How Dartmouth Program Enables Creative Career in Business - Nina Godiwalla

In Chapter 9 of 14 of her 2010 Capture Your Flag interview, "Suits: A Woman on Wall Street" author Nina Godiwalla answers "Why did you decide to leave business temporarily to study liberal arts and pursue a master’s degree at Dartmouth?"  After spending two years working in investment banking, Godiwalla decides to attend a Masters of Arts in Liberal Studies (MALS) at Dartmouth University to explore her creative side. Godiwalla makes this decision after taking a Myers-Briggs personality test to identify undeveloped interests. There she learns about relationships, people and understanding before deciding to move on to her MBA at the University of Pennsylvania's Wharton School.


Erik Michielsen: Why did you decide to leave business temporarily to study liberal arts and pursue a master’s degree at Dartmouth?

Nina Godiwalla: As an undergrad I studied finance, I went straight into investment banking, I worked in finance after that for a while and there was something about the business world that wasn’t completely fulfilling me and I couldn’t put my finger on it and, this is so hokey, but I actually, I did a personality test and I love the Myers-Briggs and I did a personality test and I was trying to figure out -- all my friends were going to business school a few years out of you work in -- you do investment banking especially and it’s like a two year program, it’s a feeder into business school.  And I was, you know I could’ve just filled out the application and I could’ve just gone but I felt like something was missing.

And so I was doing all these personality tests and trying to figure what is it that’s missing and oddly enough the personality tests were – I found what really resonated for me and a lot of the people their careers were completely different, they were psychologists, they were writers, they were -- there was something creative about what they were doing or it was something based off of people and a lot of the finance I was doing didn’t have that whole element of people and relationships and understanding and I knew that had to be integrated into my business world. I had a sense that I was going to business school afterwards but I wanted the option to say ‘Let me explore what I’m doing, let me explore this liberal arts that I looked into and if it ends up that I go to business school afterwards, great. If it ends up I have this completely different career and I find this dream, you know that’s great too.’