Alumni Spotlight: Sonia Kumar ’10 – A Life in Business Operations 

Alumni Spotlight: Sonia Kumar ’10 – A Life in Business Operations 

As part of our Alumni Spotlight Series, Gill St. Bernard's recently sat down with Sonia Kumar, a GSB Class of 2010 alum and president of the GSB Alumni Council, whose professional path has taken her from Mr. Taylor’s AP Computer Science class to the business operations of a global digital advertising company. 

What did you do immediately upon graduation from Gill St. Bernard’s?  

When I graduated from GSB, I knew I wanted to explore a new city and have exposure to a lot of different opportunities, and that philosophy has guided my decision making to this day.  

I was lucky to have traveled every year for the Spring Unit Program; however, one of the most memorable programs was Living on the Water. We traveled to Squam Lake in New Hampshire for a camping excursion and spent the second week on the Potomac River to work on an oyster boat. Living on the water for weeks without access to electronics and waking up in the middle of the night to a sky full of stars—they were the coolest experiences I’ve ever had. I knew I wanted to pursue a profession that would let me continue to see the world, while also letting me explore my newfound passion: computer science.  

My interest in technology began at Gill when I took my first computer science class and learned how to code BASIC. From there, I went on to take A.P. Computer Science with Mr. Taylor, and I became yearbook editor, which required that I learn how to use Photoshop and digital design techniques.  

With my desire to travel and my interest in technology, enrolling in the University of Southern California after high school, one of the furthest points from New Jersey, and pursuing a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration, Information, and Operations Management was a natural fit. 

What has your career path been like, and how did you end up where you are today? 

As my four years in California came to a close, I knew that my next step would be to return east and try out a very different dream: living in NYC. Through a GSB connection, I secured a job with PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) in their Digital Risks Solutions division. Consulting in technology with one of the Big Four accounting firms allowed me to travel across the country and to work with different sized companies across all segments of the industry. It was an incredible learning experience, and I absorbed so much about business processes across sectors and how different companies operate. 

After consulting for almost five years with PwC, a multinational organization of 300,000+ employees, it was time for the next experience. I accepted a position with Mighty Hive, Inc., a data and digital media consultancy startup, to improve their internal business operations and post-merger integrations. I was Mighty Hive’s 226th employee. 

At that time, Mighty Hive was in the midst of an acquisition spree, and now, after only four years of growth, I’m heading a 6-person international corporate integration team for the 9000+ person rebranded company, Media.Monks. My group is focused on integrating the people, processes, and technologies of the 20+ mergers and acquisitions Media.Monks has made across the globe.  

How did your education/experience at GSB prepare you for what you are doing today?   

While I was at GSB, I was fortunate to have the opportunity to step outside my comfort zone and take on various leadership roles, something I never imagined. 

I became part of the student government, I was appointed captain of the cheerleading team, and I took over as editor of the yearbook. Leaning into those experiences taught me that I did enjoy being in leadership positions, and that by “staying uncomfortable,” I was able to push myself to learn something new and give back to my community. 

Do you have a favorite GSB memory? 

My favorite part of GSB is the friends I’ve made.  

I’d be remiss if I didn’t say how close I am to my high school friends. We were the last small class at GSB, only 50 people, which made it a very special experience. I was always comfortable speaking with everyone in the grade, and the community and the experience set us up to be lifelong friends.  

My high school friends are my biggest cheerleaders, and I credit GSB for bringing them into my life. I can’t thank Gill enough for that. 

What would be your advice to current GSB students?  

If you work hard and follow your passions, it will work out.  

I remember in high school always looking towards college. In college, I was focused on getting a job. I wish in both cases I had been more present. This time with your classmates doesn’t last forever, and once it’s over, you don’t get it back.  

So my advice is, as much as you can, try not to stress and be present. Be confident that if you work hard and follow your passions, it will all work out.  

What is your favorite quote?  

Tough times don’t last, but tough people do.  

What book(s) do you have on your nightstand right now?  

To be honest, all the reading I’m doing right now is for my MBA. I’m enrolled in Columbia Business School’s Executive MBA program, and between working full-time and going to school, I don’t have much time for casual reading! 

We have assigned seating in our classes, and the very first day at Columbia I was placed next to GSB alum Abigail Richardson ’12. It’s such a small world! 

What have you been working on with the GSB Alumni Council? 

I have loved being part of the Alumni Council because it helps me to stay in touch with the school.  

This past year, I was able to take part in the Alumni Diversity Dinner and to learn more about how DEIC initiatives have been integrated into the culture of the school. I was also able to attend the Senior Breakfast and to welcome our newest alumni members into this wonderful community. Both were such great opportunities to connect.  

For next year, we are currently analyzing the results of the Alumni Survey, and we plan to restructure the Alumni Council’s focus and programming to better serve our alumni’s needs. I’m really looking forward to what is in store for our entire alumni community. Stay tuned! 

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