2022 MBA To Watch: Karubakee Mohanty, Southern Methodist University (Cox)

Karubakee Mohanty

Southern Methodist University, Cox School of Business

“I am an extrovert who values empathy, ownership, hard work and learning.”

Hometown: Bhubaneswar in Odisha, India

Fun fact about yourself: I have lived in Himalayas for more than a month and volunteered for a student community there.

Undergraduate School and Degree: Bachelor of Technology in Civil Engineering from Biju Patnaik University of Technology, India

Where was the last place you worked before enrolling in business school? I worked at Teach For All before I enrolled at SMU Cox.

Where did you intern during the summer of 2021? Amazon Sort Center in Cresthill, near Chicago

Where will you be working after graduation? Amazon as a Pathways Operations Manager

Community Work and Leadership Roles in Business School: Cox Career Fellow, President-Graduate Women in Business Club, VP-Membership-Consulting & Corporate Strategy Club, Forté Fellow, SMU Cox India Scholar

Which academic or extracurricular achievement are you most proud of during business school? I organized an inaugural MBA Diversity Club Networking Event in October 2021 for all the Diversity Clubs at SMU Cox along with Graduate Women in Business. We had participation from 20+ companies, through which club members made 150+ connections in 3 hours. 

What achievement are you most proud of in your professional career? During my internship last year at Amazon, I improved vendor’s freight quality by 66.7% and my center’s sorter utilization for vendor’s freight by 97.8%. I also created a partnership between North America Sort Centers and Vendor Flex Network.

Why did you choose this business school? I chose Cox because of its curriculum and course structures. Cox emphasizes experiential learning with most of the courses being analytical and case-based, requiring a project delivery where students work in teams.

Who was your favorite MBA professor? I like all my professors and Cox Graduate office staff, but my favorite is Professor Helmuth Ludwig. He made me fall in love with Strategy. Being Global CIO of Siemens, he adds his stellar experience to each class and brings in outstanding leaders in business to serve as guest speakers with some of them sponsoring our projects.

What was your favorite MBA event or tradition at your business school? My school has a tradition of taking a few selected students to the Disney Institute at Walt Disney World in Florida every year. I went to Disney Institute this year, and I learned so much from my interactions with Disney’s cast members, visits to their offices, and even laundry and housekeeping services. This reflects how SMU Cox pays attention to details and believes in strategic partnerships to enhance student experience.

Looking back over your MBA experience, what is the one thing you’d do differently and why? I would participate more in the extracurricular activities. My friends are in Brierley and Hunt institutes of Cox where they can interact with companies and do projects for them.

What is the biggest myth about your school? I feel the biggest myth about my school is that it is expensive. I do not agree with that myth because Cox provides its students with great scholarship opportunities. Being a 100-year-old school, it has many well-established alums coming back to their alma mater and giving back to our student community.

What surprised you the most about business school? I was surprised to see how much more I could learn and establish in a day because of the way our semesters are designed as modules.

What is one thing you did during the application process that gave you an edge at the school you chose? During my application process, I researched my school and made multiple connections with SMU Cox community members over LinkedIn. This helped me get prepared for the program.

Which MBA classmate do you most admire I feel have so much to learn from my classmates as they help me stay motivated. I admire Emily Kustoff the most for her efficiency, humility, and discipline throughout the program.

Who most influenced your decision to pursue business in college? After my sister did her MBA and started leading multiple hospitals as a Regional Manager, I saw the transformation in her behavior and communication skills. I wanted to grow into an effective leader like her.

What are the top two items on your professional bucket list? I want to complete at least 10 certifications, including PMP this year, and learn at least two programming languages– Python and VBA.

How has the pandemic changed your view of a career? The pandemic has made me realize the value of leading people with empathy and how important it is to cultivate outstanding communication skills.

What made Karubakee such an invaluable addition to the Class of 2022?

“Karubakee Mohanty was a student in several of my strategy classes over the past year. She is one of the most hard-working and engaged students I know. While there is in each of my classes a minimum of write ups, she submits almost all possible case analyses and is extremely well- prepared for class discussions. Her contributions are creative and well-reflected, based on her deep business experience.

Beyond her strong contributions to the classroom and case discussions, she is a Cox Career Fellow and Peer Coach, President – Graduate Women in Business Club, Vice President – Consulting and Corporate Strategy Club and worked as a TA for Management Decision Analysis.

From a personal perspective, I observed that Karubakee demonstrates several outstanding traits, including a strong work ethic and a good balance between being competitive by nature and being very empathetic towards her fellow students. She demonstrates her empathy in her identification with the challenges of the protagonist in a business case discussed in class. Her decade-long business experience comes here clearly to fruition.

Karu is currently enrolled in my Strategy Consulting course, where students work with external clients on some of their most challenging business problems. I am highly confident that Karu and her team will do extremely well in this project. I have the same confidence level for Karu’s future professional career.”

Helmuth Ludwig
SMU Cox Professor of Practice for Strategy and Entrepreneurship



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