Meet the MBA Class of 2022: Farrah Bhimani, Indiana University (Kelley)

Farrah Bhimani

Indiana University, Kelley School of Business

Curious and authentic advisor fueled by personal growth, making a positive impact, and caffeine.”

Hometown: Plano, TX

Fun Fact About Yourself: I have met Shaq twice!

Undergraduate School and Major: Emory University; Psychology

Most Recent Employer and Job Title: EY; Talent Acquisition Recruiter

In the second half of the year, you will be completing an Academy devoted to areas like Marketing, Finance, Operations, Digital Enterprises and more. Which Academy interests you the most and why? I’m most interested in the Consulting Academy. I believe consulting teaches you essential and versatile skills that you can apply to any career, including strategic analysis and problem-solving, public speaking, and team management. Additionally, Kelley’s Consulting Academy director and coach have more than 50 years of combined consulting experience across industries, so students are consistently offered real-world cases and direct access to endless networking opportunities.

Aside from your classmates, what was the key part of the school’s MBA programming that led you to choose this business school and why was it so important to you? Kelley’s Me Inc. programming truly set Kelley apart from the other schools I had considered. I recognized the value of designating time for introspection so I could better understand both my own leadership and teaming style, and that of my peers. Me Inc. also allowed me to work closely with Kelley’s career coaches to identify my strengths and create goals that I could work towards throughout the duration of the program.

What quality best describes your MBA classmates and why? Every Kelley student I’ve met is genuine. They are sincere in their support and respect for one another, and it’s easy to build relationships with people who are their true selves.

What club or activity excites you most at this school? I’m eager to be a member of Diversity Champions, which is a group of students that liaise between student organizations and support the MBA program’s diversity and inclusion efforts. Advocating for diverse groups is a personal value of mine, one that I have integrated in each of my professional and personal endeavors, and I look forward to continuing living this value throughout my academic journey as well.

Describe your biggest accomplishment in your career so far:  My biggest career accomplishment was piloting EY’s Global Employment Opportunities Connection program to reduce the number of H1-B lottery-related separations in the firm. This program allows U.S.-based employees with at-risk visa status to continue growing their careers within EY’s international member firms, and the pilot was so successful that EY continues to implement this program.

What led you to pursue an MBA at this point in your career? Five years with EY provided me with amazing career opportunities, including developing a customized recruiting strategy for a recent acquisition, streamlining trainings and best practices for 100+ recruiters across the country, and being at the forefront of the firm’s growth. But over time, it became increasingly clear to me that I was at a crossroads: I could deepen my recruiting expertise or leverage my knack for growth strategy and operations by pivoting to an external-facing role. I chose the second path. This clarity prompted me to pursue an MBA and focus on building that consulting skill set.

What other MBA programs did you apply to? University of Southern California (Marshall), University of Texas (McCombs), Yale School of Management

What was the most challenging question you were asked during the admissions process? “Imagine yourself at graduation and describe how you spent the past two years.” It’s a broad question to answer in a short amount of time and required me to touch on multiple aspects of the program that I was excited about while still being clear and concise.

How did you determine your fit at various schools? It was important to me to apply through the Consortium, so I started with those partner schools, focusing specifically on programs with a strong consulting curriculum and networking with students at these schools. I then visited as many campuses on my list as possible, which provided a vital snapshot of what the next two years might look like. The campus visits helped answer questions about the day-to-day, including “How accessible is everything in this city?” and “Is there genuine camaraderie among the students here?” After visiting Bloomington, I immediately knew Kelley was a natural fit. Kelley’s robust consulting curriculum and smaller class sizes, which allow for tailored lessons, provided an appealing – and ultimately winning – balance for me.

What was your defining moment and how did it prepare you for business school? After my first year with EY, I was fortunate to have a choice between two promotions for very different roles. Ultimately, I chose the role that was most outside of my comfort zone, and I transitioned from the Dallas office to the New York City office to work with an entirely new team. Sitting in EY’s U.S. headquarters opened up opportunities for me to pursue local passion projects through the firm, including volunteering with iMentor in the Bronx, hosting EY’s first r u OK Campaign for mental health awareness in the Times Square office, and partnering with the New York City Mayor’s Office for People with Disabilities. Had I not taken that step in my career, I wouldn’t have had any of those amazing experiences. Actively choosing the path that would push me outside my comfort zone was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made, and pursuing an MBA is no different. As an MBA student, you’re frequently presented with opportunities to network with new people and build new skills.

What is your favorite company and what could business students learn from them? My favorite company is Ben & Jerry’s because they successfully weave together strong business practices with integrity and social awareness. Oftentimes, companies are hesitant to be vocal about issues within the community because they are afraid to lose customers. However, Ben & Jerry’s encourages open dialogue and participation in a way that maintains and even grows its consumer base. And their ice cream is incredible.


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