Born and raised in India, Mona Bagga studied at the National Institute of Fashion Technology, from which she launched a successful career in the fashion industry.
For the past decade she has worked for international brands such as Tommy Hilfiger, and most recently was Head of Merchandise and Retail Planning at Calvin Klein in India.
“I experienced very fast-paced growth in my career, and was very excited to work in the industry,” she says. “But I thought I might hit a glass ceiling, as I was very skilled in one particular area, and wanted to broaden my skill-set.”
Having secured a place at Cambridge to study for an MBA at the Judge Business School, Mona had a choice of Colleges.
“I wanted to build a community which was separate from my MBA. I lived in graduate accommodation in Morley House, and Homerton became a real sanctuary for me. In the Lent term, which was completely in lockdown and taught remotely, we had our bubble and access to Homerton’s outdoor space. I have wonderful memories of playing frisbee on the lawn and studying in the orchard. I had space to be myself.”
The course itself provided opportunities ranging from practical internships to volunteering with start-ups, working alongside students from 38 different countries and a diverse range of sectors.
“It’s very collaborative, and gives you a platform to learn from.”
The knowledge and experience gained through the MBA has equipped Mona for a change of direction within the fashion world, and she is now preparing for a move to Berlin, to take up a new position in e-commerce.
But, perhaps unusually for an MBA graduate, her College affiliation is just as strong as her attachment to the Judge.
“I have the comparison of the rest of my MBA cohort, a lot of whom felt they missed out on the College experience. I had to quarantine for 14 days after arriving from India, and Homerton was so accommodating and welcoming. I’m thrilled to be part of the Homerton community.”