Innovator Article

Prerana Joshi Takes IT Expertise to Product Marketing
MBA Internship at Kellogg’s Offers First-hand Experience

Prerana Joshi started the Full-Time MBA program set on establishing a career in IT management. She brought a background in software development, and had worked four years for FICO, ANZ Bank and IBM in Bangalore, India.

But courses in strategy and marketing management, and a market research project she completed for the Tahoe Institute for Rural Health Research during her second quarter at the School, changed everything.

Now Joshi is focused on a future in product management and marketing. She’s open to working in a variety of industries, including technology and consumer packaged goods. An internship at the Kellogg’s facility in Walnut Creek, Calif., is giving her first-hand experience in marketing and product management in the consumer packaged goods industry.

Joshi graduated with honors from the University of Rajasthan in Jaipur with a bachelor of engineering in computer science. She’s come to realize that she is more interested in front-line product management than developing software code solutions on the back end.

“I think it’s very interesting how product managers identify profitable opportunities that will meet market needs,” Joshi says. “The most interesting part is managing the behavior side of your customer.”

Most recently at FICO, the credit score company, Joshi customized a software program for one of her customers, figuring out what they needed and writing the code to allow it to work on the customer’s system. As an applications developer at IBM, she helped create an online portal to allow her client, a health insurance company, to better manage customer information.

During her time at ANZ Bank, she designed and developed solutions that generate FICO scores for six million customers of ANZ, and she trained 16 engineers on a mainframe testing tool that increased the productivity of the team by more than 10 percent.

Joshi hopes to be a mentor in the workplace and is learning from two mentors as she earns her MBA. She helped launch a mentorship program with the School’s MBA Marketing Association and serves as the program’s vice president. The program matches GSM alumni who work in marketing with current students interested in the field. The program has 18 first-year MBA students and 20 mentors. Joshi also is the director of marketing for the Women in Leadership club.

In India, Joshi volunteered for two years with NGO Family Services, helping raise money for orphaned children. She came to the U.S. to join her husband, who earned his master’s degree in engineering at San Jose State University and stayed in California for his career.

Joshi is sharpening her management and leadership skills at the School, and wants to be in a position to drive innovation after earning her MBA.

“Everyone at the School is so helpful and so connected,” she says. “This is a great resource. I’m applying everything I learn here at my internship at Kellogg’s. I see how it is making an impact. It has changed the way I look at things.

“As a software developer and as a solution consultant, my thinking was more limited. Now I see a bigger picture, including how the supply chain and marketing work in sync. My understand-ing has completely changed.”