2022 MBA To Watch: Kunal Arora, University of Texas-Dallas (Jindal)

Kunal Arora   

University of Texas at Dallas, Naveen Jindal School of Management

“I consider myself as a dynamic servant leader who strives to learn every day to be better than yesterday.”

Hometown: Noida, Uttar Pradesh, India

Fun fact about yourself: – I have been involved with dance and dramatics since my undergraduate school and throughout my professional career of 10 years. I try to find humor amid tough times and keep myself motivated all throughout. At UT Dallas, I have actively participated in Zumba and Contra Dances.

Undergraduate School and Degree: CITM, Faridabad / Electronics & Communication Engg.

Where was the last place you worked before enrolling in business school? Dy. Director – Indian Navy

Where did you intern during the summer of 2021?

Niagara Bottling LLC – Diamond bar, CA (Virtual) – 8 months

Tesla Inc., Palo Alto, CA (1 month in-person and 2.5 months virtual)

Where will you be working after graduation? I am so excited to say I will be working in the Retail Leadership Development Program at Amazon Inc.

Community Work and Leadership Roles in Business School:

President of ASCM UTD Student Forum

Lead Editor of GEMBA magazine – SCLC

Member / Team Lead – Dean’s Council

MBA Student Ambassador

Which academic or extracurricular achievement are you most proud of during business school?

Top-10 in MBA Business Showcase (the only International student)

3rd in Toastmaster’s Humorous speech contest

Awarded – Most likely to give a Ted Talk

Nominated for Student of the Year

Represented the University for ASCM/Deloitte Case completion for the first time in regional level.

What achievement are you most proud of in your professional career? I am proud of obtaining an internship within 1 month of arriving in the US. Based on my performance, my internship was extended and I was offered a full-time role.

Why did you choose this business school? I am so glad I made the decision to join UT Dallas and was offered admission into the full-time cohort. What attracted to the program was the small cohort size, the wide range of courses in operations management and supply chain, the opportunity to obtain a dual degree, and the return on investment.

Who was your favorite MBA professor? Professor Dorothee Honhon was my favorite MBA professor. She is an exemplary teacher and I have found her teaching methodology very interesting. The way she elaborates concepts and keeps the class engaged has been excellent.

What was your favorite MBA event or tradition at your business school? My favorite MBA tradition was the annual Awards Ceremony organized by the MBA office. I was awarded Most likely to give a Ted talk.

Looking back over your MBA experience, what is the one thing you’d do differently and why? I started my MBA journey in the height of the pandemic, and therefore my cohort missed the in-person team building exercises and industry visits. While we did many events virtually, I would love to have more in-person interactions with my cohort members and get to know them on a deeper level. The connections I have made are ones that will continue past graduation.

What is the biggest myth about your school? At UT Dallas, the Full-Time MBA Cohort is less known because it is such a small and selective program, compared to many of the large specialized Master Programs offered. However, in my experience, the smaller cohort size was an incredible advantage and the latest ranking supports that.

What surprised you the most about business school? The personalized care and attention that the MBA Office has offered me has surprised me the most about business school. I am not just a number and I have a team that continues to support and encourage me.

What is one thing you did during the application process that gave you an edge at the school you chose? My unique background and work experience of 10 years gave me an edge during the application process.

Which MBA classmate do you most admire? I have amazing cohort members, but Robert Lindsay is someone who stands out. He is a leader in and out of the classroom. He had his second child during finals last semester and never missed a beat. When I first arrived in the US, he was someone who went out of his way to help me with the transition.

Who most influenced your decision to pursue business in college? My r ole model, Indira Nooyi, is someone who influenced my decision to pursue business in college.

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

  1. To give a Ted Talk.
  2. Become a C-suite executive for a Fortune 500 company.

How has the pandemic changed your view of a career? I have realized that times are always dynamic and nothing is certain. When I am at a crossroads or trying to making a big decision, my outlook is “If not now, then when?”


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