2016 Best MBAs: Ankur Goel, Pittsburgh Katz

Ankur Goel Pitt

Ankur Goel

 
University of Pittsburgh, Joseph M. Katz Graduate School of Business

“What separates Ankur from his peers is not just that he is hungry for success, but that he wants those around him to succeed as well. Ankur has a genuine desire to uplift others and make sure they reach their goals.”

Age: 29

Hometown: New Delhi, India

Education: Bachelor of Engineering (B.E.) – Visveswaraiah Technological University (Global Academy of Technology)

Where did you work before enrolling in business school?

UnitedHealth Group – Senior Business Analyst

Siemens Technology and Services Pvt. Ltd. – Senior Systems Engineer

Infosys Technologies Ltd. – Systems Engineer

Where did you intern during the summer of 2015? Nationwide Insurance – Columbus, OH

Where will you be working after graduation? Consultant at Highmark Health Solutions (Pittsburgh, PA)

Community Work and Leadership Roles in Business School:

Kenneth R. Woodcock Leadership Fellowship

Social Innovation Fellowship

May M. Gregg Endowment Scholarship

Student Honoree Award 2015

Student Honoree Award 2016

MBA Student Ambassador

President, Consulting Club

Judge, Berg Center Case Competition for Ethics

Runners Up: Deloitte Technology Case Competition 2014

Runners Up: Pitt Health Innovation Case Competition 2015

Top 8 – Randall Family Big Idea Competition 2015

3rd place – itSMF USA Case Competition 2015

Finalist – National Black MBA Association Case Competition 2015

Best Presenter Award – National Black MBA Association Case Competition 2015

Moderator, McKinsey Cup 2015

Student Representative, MBA Focus Team

Student Representative, Meet and Greet the CEO’s (Larry Merlo, CEO – CVS Health)

Student Representative, Board of Visitors Annual Meeting 2014

Student Representative, Board of Visitors Annual Meeting 2015

Which academic or extracurricular achievement are you most proud of during business school? Of all my achievements in school, I am really proud of leading teams to secure the highest positions thus far in the various case competitions. Placing as the finalist in the National Black MBA Association Case Competition out of 34 national competing teams and securing 3rd place in the itSMF USA Case Competition was the highest recognition achieved thus far by the Katz school. Through such case competitions, I was successfully able to apply my business knowledge to a real-life business problem. With the Katz school doing so well in the various rankings over the years, I felt a sense of achievement by contributing as a current student and thus raising the bar for future graduates. Honing on my interpersonal skills, I was also awarded the Best Presenter at the National Black MBA Case Competition in the preliminary rounds. This was the first time for a Katz graduate to receive such recognition, which further allowed me to strengthen the Katz brand and contribute to my soon-to-be alma mater.

Through these learnings and experiences, I was able to impart my knowledge to other students in the program, which enabled them to secure positions in external competitions. Working on the lines of collaboration and knowledge transfer, I am proud of being able to aid and mentor others students to achieve their goals and become future leaders. From being a student participant, to being called upon to share my experiences and mentor student teams was a great achievement. I have also been fortunate to share my personal experiences and cite my own examples to the prospective incoming students as a MBA Student Ambassador, which has enabled the Katz school to recruit exceptional talent, which would further enhance the Katz brand.

At the same time, going through a personal turmoil to lose my mother early last summer and being all by myself in a foreign land, I was able to revive myself and not let my education or goals be affected by graduating top of the class as well as taking part in various external initiatives.

What achievement are you most proud of in your professional career? While working for Siemens Healthcare, I honed my passion for innovation and led many innovation initiatives. In order to achieve the aim of providing services with value to our customers, I ideated many best practices and value-adds, which led to financial savings and enhanced efficiencies for various customers. By successfully providing value to our customers, I was handpicked to present my ideas at the Siemens Innovations Conference in 2011. I was awarded a “Letter of Appreciation” by the VP, Siemens Healthcare for the value-add services in front of a crowd of customers, partners and government officials. Being the first Indian to present at such a conference — and with just a couple of years of experience under my belt — brought an immense sense of pride for me, my family and Siemens.

Favorite MBA Courses? Strategic Management, Statistical Analysis for Managerial Decision Making, Management Simulation, Business-to-Business marketing, Project Management Concepts and Processes, Negotiations Teamwork and Change, Global Macroeconomics, Technology Innovation Adoption and Diffusion, Strategic Management of Acquisitions, and Divestment, Management of Strategic Alliances

Why did you choose this business school? From my past professional experience, I realized the value of collaboration, learning and innovation. With an aim to make Earth a better place to live, I innovated many solutions that helped my employers realize the importance of Triple Bottom Line. However, with the success, I somewhat lacked the business acumen to drive these solutions to the market. With my short-term goal of aiding my employers to provide better healthcare through experiential learning and community outreach, the curriculum at Katz Graduate School of Business fit the bill perfectly. I knew that through numerous experience-  based learning opportunities, such as the Six Sigma Green belt, the Consulting Field Project and various case competitions, I would have the opportunity to put my classroom knowledge to test and make the most of my business education.

I also recognized that Katz had world-class professors who could help me lay the foundation of business principles. There were also Berg Center Fellowships that could help me grow as an individual both personally and professionally. The location of Pittsburgh was another factor as the region has been equipped with many innovations coming out of Pitt, CMU and UPMC in the field of healthcare. In addition, I knew that with an affordable cost of living, Pittsburgh would have propelled me to achieve my goals without much of financial burden as an international student.

