Khyati (Kat) Desai - Mountbatten Program

Khyati (Kat) Desai

Khyati (Kat) Desai

A Day In The Life

Program:  New York

Intake:  May 2008

Current Role:  Business Transformation Lead, VP at CIT in NYC


My Alarm Goes off…at 5.50am to exercise!

I’m Responsible For…overseeing the program budget and implementation of a wide scale commercial bank program, to transform process and systems covering three to four national business units at CIT.

I Got The Job…December 2014 through an old co-worker.

My Typical Day…wake up, workout or run in my neighborhood (Jersey City) then get ready to head into the city. I listen to podcasts while I commute (The Daily). Get to work by 8.30am and get a coffee to check emails. I manage a business wide program so every day can be different from running small to larger meetings, presenting at executive steering committees, working on problems with different stakeholders or holding a 1:1 mentoring session with individuals in my team.

The Culture Of My Workplace…is not like a traditional bank, we are very flat and much smaller than bigger Wall St firms, so I have been fortunate enough to work on very high exposure transformation programs with the senior executive team over the course of the past five years.

My Most Memorable Work Moment…I won the CIT, Women’s Bond Club Rising Star Award in 2017 and went through a six month leadership program. Through this I organized an event, partnering with other women in my cohort and class; we brought senior women together to discuss their experiences on a panel and had over 200 people attend. I am the NYC Chair of the CIT Women’s Network so I organize quarterly events and run a committee which serves all the women in my office.

My Role Models are…Michelle Obama, Angela Merkel and Malala Yousafzai.

The Most Challenging Part of My Job…I have to influence very senior people to move forward on decision making and bring a lot of people together to work on a project (which they might not be used to doing). I also manage a program budget of $30M which can fluctuate and is monitored by the executive management team.

The Best Part of My Job…Mentoring and leading a strong, driven team and solving business and process problems.

After Work…I try to see at least two friends each week for dinner after work, attend an industry event on social impact and my husband and I try to cook three-four times a week at least! We love Trader Joes.

Plan B: I’d be working for an impact investing company or Fintech with a focus on social enterprise and helping my community and especially low income women out of poverty.