Mar 13, 2020·4 min read
Continuing with our feature series on the members of TiE Boston, we spoke with TiE Boston Charter Member, Meena Kaushik, Product Strategist at Medidata Solutions on her journey and what led her to TiE.
TiE Boston Charter Member: Meena Kaushik
How did you get your start?
I was born in central India, but because my father was in the defense service, I moved around a lot within India. Eventually, we settled in Bombay, my favorite city, for my high school years. After graduating from high school, I went on to get my Bachelor’s Degree in Physics and then a Master’s Degree in Computer Science, which resulted in a job working remotely for Safeway. Then I moved to Singapore and worked for Hitachi for a couple of years before landing in Boston. When I got to Boston, Y2K was just starting to become an issue. This resulted in a plethora of tech-based jobs for me to choose from. I bounced from position to position for a few years before I realized that I could be doing more with my career, so I took a sabbatical and enrolled at Brandeis University. While at Brandeis, I earned my Masters in Program Management. Upon leaving Brandeis, I reevaluated my life and decided to make a switch in my field of operation. I took a job in the Life Sciences industry and have been working in this industry for the last 15 years. Working in the pharma/biotech/life sciences industry has allowed me to do what I love while helping the world become a better place. I am continually working to bring new medicines to the market, which will hopefully change lives. I am in a constant cycle of learning and improving, and I love it. I just recently moved to my current position at Medidata, where I oversee product strategy and solutions. I moved to Medidata because I feel like working at a smaller company allows me to put on many different hats and tackle a variety of challenges.
What did you see in TiE Boston that prompted you to get involved?
Initially, I became a member of TiE to get my son a discount while he was a part of the 2013 TYE program. I planned to take advantage of the discount and was not involved in the programming. It wasn’t until my other two children joined TYE that I got involved. Simone LaPray, the Executive Director asked me to speak on a panel about women in entrepreneurial roles and that got me more involved with the TiE community. I had never spoken on a panel for anything outside of pharmaceuticals and was quite nervous, but the TiE community met me with tons of support and encouragement. To this day, the only thing I regret about TiE is the fact that I could have joined earlier. I began to attend more and more events, and it has been very positive.
Meena presenting at a conference
Why should people get involved with TiE Boston?
I would recommend TiE to anyone, primarily for the community. During my time with TiE, several things have stuck out to me, but nothing has been more apparent than the complete lack of politics. There are never any competitions or backstabbing and the overall sentiment is “we are all here to succeed.” Continually, there is a level of openness to new ideas that are rarely found in the world. Everyone I speak to is genuinely interested in my life, and what I am doing and the motivation that comes from their interest is unparalleled. On a more professional note, the community is populated with a diverse cast of innovators, investors, entrepreneurs, and thinkers who all come from different backgrounds. The level of experience in a room of TiE members is not something that you find often. I never cease to be impressed by the community’s dedication, knowledge, honesty, love, and pride. I only wish that I joined sooner.
What’s coming up on the horizon for you?
I plan to continue working with Medidata, I love it here and it’s just what I want to be doing right now. Outside of work, I like to follow new and exciting companies. I don’t like to limit myself to a specific industry because I believe that great ideas are everywhere, no matter how niche. I am currently following Stitch Fix, which is a custom clothing company that delivers monthly 5 outfits a month based on your preferences. I am heavily involved in my not-for-profit organization, South Asian Circle of Hopkinton. I am one of the founding members and we founded the organization when ~1,000 South Asian families moved to Hopkinton and significantly changed the town demographics The South Asian Circle of Hopkinton was created with the goal to integrate the emerging south Asian/Indian community by working with the Hopkinton town government. Furthermore, I am heavily involved with Budget Buddies, which is a not-for-profit that helps underprivileged women become financially independent. I thoroughly enjoy helping these women because I get to see their success first hand while also learning so much from them and their experiences.
Thank you to Meena Kaushik for sharing her story and to Hugh Rossi for capturing it. To learn more about TiE Boston and how to get involved, check out boston.tie.org or reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org.