Vandna Mehta

Master of Science, Project Management

Three words encapsulate your Northeastern University experience:

Honesty | Courage | Commitment

Getting a degree while life is happening isn’t always easy. What are some of the challenges you faced and how have you overcome them?

In every group assignment, the diversity of thought and priority presented a unique challenge. Getting a small team of four to six people to align on a task called for a high level of patience and a willingness to adjust from everyone involved. The essence of managing such dynamics isn’t merely about finding a common ground but also about celebrating the different perspectives that each team member brings to the table. This understanding has become integral to my approach to project management. Technical skills are essential, but the ability to navigate the complexities of human relationships is what makes a project manager truly effective. I learned to listen actively, communicate with intent, and lead with empathy. These skills are not just beneficial; they are essential for any project to succeed. As I step forward into my professional career, I plan to apply these principles universally, knowing that the success of a project hinges as much on the strength of the team as it does on the clarity of the project plan. This holistic approach, which balances technical prowess with interpersonal acumen, is what I believe will define my success as a project manager in the years to come.

What has your journey at Northeastern University revelated to you about yourself?

Soft skills, often underrated, turned out to be the unsung heroes of my learning experience. Communication, leadership, empathy – these aren’t just nice words; they are the oil that keeps the engine of project management running smoothly. I learned that to inspire teams, you must first connect with them genuinely, something I intend to make a staple of my project management style moving forward. This program has reshaped my identity in both personal and professional realms. It has instilled a belief in lifelong learning and a confidence that comes from stepping out of your comfort zone. It has also solidified my professional philosophy as a project manager: be the calm in the chaos, the clarity in the complexity, and the direction in the disarray.

What advice do you have for others considering higher education, either at Northeastern or elsewhere?

My advice is to dive in wholeheartedly. Education is more than a set of courses; it’s a catalyst for transformation. Be prepared to work hard, be open to learning, and be ready to grow not just as a professional but as a person.

What are your final reflections?

Looking back at 2022, I am amazed by how a single year can shape a decade. It’s astounding how, after years of routine, a single decision can pivot your life’s trajectory in such a meaningful way. Our education is not just a testament to past efforts but also a foundation for our future endeavors. Let’s be bold in our ambitions, kind in our interactions, and unwavering in our commitment to excellence.

Connect with Vandna: LinkedIn