What did you enjoy most about business school? I enjoyed meeting students and learning from their varied backgrounds and experience. Be it through working in teams for class assignments or for case competitions, the exposure of working with different nationalities always brought forth a new insight about global businesses and cultures.

What is the biggest lesson you gained from business school? The overall experience at Katz has been overwhelming and has successfully transformed me into the individual I pursued to be. Of all the various learnings, the lessons about business ethics stand out. As I plan to take up a position in the healthcare advisory industry upon graduation, the ethical issues that underlay the entire delivery model should be known and will be of utmost importance to me. Be it the association with a vendor, improving business processes through analysis of confidential patient data, or restricting the flow of confidential information through various stakeholders, I should always remind myself of the repercussions that may arise. Unlike any other business, healthcare deals with patient’s life and death, and thus all the ethical policies become an important aspect of healthcare delivery.

I served as a Kenneth R. Woodcock Leadership Fellow at Katz, which gave me the exposure of working with the Board of Directors of a non-profit healthcare board. Through this experience, I was able to enhance my knowledge on ethics and apply them to real-life business problems in the field of healthcare. By ideating strategies to mitigate Conflict of Interest issues for non-profits across the globe, which were successfully implemented for the Alpha-1 Foundation, I was able to provide justice to my classroom education, which further boosted my confidence to handle real-life business problems ethically post-graduation. Though it might take some time for me to gauge and understand certain aspects and situations, through these learnings and experiences, I am better able to take decisions which are deemed right ethically.

What was the most surprising thing about business school? The most surprising thing about business school was the importance of time management. Be it the curriculum, the extracurricular activities or the networking events, one needs to effectively gauge time and make the best use of it. I always had a preconceived notion of business education being the prime driver for success. However, time management plays a very important role in delivering that success.

What’s your best advice to an applicant to your school? Make the most use of all opportunities and resources available to you as a student. With effective time management, one can manage timely class submissions, actively take part in competitions, and (at the same time) network to build their professional network.

I knew I wanted to go to business school when…I realized that I lacked the business acumen to drive my solutions to the healthcare market and thereby was not able to initiate the change that I knew I was capable of. Looking back on my mentors in the industry, I realized that they had completed their MBA and considered it to be a key for their success and growth.”

If I hadn’t gone to business school, I would be…immersed in self-learning opportunities from available trainings and mentors to transform the global healthcare industry through innovative solutions and market offerings.”

Which executive or entrepreneur do you most admire? I really admire Steve Jobs for the way he transformed an organization like Apple into a household name. He taught the world that with immense dedication, innovation and a sustained vision, success can be achieved.

What are your long-term professional goals? My long-term professional goal is to apply the gained business knowledge and experience to real-life business problems. In some years from now, I intend to launch my boutique healthcare consulting firm to transform the way healthcare is provided worldwide, while also being involved in the non-profit sector to allow better access to healthcare for all and make the earth a better place in which to live.

Who would you most want to thank for your success? I would like to thank my parents and especially my late mother for all my success. She showed me the dream to make it big, to believe in myself and to always strive for the best. I still remember the goodbye at the airport, her words and the immense joy on her face of seeing me finally reaching out for my dream one step at a time, which gave me the strength to face all the hurdles that lay ahead. I wish I could have had her by my side upon graduation, but we lost her to cancer last summer.

Fun fact about yourself: I am a music aficionado and have travelled places to attend music concerts. I have witnessed the top 25 DJ’s of the world perform live with many more still left in my bucket list.

Favorite book: To Kill a Mockingbird

Favorite movie: The Shawshank Redemption

Favorite musical performer: A.R. Rahman

Favorite television show: House of Cards

Favorite vacation spot: Key West, Florida

Hobbies? Sports, Writing, Mentoring, Music, Dance, and Travelling to explore new places and cultures

What made Ankur such an invaluable addition to the class of 2016?

“Ankur Goel was an obvious choice for this nomination because he exemplifies the best of the Katz MBA Program. Ankur provides exceptional contributions whether participating in case competitions, organizing outstanding events as the President of the Consulting Club, or networking with business executives to promote not only himself but his classmates and the school. As such, he has organized visits by Porsche Consulting and a visit for students to the Pittsburgh office of McKinsey & Company. Most notably, he was a member of the “Finalist” Katz team at the National Black MBA Association Case competition and was given a “Best Presenter Award.”

A true role model to his classmates, Ankur is very strong academically and has challenged himself by taking on the role of a Kenneth R. Woodcock Leadership Fellow in 2015 and again in 2016. He served as a guest member of the board of directors of a national nonprofit, the Alpha-1 Foundation, on conflict-of-interest issues in rare-disease communities. Ankur is now expanding upon his experience and research this year to author a white paper. This experience contributed to his success during his summer internship at Nationwide Insurance.

More than anything else, what separates Ankur from his peers is not just that he is hungry for success, but that he wants those around him to succeed as well. Ankur has a genuine desire to uplift others and make sure they reach their goals. I know this trait will serve Ankur well as he embarks on his career in helping others by being a transformative force in the healthcare industry.” — Sandra Douglas, Director of MBA Programs, Joseph M. Katz Graduate School of Business, University of Pittsburgh

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