2018 MBAs To Watch: Parul Kashyap, Boston University (Questrom)

Parul Kashyap

Boston University, Questrom School of Business

“Value-driven mobilizer to people and happiness, genuine life learner and community builder.”

Age: 29

Hometown: San Jose, CA

Fun fact about yourself: I spent 6 days camping and climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro in Tanzania.

Undergraduate School and Degree: BA in Public Health Policy from University of California – Irvine

Where did you work before enrolling in business school? (List Company and Role)

  • The Health Trust in San Jose, CA: Program Coordinator for Senior Peer
  • GenapSys (Biotech start-up) in Redwood City, CA: People Operations
  • Global Brigades in Tegucigalpa, Honduras: Public Health Program Coordinator

Where did you intern during the summer of 2017?

I worked at Totohealth, a mHealth social enterprise in Tanzania focusing on customer financing, supply chain operations and product development for maternal and newborn care.

Where will you be working after graduation?

A consultant with Edenbridge Health — Looking to bridge access in healthcare innovation and delivery in emerging markets through sustainable strategy and operations.

Community Work and Leadership Roles in Business School: I was recognized as a 2017 Hero of the Year, a nomination made by MBA peers in making the most impact in Questrom community. This award stemmed from my initiatives as a representative for the Questrom Graduate Council, where I worked to mediate and develop partnerships for curriculum development between students and faculty. I was an active proponent with the school’s Social Impact Alliance in advocating for academic and industry infrastructures to support non-traditional business careers in social impact and public sectors. This resulted in being selected as a student representative for the MBA Program Development Committee, a faculty and staff entity that oversees MBA curriculum development.

Additionally, I support Global Ventures Consulting Club to organize an annual consulting trip to Guatemala, serve as MBA Admissions Ambassador, and strategize on various initiatives with the Social Impact Alliance and the Diversity and Inclusion office.

Which academic or extracurricular achievement are you most proud of during business school? The most thrilling moment of my time at Questrom has to be the culmination of my Module 3 team experience. During this module, MBA student teams work with real clients to solve a business challenge that their company is facing. Our project was to define the City of Boston’s role in the growing autonomous vehicle market. Our team started off as a bunch of strangers from all over the world – Thailand, China, The Netherlands – and ended up as the most unified team to win the Best of the Best competition against all the cohorts. It was a draining yet exciting conclusion to wrap my first year at Questrom.

What achievement are you most proud of in your professional career? My most significant achievement that drives me today is when I realized my commitment to community building. My first official job out of university was a time of relevance in launching me towards a career in healthcare partnerships in global health. I spent 14 months in and out of rural communities in Honduras to understand and improve health infrastructure needs in underprivileged, low-resource settings that we otherwise define as poverty. The people I met were not poor or unhappy; in fact, they always had a smile even though they did not have basic access to clean water, sanitation and hygiene with alarming rates of deaths caused by diarrhea and water-borne illness. They say that “brilliance is evenly distributed, opportunity is not.” I developed internal community and external university student partnerships that used their brilliance to build public health and education opportunities resulting in 105 homes with clean cooking stoves, toilets and concrete floors. The momentum created for social, health and development changes through community building has left intangible impacts to all involved. It is a momentum I hold onto to bring people together from all corners for social change.

Who was your favorite MBA professor? My favorite professor had to be Janelle Heineke for Operations and Technology. Prof. Heineke breathes the balance of a commitment to student excellence and creating effective and efficient operations. I am naturally an organizer and she taught me the frameworks to execute the organizing in the classroom, business setting and the Questrom community.

What was your favorite MBA Course Mark Philip’s course on Drugs, Diagnostics, Devices was the most pleasant surprise in the nerve wracking of cold calls encompassed into a MBA course. It pushed on both the hard and soft skills in strategy needed to drive the most difficult decisions in the complicated web of healthcare.

Why did you choose this business school? Questrom stood out in its people, programs and most of all where I could find and build my community. Questrom has propelled my journey in healthcare and innovation in emerging markets in Boston and beyond.

What is your best piece advice to an applicant hoping to get into your school’s MBA program? Beyond your initial research, it’s key that you talk to people and hear the real experience of being a student or alumnus of the program they are a part of. Whatever advice you get from people, always take it with a grain of salt. Most of all, look at the values and skills you want to develop and gain.

What is the biggest myth about your school? Business school is perceived as a competition-driven student community that thrives in sexy careers in consulting, venture capital and investment banking. I learned very quickly that the business mindset is nurtured and needed in all organizational settings and Questrom prides itself in having a diversity in business practice in private, public and combination sectors alike.

I focused a lot of my energy in learning from team projects, classroom discussions, and my peers that I did not take advantage of learning more directly from the profusely resourced Questrom faculty.

Which MBA classmate do you most admire? A cohort mate I met on my first day here. Not only did they turn out to be part of my first team project experience at Questrom, but became a friend that welcomed me to Thanksgiving in New England and became an ear to understand the polarization of current events and politics. Coming from a progressive privilege and mindset from Silicon Valley, I could not comprehend the volatile political climate that split the country in half. In a time where Americans are constantly being divided in polarizing spectrums, this cohort mate and I made the stride to lean in and understand each other’s perspectives, frustrations, fears, and hopes for how great America is and continues to be. I admire this classmate because they hold a minority conservative perspective in a largely progressive urban area but actively chooses to advocate and share their values.

Who most influenced your decision to pursue business in college? First and foremost, it was my parents, who taught me patience and resilience in finding my American dream. In trying to find it, I worked in both private and public sectors, but could not figure out sustainable ways to bridge the two sectors together. My previous employers and organizations ultimately influenced me to seek better ways to scale delivery and success in a complex multi-stakeholder healthcare system.

If I hadn’t gone to business school, I would be…back home in Silicon Valley building partnerships between the affluent tech sector and their communities to solve real-world health and development challenges instead of the latest app craze.”

If you were a dean for a day, what one thing would you change about the MBA experience? I have learned that changes in higher education are long and tedious and meaningful curriculum changes are not feasible within one day. Instead, I would create an MBA student experience where discussions around policy, regulations, and personal value systems from U.S. and international perspectives are encouraged. Not only would this get people out of their comfort zones, but also allow them to better understand polarized spectrums and diversity in the workforce today to be better business leaders for tomorrow.

What are the top two items on your bucket list? My top 2 bucket list items are actually my grandfather’s bucket list items (it took me a while to explain the concept to him): 1) Read and translate his memoir from Hindi to English; and 2) Donate his memoir to my local childhood library in California.

In one sentence, how would you like your peers to remember you? Inspiration to lean in and listen to the other side.

What is your favorite movie about business? My recent favorite movie would be The Intern with Anne Hathaway and Robert De Niro. It exemplifies the needs of a multi-generational workforce to appreciate and learn from different types of success.

What would your theme song be? “Soy Yo” by Bomba Estereo

Favorite vacation spot: Eating, hiking and driving through Big Sur, CA

Hobbies? In the brief spare time I find in graduate school, I love finding new tea shops, museum exploring and the best tacos in town.

What made Parul such an invaluable addition to the class of 2018?

“Parul has been an absolute joy to have in our MBA program. She is regularly recognized by her colleagues as someone who has had an influence on them during their program. In fact, a number of students have stated that they wouldn’t have been able to get through the program without her friendship and support. She is an amazing leader who has mastered the skills of being a great listener and someone who is not afraid to have the tough conversations. She pushes her classmates to discuss the issues of the day and enlightens classmates to seeing issues from multiple perspectives.”

J.P. Matychak

Associate Dean of Student Experience & Services





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