2020 MBAs To Watch: Priyanka Jain, Purdue University (Krannert)

Priyanka Jain

Purdue University, Krannert School of Management

“Restorative, Positive, Achiever, Individualistic, and Includer who believes in the ability of every individual.”

Hometown: Delhi, India

Fun fact about yourself: I have always feared dogs and last year, I became best friend with my friend’s German Shepherd called Charger.

Undergraduate School and Degree: Uttar Pradesh Technical University – Bachelor of Technology in Computer Science Engineering

Where was the last place you worked before enrolling in business school? Software Engineer (Network Consultant) at Infosys Ltd., Bengaluru, India

Where did you intern during the summer of 2019? Ericsson North American headquarters in Texas as Learning and Development Consultant Intern

Where will you be working after graduation? As a Learning and Development Consultant at Ericsson North American headquarters in Texas

Community Work and Leadership Roles in Business School: I am a merit-based 80% scholarship recipient at Krannert. I am a graduate assistant and work for the Director of Experiential Learning Initiatives. In my role, I have presented suggestions for improvement in the reimbursement process to Purdue’s finance department and helped in organizing National Science Foundation’s first ever I-Corp and Advance summit for increasing the number of women in STEM fields to start their own ventures in Ohio last year. I was able to bring in different professors and directors from more than 20 universities across the USA for the summit.

In my first year, I was selected to be a part of my student organization called KGSA (Krannert Graduate Student Association) to organize the first-ever Winter Formal event for all the Krannert Masters student. Now, I am the elected Vice President of Professional Development at KGSA and have organized mock case competition with 90+ participants, city career treks to Bay Area and New York, skill-sharing sessions, Global Toast, professional development workshops, and alumni tailgates. My aim was to bring the alumni and the current students together in a place for as many events as possible to strengthen our network.

I got selected as a mentor for the incoming first-years and have coached them for career fairs, interviews, and job search. My mentees include not just MBAs but other master students in three different specializations. I was selected to be on the panel for the Ignite Weekend, where we bring in all the prospective students to let them experience the life at Krannert. I also provide guidance to the aspiring MBA candidates back in India.

I am an appointed member of the grade appeal committee which includes two master students, 2 professors and a chairperson for providing opinions and viewpoints on the grade appeal by all Krannert Master students.

I worked as a student consultant for a tech startup in Indianapolis for their go-to-market strategy and have enabled them to grow their business out of Indiana. Now, I am working with different Venture Capitalists to help them do due diligence for startups at Purdue Foundry.

Due to my continuous involvement in doing good for the society since middle school, I became a member of MVP (Management Volunteer Program) club and have participated in some of their activities. Ericsson also gave me the opportunity to volunteer at a food bank.

Which academic or extracurricular achievement are you most proud of during business school? I am a keen learner who is curious to learn about every field in business. Thus, I found out that case competitions provide you the platform to experience the same. Most of the case competitions are live or involve a real-world business problem with teams having a limited amount of time to present their solutions. During my first year, I participated in around seven case competitions including the Gies Strategy Case Competition, Deloitte Supply Chain Case Competition, ACG Finance Case Competition, and the Ohio State Fisher Invitational Case Competition.

My proudest achievement is that my team won the Stamina4 Purdue-IU Analytics case competition sponsored by Eli Lilly. In our first round, out of more than 45 teams, we came 4th and thought that there was no chance that we would be the winner in the finals. The reasons behind our success? For one, our team was very diverse with different backgrounds with neither of us having any case competition experience nor core analytics experience. In the final round, the competition was amongst 8 teams – 4 from IU and 4 from Purdue. All the other teams except ours had students from majors in business or data analytics. According to StrengthFinders, one of my strengths is Individualization which helps me figure out people’s strengths. With our determination and different strength areas, we finally won the last round.

I always encourage every student to participate in case competitions as they help you improve your presentation, communication, analytical and team-building skills. They also allow you to network with both students from different schools and esteemed industry professionals.

What achievement are you most proud of in your professional career? During my summer internship at Ericsson, I got the opportunity to lead a team of 9 other professionals for 10 Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning sessions at Tech Camp 2019. Every year, Ericsson brings in more than 250 children aged 11-14 years old which includes girl scouts as well for a day to attend various sessions on science and technology. We try to encourage children to adopt STEM futures by making them learn new technologies in a fun and effective way.

My session was ranked 2nd out of 7 other sessions and I was greatly appreciated by my manager and team. I like to work in projects where I can influence others to do good, to learn and to grow. Even if one child gets inspired by our sessions and go into STEM careers later in his/her life, we can bring in great changes and solve the complex problems of our world.

“In vain have you acquired knowledge if you have not imparted it to others.”
-Deuteronomy Rabbah

Who was your favorite MBA professor? Professor Brian Dineen who teaches “Negotiations.” That is the best class I have ever taken and it is one that I suggest everyone take. His course material and exercises involve the tips and tricks that can be used anywhere from personal relationships to the corporate world. He is well-organized in his lectures and pays great attention to create different teams every day. I received an amazing offer from Ericsson using the skills I learned in his class. The reflection paper that he asks you to write at the end of the term makes you realize all the scenarios where you used his methods with ease and sometimes without noticing.

