Name: Mauli Shukla ‘10
Major: Individualized: South Asian Studies
Current Job Title: User Experience Lead
Tell us a bit about your life and career since graduation. How did you get your first job? How did you navigate to where you are now? Where do you live?
My life and career since graduation has been an unpredictable rollercoaster ride taking me through multiple different journeys that have led me to where I am now. I leveraged Craigslist to find my first few gigs in NYC that spanned across teaching Hindi, writing for an entertainment blog, assisting in Marketing efforts for a TV company, and also doing Public Relations for South Asian artists in North America. Ultimately, a role as Programming Assistant at a globally renowned television network evolved into a managerial role which helped me gain expertise in research, marketing, customer experience, and the evolution of technology in TV. That experience motivated me to go to graduate school for Human-Computer Interaction in the city of Chicago and jump-started my career in User Experience & Product Strategy, which brought me back to NYC.
Why did you choose your major and minor?
I had an interest in learning about all facets of my ancestor's culture, which encouraged me to delve into the depths of South Asian language, religion, history, arts, literature, etc.
How would you describe your greatest personal or professional accomplishment since graduating from Rutgers?
I've had the ability to quickly progress in my career, getting into leadership roles that have impacted the direction of global organizations. Personally, the experiences I've had living in large cities across the states has changed the way I perceive and interact with the world.
How has your arts and sciences education at Rutgers benefited you? Is there a particular course, professor, or experience that was most meaningful? Please describe.
The beauty of an arts and sciences education is that it's an innate part of what makes technology what it is. As a User Experience professional and product strategist, it is important for me to understand human behavior; what motivates people, challenges them, and influences them. Having the ability to learn Psychology, Political Science, and South Asian Studies at Rutgers gave me insight into the history of human behavior which influences my way of thinking to this day. A particular class in Islamic Law gave me insights into the why behind the what, which has stuck with me. It's important to understand "why" people do what they do, or "why" things are the way they are in order to truly understand the challenges present and offer appropriate solutions.
What advice can you offer to School of Arts and Sciences undergraduates about how to successfully connect their education in arts and sciences to their lives and careers after college?
First and foremost, establish what your objectives are and what you are trying to achieve. Then recognize the many different transferable skills you have learned while learning about specific topics that will help you meet your objectives. Endless hours studying will prepare you to be patient as companies are stagnant in making decisions. Presenting in front of your peers will be useful in advocating for your ideas in a meeting. Making friends on a campus with thousands of people will prep you for all the networking you have ahead of you.