Nina Sharma

Executive MBA ’19

Hometown: Cresskill, NJ

Current Job Title: Managing Director, Project X-ITE at the University of Denver

Pre-Daniels Experience: Prior to DU, I spent 15 years working in fundraising, partnerships and international development at places such as the New York Public Library, Carnegie Hall, Yale University, the Ad Council, and Millennium Promise. I received a Master’s of Public Administration from NYU in 2010, and moved to Denver in 2012 to continue my work in the nonprofit and international development sectors, with stints at First Descents, Global Education Fund, and launching my own consulting company.

Hobbies: Camping, karaoke, hiking, seeing live music, riding bikes, or traveling the world

Check out my LinkedIn Profile

If you could tell your past-self one thing before you started grad school, what would it be?

Slow down. Don’t stop, but just don’t rush anything. I like getting things done, seeing progress and I like making change. But sometimes patience is really the best thing. You can keep moving forward without being a bull in a china shop. My advice would be to slow down, listen to others and trust that you know what you need to in the moment.

What are some of your favorite things to do in or around Denver?

Denver may not be the biggest city, but it certainly has the biggest heart. The collaborative nature of Denver truly sets it apart. Professionals collaborate across industries, across competitors and across disciplines. I love to participate in Denver Startup Week! I can also be found biking around town, running in Wash Park, wandering through the Denver Art Museum, walking through City Park, enjoying happy hour at Asbury Provisions near campus, having gear-envy at REI or protesting in Civic Center Park.

Why did you choose Daniels for your graduate degree?

I knew I needed the hard skills of business school to round out my experience and perspective. I’ve worked in the nonprofit and academic sectors for 17 years, but I’ve also worked with dozens of entrepreneurs in that time, and eventually became one myself. I wanted the business acumen to help me guide my own company and provide sound mentorship and advice to the students I work with. I am also a full-time DU staff member, and having one of the best programs in the country at my fingertips was too much to pass up!

What has surprised you the most about business school?

I’ve learned as much in the classroom as out of it! I didn’t expect to have such an incredible cohort — I knew that my classmates would be smart, but I didn’t know how much they’d teach me on a daily basis. Our team-based work outside of the class has been incredibly valuable. I’ve had the opportunity to work successfully with classmates that I’ve openly argued and disagreed with in class, and I’ve been able to foster incredible working and personal relationships as well. The cohort truly makes the program.

I’ve also really loved getting to know the faculty — they are incredibly supportive, knowledgeable and available. I wasn’t expecting such great camaraderie with the faculty, but they’ve been an indelible part of the experience.

How have you evolved as a leader during your time at Daniels?

I’ve learned to listen so much more, and to recognize that life experiences guide my perspective – and that goes for everyone. I’ve become much more open to ideas and to process. I recognize that my skills are not the only skills, and that tapping into what makes my team members tick is important to managing them to success.

Is there a particular class or professor at Daniels that really stands out?

I absolutely loved Scott McLagan’s class on executive leadership. His thoughtfulness and his desire to get to know everyone individually was a great introduction to the program. He’s a fantastic person with tremendous experience that was both impressive and applicable to my own life and career progression.