Meet The Top First-Year MBAs From India

karthik-chandrasekaran-ohiostate-poetsandquants-classof2018

Karthik Chandrasekaran

Ohio State University, Fisher College of Business

Hometown: Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India

Education:

Anna University, India, Bachelors of Information Technology

University of Southern Florida, Masters in Management Information Systems

Employment:

IBM, Advisory IT Specialist

Digital Management Inc., Business Intelligence Consultant

Cognizant Technology Solutions, Project Associate

Infosys Limited, Senior Systems Engineer

Describe yourself in 15 words or less: A technologist and a philosopher fueled by curiosity and sustained by the pursuit of knowledge.

Fun fact about yourself: I learned swimming and tennis and now I am learning to fly a sports aero plane. It is all part of my grand plan to pursue a sport in each of the three elements: land, water and air.

Describe your biggest accomplishment in your career so far: As a consultant, I had worked on projects spanning diverse domains such as healthcare, manufacturing, logistics, and publishing. I was able to overcome the steep learning curve in each industry.

One of my most notable accomplishments was the delivery of business intelligence solution to the oncology research division of a healthcare provider. My role expanded from being one of the developers to taking the lead on the project. I relished the opportunity to work at the intersection of technology and business. In order to deliver this solution, I brought together the mobile development team and the project sponsors to define their specific objectives. In the end, the product exceeded expectations which led to further consulting engagements. I was recognized as a top performer in leading cross functional teams and delivering technology solutions.

Looking back on your experience, what advice would you give to future business school applicants?  Studying for the GMAT need not be a herculean task if you are focused. First, take an assessment test and identify your areas of weakness. Then draw up a study plan where you devote more time to unfamiliar topics. Do not read every GMAT book that you can get your hands on. Remember that you need not master the subject area, you only need to ace the test. Once you hit the ground running, always keep an eye on the time you take to complete each question. Practice tests are ideal to keep track of your timing. Take at least two practice tests before you take the actual GMAT exam.

Getting an MBA is an investment of your time and energy, so make sure that you get most out of your investment. Research the schools that you are interested in by interacting with current students and alumni to get a better picture of the program. Assess your strengths to see if you can excel in the program. For example, some programs may have a heavy emphasis on the ‘case methodology.’ If your learning style is not suited to case discussions, then you are better off looking at other alternatives.

Admission essays can either make or break your candidacy. Do not use a cookie-cutter approach to writing your essays. Every school is unique and each essay must be crafted accordingly. Make sure you start early to leave sufficient time for revisions. Have your essays proofread by your friend or mentor. This would ensure that your essay is coherent and free from errors.

When requesting for a recommendation letter, make sure your recommender knows you well and can speak to your strengths. Let them know of the projects that you had worked on and the skills that you had developed. Make sure that you remind them of the deadlines beforehand. Finally, keep your recommenders posted on your admission decisions.

Admissions interviews are the chance for you and the admissions committee to get to know each other. Be authentic and speak of your values and what makes you stand out from the other candidates. Come prepared with insightful questions and show your interest in the program. Interviewing is a learned skill. The key to succeeding is practice, practice and more practice.

What led you to choose this program for your full-time MBA? I wanted an MBA program where I get to develop a deep connection with my classmates and professors. Fisher’s small class size fosters collaboration and allows me to build long lasting relationship with my peers. I experienced this first-hand during the ‘Fisher Red carpet’ event, where I got to mingle with other admitted students even before the program started. The close-knit community feel is ingrained in the culture at Fisher. I could feel that during my visits to the campus and during my interaction with the alumni. I would like to think that Fisher is the ‘Hogwarts’ of business schools.

The small class size of Fisher combined with the vast resources of Ohio State University offers the ideal balance between fit and function. Fisher allows me to tailor my MBA by taking elective classes from the engineering school at Ohio State. The cross-disciplinary curriculum will provide me with a holistic understanding of businesses.

Another important factor that I considered was the strength of career services at Fisher. The career center provides individualized attention to every student. Of the several b-school interviews that I had attended, Fisher was the only one that had an interview with a career consultant. This interaction gave me an insight into guidance they provide in matching my skills with the right job opportunity. The personalized approach of the career center was very appealing to me.

Tell us about your dream job or dream employer at this point in your life? My dream job would be that of a Product Manager with a global tech company. I see myself connecting with diverse teams to formulate the next ground-breaking product, beginning from its ideation state and working through its production development life cycle right up to its final launch. Whether it is developing the product strategy or the marketing plans or managing the product roadmap, I want to be in the thick of it all, acting as a bridge between the senior leadership and the customer. This experience would enable me to challenge conventional thoughts and become an agent of change in the world of technology.

What would you like your business school peers to say about you after you graduate from this program?  I would like them to say that I was passionate in whatever I did and went above and beyond the call of duty. That I was in the trenches by their side when burning the midnight oil to complete a project, and I was ever willing to give a helping hand in solving their problem. Amidst of all, I would be glad if they said I played a little part in making their transformational journey of getting an MBA a memorable experience.

  • NULL NULL

    A large fraction of the Indian students who study at B-schools in India, join the programs just after completing their undergrad education. These Indian MBA programs are most likely like the pre-experience Masters in Management degrees offered at places outside India. In the US or Europe, MBA programs expect candidates to acquire a number of years of experience. So going for an MBA in the US, after completing an MBA from India and working a few years in industry does not fall out of place. Moreover, I think that B-schools in the US/ Europe are able to provide the students with more international/ global exposures. Last thing is, the Indian schools lack overall recognition outside of India. The US/EU schools and their parent universities are world renowned.

  • Rajeev

    Wonder why there are folks who already have an MBA and still going to US to get another one!