2023 MBA To Watch: Abhishek (Abby) Dudhankar, Babson College (Olin)

Abhishek (Abby) Dudhankar

Babson College, F.W. Olin Graduate School of Business

“A resilient problem-solver driven by empathy and optimism, dedicated to delivering innovative solutions and creating a lasting impact.”

Hometown: Karnataka, India; and calling Toronto, Canada home since 2013.

Fun fact about yourself: At 7 years old, I had my first ever 15 minutes of fame (well, technically 15 seconds) when I auditioned for a national TV singing show. I may or may not have belted out a tune that still haunts me to this day… but who knows, maybe there’s a clip floating around out there for the world to see!

Undergraduate School and Degree:

Centennial College, Canada – Graduate Certificate Marketing – Research & Analytics

Karnatak University, India – Bachelor of Business Administration

Where was the last place you worked before enrolling in business school? Prior to coming to Babson College, I was working at Johnson & Johnson Canada as an Analytics & Capabilities Lead, where I was leading commercial analytics for the MedTech business, creating impact through analytics and innovation, delivering strategic insights, and driving transformative change.

Where did you intern during the summer of 2022? I am enrolled in a one-year MBA program, completing 45 credits in just 12 months with limited opportunity for a full-term internship. However, during my fall semester, I participated in a 4-month student consulting project with one of Massachusetts’ top auto insurance companies. As part of a team, we developed strategies to enhance product distinctiveness based on the competitive and consumer landscape with the aim of boosting revenue and market share.

Where will you be working after graduation? I am currently in the final stages of consideration for two leading companies and have been presented with the chance to join a promising early-stage company in Canada. Leveraging the resources of Babson College and the numerous events organized by the CCD, I am optimistic about the potential for further opportunities to arise. I am eager to pursue roles in strategy and insights, where I can drive meaningful change in the industry.

Community Work and Leadership Roles in Business School: I am associated with a few clubs. This semester, I am delighted to have taken on a leadership role in the Business Analytics Club. In this capacity, I have leveraged my skills in outreach and marketing to drive positive outcomes.

Despite facing a personal challenge during the fall semester that required a leave of absence from campus for nearly a month, I remained steadfast in my academic pursuits. With the help of my professors, college services, and friends, I was able to tackle a demanding course load of 16.5 credits and attain top grades. Although the emphasis on my personal situation and academics did hinder my participation in community events, I am confident in my ability to strike a balance between my responsibilities and continue making valuable contributions in the future.

Which academic or extracurricular achievement are you most proud of during business school? As a proud member of the Babson community, I am grateful to be a recipient of the prestigious Presidential Scholar and Olin Scholar awards.

I am pleased of achieving top grades in the courses of Entrepreneurship and Babson Consulting Experience (BCE). Both courses challenged me to step outside of my comfort zone and taught me valuable skills. In Entrepreneurship, I learned the fundamentals of creating a product and starting a business. Through BETA-X, I was given the opportunity to develop a sustainable business based on the United Nations’ sustainable goals, which allowed me to apply my knowledge in areas such as product development, design thinking, finance, and marketing. On the BCE front, I had the opportunity to work as a consultant for a client facing a real time market issue. The hands-on experience allowed me to apply all the concepts I had learned in the core courses. The end result was highly appreciated by the client, and I am proud of the work I was able to contribute.

What achievement are you most proud of in your professional career? Throughout my professional journey, I have been deeply humbled to have received numerous accolades for my outstanding contributions to the organizations I have served. Among these, one that holds a special place in my heart is my experience at Procter & Gamble. When I joined P&G as a contract employee, I was determined to make the most of my opportunity and leave a lasting impact. Despite being on a one-year contract, I was able to demonstrate my value and dedication to the company within just four months. My efforts were recognized, and I was offered a full-time position, a testament to my commitment to excellence. At the end of the year, my efforts were further recognized when I received the prestigious “Ruby Renegade” award. This recognition is reserved for new employees within their first two years who have made a significant impact on the company and disrupted the status quo. I have learned so much during my time there, and I am grateful to the company for inspiring me to strive for better every day.

Why did you choose this business school? I was drawn to Babson’s robust entrepreneurial focus which aligned with my personal and professional goals. In recent years, my role has become more intrapreneurial and demanding, requiring me to enhance my capabilities to drive high impact, optimize value, and effectively manage resources. Pursuing an education at Babson would enable me to cultivate an entrepreneurial mindset. I was impressed by the supportive community at Babson. I was struck by the openness and accessibility of current students, alumni, and the graduate services team, who were all eager to assist me in making the right decision for my future. I also wanted flexibility in the program, and Babson MBA was the right fit.

Who was your favorite MBA professor? I have been fortunate enough to learn from many exceptional professors throughout my academic journey at Babson, and it was a difficult task to choose. I can write about almost all professor, but to limit I will highlight two professors. Professor P.J. Guinan highlighted crucial issues like teamwork, psychological safety, team management, DEI, and leadership. Professor P.J. Guinan was open to discussing career, team dynamics, and personality attributes outside of class. Professor Nathan Karst is super energetic, quick, and always helping. Professor Karst’s personable style ensures class unity. Professor Karst simplifies even the most difficult issues and assures we understand the material.

