Meet the MBA Class of 2022: Shreedhar Patel, Indiana University (Kelley)

Shreedhar Patel

Indiana University, Kelley School of Business

I can always find something to laugh about even during the most stressful situations.”

Hometown: Paramus, NJ

Fun Fact About Yourself: When I was a kid I was really into animals and wanted to be a marine biologist when I grew up, but I never studied biology so I ended up just becoming a Marine.

Undergraduate School and Major: Boston University — Mechanical Engineering

Most Recent Employer and Job Title: United States Marine Corps — Logistics Officer

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 am most interested in joining the Consumer Marketing Academy. Since I was in high school, I’ve always interested with how things are made, which is what led me to study engineering in college. Over time, my interests have broadened to the full product life cycle and I am now looking to pursue a career in product management.

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? Of all the other programs I got accepted to, IU Kelley’s Career Services had the best reputation. While effective curriculum, small class sizes and experiential learning opportunities are important, the end goal of my MBA is to land myself into a career that is right for me. I needed an MBA program that would best help me attain that end goal and put an emphasis on career placement.

What quality best describes your MBA classmates and why? If I could describe my classmates in one word, it would be “diverse.” The Kelley class of 2022 is filled with individuals from all over the world and from a broad range of industries. I am excited to learn something new from each and every one of them.

What club or activity excites you most at this school? I am very interested in the Veterans Club at IU. The military has already helped me develop a large professional network. It would be great to expand that network through other veteran students who, like me, are in the process of a major career change.

Describe your biggest accomplishment in your career so far: My biggest accomplishment in my military career happened during my deployment to the Middle East where I served as the Materiel Readiness Officer for the operation to defeat ISIS in Iraq and Syria. During my time with the headquarters of this operation, I helped develop and implement supply chain process improvements which helped expedite shipments of high priority repair parts through various supply chokepoints. The improved process directly led to the continuous rapid repair of multiple mission critical assets spread across Iraq and Syria, to include helicopters, radars, artillery, and route clearance equipment.

What led you to pursue an MBA at this point in your career? After six years of serving as a Logistics Officer in the Marines Corps, I felt I was ready to try something new. Transitioning from the military to the civilian sector has its fair share of difficulties, especially when you are trying to pursue a career that does not directly align with the one you had in the military. I felt that a full time MBA would be the perfect buffer for my transition because it would provide me with the relevant knowledge and network I would need to succeed in my future career.

What other MBA programs did you apply to? UNC Chapel Hill (Kenan-Flagler), UT Austin (McCombs), University of Michigan (Ross), Northwestern (Kellogg), Penn State (Smeal), University of Maryland (Smith), Georgetown (McDonough)

What was the most challenging question you were asked during the admissions process? What is your biggest weakness?

How did you determine your fit at various schools? The biggest factors I considered when selecting my MBA program were how extensive their alumni networks were, the reputation of their career services office, and the types of experiential learning opportunities offered. Outside of each MBA program’s website, I used a variety of other sources to collect the data I needed to make my final decision; this included web-based sources such as U.S. News, Forbes, and Poets and Quants as well as reaching out to alumni and current students from each program.

What was your defining moment and how did it prepare you for business school? My defining moment was when I was assigned as a Platoon Commander for my unit directly after completing officer training. This job involved leading up to 70 Marines in day-to-day operations and various large-scale military exercises. After multiple successes and failures over my two years with my platoon, I was able to better define my leadership style, which I carried with me through the rest of my military career and will further refine through the MBA program.