Prompt: Describe how your experiences, both professional and personal, have led to your decision to pursue an MBA at the Wharton school this year. How does this decision relate to your career goals for the future?
Throughout my life I have observed two distinct career paths, my father’s and my uncle’s. My father completed his engineering degree and secured a government job in India, which he continues to hold to this day. My uncle’s path began similarly; like my father, he earned an engineering degree. My uncle, on the other hand, continued his education by moving to the United States to earn an MBA, then started his own venture and became a successful businessman in Los Angeles. Evaluating their experiences helped me understand what I wanted from my life and create a ‘master plan’ for my career. While I appreciate the excitement, flexibility, and independence my uncle has in his life, I value my father’s proximity to his family and culture. I now realize that a career as an entrepreneur in India could provide me with the “best of both worlds.”
With the objective of learning about business, I completed my bachelor’s degree in Commerce and joined KPMG in the Audit & Business Advisory Department. I believed that a career with an accounting firm would serve me in two ways: first, by enhancing my knowledge of accounting — the language of business — and second, by providing me with an excellent introduction to the business world. My decision seemed to be a sound one; in my first two years at KPMG, I worked on a wide variety of assignments that not only strengthened my analytical and problem-solving skills, but also taught me how large businesses managed their sourcing, manufacturing, and distribution functions. After enjoying this productive and educational experience for two years, I decided I wanted greater opportunities than what the audit department could offer.
Thus, when the Management Assurance Services (MAS) practice was established in India, the challenge of working in a new service line and the opportunity to help improve the risk management mechanisms of businesses influenced me to join it. In the last three years, I have improved risk management capabilities of clients by addressing strategic, enterprise and operational risk issues. I have also assisted the MAS practice in tailoring our international portfolio of services to the Indian marketplace by conducting risk management surveys, interacting with professionals in other developing economies, and conducting interviews with senior client management. Besides becoming skilled at process risk consulting, I have also significantly improved my project management and ‘new service’ development abilities in the last three years.