What was your favorite MBA event or tradition at your business school? Krannert Socials on Wednesdays! Every Wednesday, one club organizes a social with food and popcorn. This is a great way to meet the people who you do not have any class with. It is a platform for KGSA and all other clubs to make announcements for all the upcoming events. We sometimes have announcements from our staff about things like completing our plan of study before the due date. It helps in bringing the whole Krannert family together every week and brings a sense of belongingness.

Why did you choose this business school? First, Krannert is known for its analytics and data science fields. My school brings data and analytics into any and all fields of business. I knew this would help me utilize my computer engineering skills while acquiring management skills. Every managerial position requires you to analyze data at some point and make data-driven decisions.

Second, Purdue brings in great diversity from all the 50 states of the USA and around 130 countries and Krannert makes everyone feel at home. Now, I have friends from at least 15 different countries, and I am still learning the different working styles and values that everyone brings to Krannert.

Lastly, Krannert being a part of such a big university, it provides marvelous opportunities in every field possible. One can try all that she/he wants here at Purdue which may even involve flying a plane.

What is your best advice to an applicant hoping to get into your school’s MBA program?

The most important thing that I tell future applicants when they apply to Krannert is to be authentic and honest. Purdue’s core value is integrity which one needs to have in all the phases of one’s life. Krannert is building future leaders with fundamental human values.

You should be diligent and willing to learn and excel at Krannert. If you are passionate to learn new skills and contribute to the school with all the skills that you have, Krannert welcomes you with open arms. There are tremendous opportunities that help develop leadership skills and one should come with an open mind to step out of one’s comfort zone and develop as a leader.

What is the biggest myth about your school? The biggest myth about Krannert is that it is considered a business school either for engineers or for people who are interested in the supply chain. But neither is true. We have students from all walks of life with different work experiences. This makes learning at Krannert more effective and interesting.

Apart from Krannert’s worldwide 2nd ranking in supply chain, it also provides other programs such as a STEM MBA, MS in Marketing, MS in Finance etc. We have world-renowned faculty and alumni in different fields. My school provides wonderful experiential learning initiatives in consulting and finance. We have study abroad programs to India, Paris, Spain, and Peru for marketing, operations etc. In a nutshell, Krannert provides great flexibility to students to create their own plan of study in any field of interest.

Looking back over your MBA experience, what is the one thing you’d do differently and why? As the VP of Professional Development for my student organization, I wanted to organize a strategy case competition at Krannert with participants from other business schools. I should have worked with more staff and students to make it possible. I believe case competitions not only help students professionally but also promote the business school which organizes them. I would help the next student organization members to organize one as an alumnus.

Which MBA classmate do you most admire? I admire many people from my class, but Morgan Ellis tops my list. He is a very genuine, kind, helpful, and smart professional. I work with him in the student organization as he is the Director of Professional Development. He is open to new ideas and contributes to all the activities and events with full enthusiasm. He is a great mentor and friend.

Who most influenced your decision to pursue business in college? I decided to go to a business school during my engineering days in India. I could feel that I was growing as an engineer, but lacking all the business knowledge to see the bigger picture. All the engineers in my family, including my father, my grandfather, and my uncle, influenced me to pursue my MBA. All the years that I saw them work made me realize that I need a great network to excel in any field I choose. I learned that I want to go into management and realized that a business school is a great way to create my own network. And Krannert gave me the opportunity to be a part of such an amazing community of business professionals.

What are the top two items on your professional bucket list?

  • To learn about 5G and the telecom industry as much as I can.
  • I have some amazing mentors and advisors in my life both at Krannert and at Ericsson who has taught me that to be a great leader, I need to be able to understand and empathize with my team and peers. Keeping the same in mind, I want to do good every day.

In one sentence, how would you like your peers to remember you? Passionate, energetic, honest, and full of life person who never ceases to learn and grow.

Hobbies? Drawing, baking, cooking all types of cuisines, traveling (been to 22 states in India and 7 states in the USA)

What made Priyana such an invaluable addition to the Class of 2020?

Priyanka is an ambitious Krannert MBA that exemplifies the true definition of “go-getter”.  She loves to take on any challenge and never gives up an opportunity to learn something new. One of her major strengths is being agile. She is nimble both in the classroom and outside. A true example of this is her role in Krannert Gradaute Student Association as a VP for professional development. She did not pass up any opportunity to both organize and participate in case competitions and has won numerous times. She is a great mentor to the new students and is always willing to lend a hand, no matter how difficult the situation might be. In addition to earning her MBA, Priyanka has served/worked on a myriad of different initiatives such as grade appeal committee and she worked as a student consultant for a tech startup in Indianapolis. Priyanka is an extremely motivated and determined individual who Krannert is proud to showcase. She will be working as a Learning and Development Consultant at Ericsson, starting this summer. She constantly strives for social change and is an advocate and leader amongst her peers. She has been a great asset to the Krannert School of Management.”

Rupa Murali
Senior Academic Advisor, Online Academic Programs


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