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A writer at heart, strategist by mind, and storyteller through and through, FLAME alumna Taanya Malhotra has harnessed her love for reading and writing since her early years. She channeled that love into filmmaking and advertising during her time at FLAME. Post her MS in Advertising from Boston University College of Communication, that love has taken the new age form. The Analytics Client Manager with Forrester now spins narratives around numbers. “Yes, my medium of choice may have shifted from words and visuals to charts and graphs, but the driving force is still telling compelling stories,” she admits.

Here’s Taanya narrating the story of her meandering path to her chosen career.

The ability to absorb, analyze and apply

At FLAME, Taanya chose Film and Television Management as her Major and won the Best Student Award for her specialization. All four years of her program, she was Dean’s Roll Of Honour and was actively involved in student activities that led to her personal and professional growth. But how did the prolific student years translate to professional life? “Things change in the industry at a rapid pace, so it’s not so much about the content of the classes we took, but the ability to absorb, analyze and apply any new content that is the most valuable learning of all. FLAME provided the space and structure through organizing student activities, annual fests, which developed leadership and accountability. These skills are valuable in any industry,” she explains.

Seeking new experiences

After her BBA, Taanya pursued her MS in Advertising in the US, where she received a partial scholarship. She went to London for a short stint before returning to the US, where she has built a solid career. Her transition to being a global student and professional has been seamless. “When I joined FLAME, I was thrown into a completely new world, with new people, new experiences, and newfound independence. Studying an eclectic mix of courses with students from different backgrounds helped me unbox my thinking and stay flexible in any situation. This also led me to seek out new experiences outside the comfort of home,” she adds thoughtfully.

Balancing the act between diverse professional cultures

Having built her career overseas, Taanya has spotted differences in work cultures, which she finds attractive, inconvenient, and amusing. According to her, even email etiquette and out-of-office notes in different countries can be a hilarious yet telling comparison. “Coming from India, there were cultural shifts too. Higher respect for work hours and weekends in the US was refreshing, but the even firmer emphasis on work-life balance and separation of the two in Europe was interesting to observe. That said, skills like critical thinking, communication, and learning how to learn (and unlearn!) transcend geographical boundaries in terms of their value in the professional world,” she ends, summarizing her experience as a global professional.