recovering from WWII). But Subbha defends that her first trip to Japan “wasn’t life changing.  I get bored easily,” she explained, “so I have to keep growing.  I’m always ready to change, never resistant to change.”

"My trip to Japan was a first for so many things... but it wasn't life changing.  I get bored easily... I'm always ready to change, never resistant to change."

On her business trips (including one stint in the San Francisco Bay Area), she learned a lot more than when working in India.  At the client sites, she got to know international business practices, state of the art technology and learned intercultural skills while working with colleagues and clients from all over the world.  

Though successful in her career in software management, Subbha was eventually ready for something new.  She decided to switch paths and pursue another career in finance management and human resources. She enrolled in our Fisher International MBA program with a specialization in Finance and Management. 

Asked why she chose the Monterey Institute over hundreds of other MBA programs, Subbha answered, “Serendipity.  It was destiny, in a good way.  The courses offered are different [than other MBA programs], there’s a focus on intercultural communication and language.” Subbha told me about a paper she wrote for her International Cultural Communication course, about how companies can better address cultural challenges of working in other countries. “It is amazing to see people from so many different countries and cultures [at the Monterey Institute].  In class, you talk about particular topics and you see how they differ in each culture.  That’s very interesting to me.  It’s almost like going to each of those countries by just sitting here [in Monterey].”

"It is amazing to see people from so many different countries and cultures... It's almost like going to each of those countries by just sitting here [in Monterey]."

Now living in Monterey, she hasn’t lost her core value of always being “open to new things.”  In fact, just like many other world travellers, she insists on “taking life as it comes.” Not ironically, Subbha doesn’t have specific advice for aspiring international professionals. So let’s leave it at this: don’t plan everything. “Leave some things open, and keep growing continuously”. 

Fast Fact: 30% of students at the Monterey Institute are International; almost all have been abroad! Click here to find out more >>

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