What was your favorite MBA event or tradition at your business school? At Babson, I have been fortunate to attend a variety of events that have left a lasting impression on us. Some of my favorites include the Founder’s Day celebration, the upcoming GEL, and the countless fireside chat with entrepreneurs and corporations. Each of these events brings together individuals who are at the forefront of innovation and are experts in their respective fields. They are dedicated to giving back to the community and sharing their experiences and insights. Attending these events provides me with a unique opportunity to gain a deeper understanding of the real-time challenges that these leaders face and how they are finding innovative solutions to overcome them. It is truly inspiring to see how they think beyond the standard realm of possibilities and their unwavering commitment to serving the community. These events have left me feeling motivated and empowered to continue pushing the boundaries of what is possible and to strive to do better in my own life and career.

Looking back over your MBA experience, what is the one thing you’d do differently and why? Starting new phase in life is always an exciting, yet sometimes overwhelming experience. The transition can be even more challenging when it occurs quickly, such as leaving one job on a Friday and starting MBA program on a Monday. Looking back, taking a few weeks off before starting a demanding program like a One-Year MBA could have been a valuable investment in personal and professional well-being. I wish I had taken a 2-3 week break to prepare for the intense pace of the program, which is often described as “drinking from a fire hose” due to its quick and efficient nature. Having some time off before the start of the program would have allowed me to rest, make important connections, and get ahead academically. It’s important to prioritize self-care and preparation in any big transition, and taking a break before starting a demanding program can be a beneficial step towards success.

What did you love most about your business school’s town?  Wellesley is a suburban area located in the Greater Boston Area, I love the peaceful atmosphere and ample opportunities for outdoor activities. While Wellesley offers a quiet retreat from the bustling city life, the Boston Area is where the action takes place. I love that the area as it is home to a thriving community of organizations, start-ups, and ambitious individuals, providing ample opportunities for networking, fun, and personal growth.

What surprised you the most about business school? My experience at Babson College has been truly transformative, both personally and professionally. I was initially surprised by the supportive and collaborative nature of my classmates, who, despite their impressive backgrounds and profiles, were open and generous with their time. I was expecting a competitive atmosphere. However, I was pleasantly surprised by the willingness of everyone, including alumni and guests, to share their knowledge and offer their support. This positive and collaborative environment has helped me grow and develop in ways I could not have imagined.

What is one thing you did during the application process that gave you an edge at the school you chose? During my MBA application process, one of the most valuable steps I took was to clearly define my personal and professional goals and determine the specific skills I wanted to enhance. This self-reflection allowed me to understand why obtaining an MBA at this time was the right decision for me and provided clarity on my future career aspirations. I sought out guidance from individuals within the Babson community and reached out to peers from other universities to gather information and gain further perspective. Their support and insights proved to be invaluable in helping me make an informed decision.

Which MBA classmate do you most admire? I have been privileged to work with and learn from some of the most talented individuals in my career. It has been a challenge to narrow it down to just a few, but I would like to highlight Samantha Brennan, Diven Mehta, and Rohitha Swarna. Their expertise and experience in areas such as leadership, work culture, family business, product marketing, and management are truly exceptional. Additionally, they are some of the most humble, kind, and intelligent people I have had the pleasure of knowing, and I am proud to call them my friends.

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

1) Achieving Leadership Positions and Financial Stability – I aspire to attain leadership positions in an organization where I can utilize my skills and knowledge to make a positive impact on people’s lives. Along with this, I also strive to develop financial habits that will lead me to financial stability, enabling me to give back to the community in meaningful ways.

2) Paying it Forward and Giving Back – My goal is to repay the generosity shown to me by others who have helped me along the way and to also pay it forward to others. I hope to continue mentoring new immigrants. By supporting others, I aim to contribute to creating a positive and supportive community.

What made Abhishek such an invaluable member of the Class of 2023?

“Abhishek came to Babson to pursue his own education after several years in data analytics, most recently at J&J. As a leader in the classroom, he is the embodiment of Babson College’s values of excellent, integrity, collaboration, and innovation. He is one of those rare individuals who combines his facility with data analysis and strategic thinking with deep empathy and connection to the people in his community. His peers consider him a standout for his leadership and professionalism. Those who have had the pleasure of working on a team with Abhishek are quick to state that they would happily work with him again. While it’s common for peers at Babson to think well of each other, it is rare to receive such universal praise from both faculty and students for exceptional communication, talent, positive outlook, and commitment to excellence. The fact that Abhishek continues to lead with grace and humility is a testament to his strong character and collaborative nature.”

Jessica Hose
Senior Director, Graduate Student Services


Questions about this article? Email us or leave a comment below.