Nothing Ventured, Nothing Gained

Chandni Rakshit (MBA, ’18), Corporate VP of Technology, New York Life Ventures 

Chandni (MBA, ’18) has some advice for aspiring business leaders: “Always say yes to opportunities to grow.”

Following her own advice has taken the young executive far in the financial services industry, both geographically and in terms of career advancement. After earning a BBA from Birla Institute of Technology in India, she took an operations management position with HSBC in San Francisco, eventually moving to New York and rising to Vice President of Digital and Business Development. Today, she’s Corporate Vice President of Technology for New York Life Ventures, the venture capital arm of New York Life—a position she landed right after graduating from Zicklin.

Chandni credits her mentor, a Baruch College alumnus and counsel for Citi, with propelling her into the latest phase of her career. “He encouraged me to pursue a full-time MBA to refresh my finance and technology skills,” she says. She calls the Zicklin program “transformational; it imparted skills and knowledge that are especially important for leadership roles in emerging technology in financial services.” Experiential program elements such as the Business Consulting Practicum capstone experience added to her confidence in applying management concepts in real-world situations.

Thanks to an MBA curriculum that integrates current, cutting-edge topics, including emerging technologies such as blockchain, artificial intelligence, and the Internet of things, Chandni was in high demand after graduation, with technology product management opportunities in marquee firms. She chose New York Life Ventures because “the overall corporate mission to help people achieve their financial goals, combined with Ventures’ entrepreneurial culture, resonated deeply with me.” She frequently applies lessons learned at Zicklin—particularly in Associate Professor Raquel Benbunan-Fich’s IT class—as she leads her team in reimagining and transforming the future of the insurance industry with technology.

Chandni is passionate about embracing new experiences outside of work as well. She enjoys traveling with her partner and trying new cuisines, and she gives back to her alma mater as an advisor to Zicklin Women in Business. “Mentorships and alumni networks are among Zicklin’s greatest strengths,” she says.