Meet Indiana Kelley’s MBA Class Of 2019

Namrata Rao  

Indiana University, Kelley School of Business  

Describe yourself in 15 words or less: You can never have a dull moment when I am around.

Hometown: Pune, India

Fun Fact about Yourself: I am a professional Indian Classical Dancer, training in Bharatnatyam since 18 years, and have given over 20 stage performances.

Undergraduate School and Major:  Bachelors of Computer Science and Engineering from Manipal Institute of Technology, Manipal, India

Employers and Job Titles since Graduation: 

  • Microsoft Corporation (Audience Marketing Manager, IT Software Engineer)
  • Purple Squirrel Eduventures Ltd. (Senior Associate)
  • IntellinectsVentures Pvt. Ltd (Marketing Manager)

Describe your biggest accomplishment in your career so far: In India, there is a growing divide between available and required skill sets as knowledge doesn’t necessarily translate to skills. At Purple Squirrel Eduventures, an Ed Tech start-up on skill development, I pioneered a unique experiential program allowing students to directly sign up for industry exposure programs. Within a span of three months, I created and led a team of 5 to successfully launch 50 such programs across 7 major cities; thus enabling more than 2,500 students to make better career decisions. This accomplishment has been dear to me as I discovered a leader within me channeling my team to be comfortable with ambiguity. For this program, our company also won the Economic Times ‘Best College Start-Up of India’ for the year 2015.

Looking back on your experience, what one piece of advice would you give to future business school applicants?  Do not rush through the process because it only harms you in the long run. The admissions season can be overwhelming. Hence, take your time to study for the GMAT (there’s no two ways about it), shortlist the schools, review your essays, speak to current students and alumni, discuss your interests with the recommenders and prepare for your interview.

Here are a few recommendations I’d like to give:

  • Be Structured:Plan your calendar with all the tasks you must complete before submitting your application. Use this time to reflect on your personal brand and how can that particular business school help you achieve your goals.
  • Understand the Culture:If you’re not able to visit the campus (because you’re internationally located), I’d recommend attending the MBA fairs which happen across the globe. Follow the school on social media and blogs to get a better understanding.
  • Practice Makes Perfect:For interview preparation, video record during your mock interviews. In this way you can assess your body language and tone of your replies.

If you plan this out well, you will enjoy the application process and this will be reflected in your applications.

What was the key factor that led you to choose this program for your full-time MBA and why was it so important to you?  The people! This was a big differentiator for me when I was reviewing schools. Considering the fact that I was moving countries, I knew I wanted to be a part of a close-knit cohort. After receiving the admit, I received letters from the alumni and emails from current students offering their support to make this transition as smooth as possible. I also had the opportunity to meet the deans and professors during their visit to India. My interactions with everyone from Kelley made me feel like I was a part of this huge family. I am loving the vibe of being in a college town with everyone within a radius of few miles.

What would success look like to you after your first year of business school? For me, success means enabling others to succeed. At my internship, I hope to use my skill sets to make a visible impact in the company. At school, I’d define success as being able to make the most of the opportunities presented and being the go-to person when you want to get things done.

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