2020 Best & Brightest Online MBAs: Amani Jambhekar, Indiana University (Kelley)

Amani Jambhekar

Indiana University, Kelley School of Business

“I am a surgical oncologist in Houston, Texas who founded an organization to donate masks to the front lines.”

Age: 33

Hometown: Houston, Texas

Fun fact about yourself: I won an adult photography competition when I was 11.

Undergraduate School and Degree:

  • Tulane University: BS and BA in English, Biology, and Psychology (triple major) May 2009
  • University of Texas Health Sciences Center at San Antonio: MD May 2013

Where are you currently working? Millennium Physicians, Breast Surgical Oncologist

What achievement are you most proud of in your professional career? I am most proud of the initiative Real Heroes Need Masks. It was born out of the IU COVID-19 Weekend Accelerator and has been an opportunity to give badly needed PPE to the hard-hit cities and states fighting the pandemic. Prior to participating in the weekend accelerator, I had been looking for an opportunity to combine my business skills with my medicine skills after completing my MBA this term. This startup provided the perfect opportunity to combine my existing skills with entrepreneurship lessons from our incredible advisors and make a huge impact. We have already donated 21,600 masks to hospitals and clinics in need.

Why did you choose this school’s online MBA program? I chose Kelley because I have a family member who is a traditional Kelley MBA graduate. The professors are shared between the two programs and I felt I would be getting an excellent education. My experience at Kelley has proved that getting my MBA was the best education decision of my life.

What was your favorite part of being in an online MBA program? I’m a surgeon and have a somewhat unpredictable schedule daily and weekly. Patients with cancer also require a lot of time before and after the operating room. My professors have been extremely understanding and accommodating any time I need additional flexibility. I considered an in-person executive MBA program but could not commit to the time needed on campus every weekend with my call schedule.

What was the most surprising thing about an online learning environment? I did not expect to finish my MBA with as many friends and connections as I have formed. Not only have I participated in group projects, but I have also participated (and won) several group competitions. I have met many people through my classes and through Kelley’s networking events. At the Kelley Connect Week experiences, I participated in two “Ladies’ Night” events which led to lifelong friendships. Although my MBA journey has taken less than two years, some of the Kelley women are invited to my wedding!

How did your online experience compare with your in-the-classroom experience as an undergraduate student? My online experience was much better than my in-the-classroom experience as an undergraduate student or as a graduate student in the first two years of medical school. I enjoyed learning at my own pace, participating in live sessions, but also having the option to watch them later when I finished a long day in the operating room.

What is your best piece of advice to an applicant for thriving in an online MBA program? Stay organized about all the due dates for all your assignments. There were several terms in which I took three classes to finish my MBA sooner. It was vital to keep a running to-do list of what was due each week. If you have a running to do list, you’re also more likely to use down time throughout the week to knock out a short assignment. When you save it all for Sunday night, Sunday nights become longer and longer as the term progresses.

What would you change about an online MBA Program? I wouldn’t change anything about an online MBA program. There are ample opportunities for networking, career guidance even if you’re in a nontraditional field like mine and learning new skills from your peers. It’s up to every student how she or he takes advantage of them.

How has your online education helped you in your current job? I am in my first job as an attending surgeon, and I am in a leadership role. I’m also the only surgeon in my practice with my expertise. I would not have been recruited for my role without my MBA in progress. It is highly unusual for a junior surgeon to be recruited to a practice in which she must build a brand-new breast cancer program. As a result of the skillset I’ve obtained from my MBA, my practice is centered around efficiency for our patients. For example, we examine patients and review imaging together – nonclinical staff included. Our cancer patients love the team approach and feel more comfortable because they know how well we communicate.

What is your ultimate long-term professional goal? I would like to be in a leadership position in which I can influence the culture of surgery and help make the operating room a place that empowers women.

Don’t Miss: The Entire Honor Roll of the Best & Brightest Online MBA Grads of 2020

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