Alumna making waves at MIT

Being selected for one of the most prestigious management training programmes in the world has been a unique experience for engineering alumna Priyanka Shekar.

Priyanka Shekar is the only student representing New Zealand and one of just a handful of women participating in the Sloan Fellows Program.

Priyanka has been a student of the Sloan Fellows Program at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Sloan School of Management since June, where she is the only student representing New Zealand and one of just a handful of women.

Priyanka says that the programme, which began earlier this year, has been a life-changing experience. Due to Covid-19 Priyanka conducted the first term of the programme online from Auckland and flew to Boston in September to study on campus.
“In these times of global unease, I’m humbled to have the opportunity to learn and collaborate with a cohort of 100 global leaders representing 40 countries to tackle ‘wicked edgy problems’ as they are termed at MIT Sloan.”

The alumna graduated from the University of Auckland in 2007 with a Bachelor of Engineering in Electrical and Electronics Engineering with First Class Honours. She then studied a Master of Arts in Music, Science and Technology at Stanford University and in 2018 she was named a University of Auckland 40 Under 40 winner.
This year Priyanka was offered an MIT Dean’s Fellowship to recognise her outstanding personal achievements and potential as a woman in technology leadership.

Priyanka is helping to transform the entertainment technology space within MIT in her role as Sector Practice Leader for the Creative Arts with the Martin Trust Center for MIT Entrepreneurship. She has been tasked with stimulating MIT’s creative ecosystem for entrepreneurship and innovation. Her career goal is to transform the entertainment technology space for health and lifestyle devices, taking devices like smart watches and earbuds to the next level.

“MIT is the birthplace of BOSE audio and surrounded by Boston’s world class media technology and medical technology companies, this is the perfect setting for me to lead this crossover for social good...There are many fellow entrepreneurial leaders and my differentiation in music technology expertise has already sparked academic and commercial collaborations.”