“During the first hour of my first class in biotechnology, I came up with a new idea for a product while brainstorming with the professor and other students.”
Jalpa Anjaria, EMTM’09
Jalpa Anjaria, EMTM’09
Building a Diary of New Business Ideas
In 1998, Jalpa was providing information technology consulting services as an independent consultant when Bell Atlantic offered to give her a contract. That year, she founded SYNERGii Corporation and serves as its president today. At the time of SYNERGii's inception, she had several technical certifications and a BS in Computer Science, but little to no formal business education. "Running a small business means you're constantly learning on the job and I've pretty much worn every hat here, from operations to accounting to marketing to human resources."
At SYNERGii, Jalpa makes sure clients are well integrated with new technologies, which means that she needs to be abreast of the latest developments herself. "Over the years I've made it a point to keep on top of current technology through certifications, but I was ready for a fulltime program. At first I was interested in an engineering degree, and then I discovered that EMTM would offer me many different paths to explore. I liked that I could pursue all my interests instead of focusing solely on one area." She also liked the fact that as an alumna of the program, she would be able to keep up-to-date by attending technology seminars in the future.
At the same time, Jalpa wanted to grow her company and knew that she would need a stronger business education to become a strategic partner to her clients. "You can learn management skills on the job, but at some point you need the full immersion of a degree program," she says. "At EMTM, there's a synergy between subjects that makes sense. You're likely to see the same themes running through classes on decision models, marketing and biotechnology."
Jalpa visited the campus and was struck by the quality of the faculty and the relevance of the classes to her own experience. With a three-year-old child at home, she also liked the program's structure that would allow her to work, study and spend time with her family.
Since she started the program, Jalpa has continued to be impressed with her professors' enthusiasm and innovative teaching methods. "During the first hour of my first class in biotechnology, I came up with a new idea for a product while brainstorming with the professor and other students," and, she says, she continues to find new ways to bring the program back to the office. "These professors are not just talking about theory but ideas they have put into practice. During a class visit before entering EMTM, I attended the Negotiations class and was able to apply my knowledge to a contract I was negotiating with a major company. Discussions about pricing in my classes have made me more aware of the environment and macroeconomics surrounding my business and how I price our services." Jalpa has been keeping a diary of all the new ideas and products she's been exposed to in the program and she is looking for ways of implementing these concepts in her company.
In the longer term, she is confident that the network she's developing at EMTM will continue to benefit her career and her clients. Meeting students from a variety of backgrounds is helping her to figure out new ways of reaching industries her company is not yet serving. "There's a whole realm of opportunities I didn't have before access to both Penn Engineering and Wharton alumni, resources and ideas that will help the company grow."