Nishi Gupta ’82

Nishi Gupta

Associate Director, Change Logic, a strategic innovation consultancy that helps established companies design and execute strategies for growth. Previously, she was an IBM executive. Nishi has a Mechanical Engineering degree from Penn State. She attended Behrend for the first two years.

About her job: I support companies to define and execute strategic business innovation.

Hometown and current home: I’m from Erie, but I now live in Whitestown, Indiana, which is in the Indianapolis area.

Why she joined the WEC board: I want to help students expand their network and gain access to people who can help them professionally. 

What she enjoys about her work: Each client has unique business challenges and, therefore, opportunities.

Most important traits for a professional woman to possess: First, the ability to get people to support her position. Second, surrounding herself with a smart, confident team who feel comfortable voicing their opinions.

What she wishes all women knew: You don’t have to do it all in your personal or professional life. A strong support system will help you stay balanced in good times and bad.

Know your audience: When I was a young engineer, I would provide detailed answers to questions from my senior leaders, but I quickly learned that my audience only had one or two minutes to read (or hear) my answer. It takes more preparation to communicate succinctly, but it is very important in the business world. Boil it down.

Stand tall: When I changed from an engineering leader to a business strategy consulting leader, I noticed that most new clients would assume that the tallest white man in the consulting group was the team leader. That was untrue most of the time. So, when I met a new client for the first time, I made sure that I remained standing until everyone else had sat down and I would begin the meeting prior to sitting down.

Recommended reading: Caste: The Origins of our Discontents by Isabel Wilkerson.

If she had an entire day to herself she would: Take a long hike and, if possible, explore a new trail.


Nishi is happy to connect with you and is open to mentoring. How to reach her: