April 2015 Student of the Month

25 Apr

Kelley Direct Student of the Month

April 2015

Lekshmy Sankar



https://www.linkedin.com/in/lekshmysankar (Links to an external site.)


Discuss your career goals and why you targeted the Kelley School MBA program and how it will help you reach your goals.


I knew something was lacking in my professional life and that an MBA would allow me to thrive, but honestly I didn’t really know where to start. I didn’t even consider an online program because visions of those cheesy commercials for a for-profit school danced in my head. I honestly didn’t believe any top-tier business schools offered them. Fortunately, my employer at the time, Booz Allen Hamilton, partnered with IU and the two institutions created an online certification program for IT Service Management. The firm was willing to pay and my client had a real need for individuals with that skillset. Thus began my path with IU and Kelley Direct. I loved the certification program and continued to look for other opportunities IU could provide me. I enrolled in the Masters of Science in Information Systems program online, which ultimately led me to the MBA program. The online aspect of the program proved to be perfect because my career was really taking off and taking two or more years away from work would have hurt my career growth in the short-term. While allowing me to maintain my short-term momentum, the Kelley MBA is also already helping my career for the long-term. The MBA has taught me to use best practices and academic cases in real life problems at work, which has helped me implement change by showing quantifiable results from other industries. The MBA has also already changed the way I approach and manage projects and has enabled me to motivate my team to be more efficient and effective. I am a better leader and team member because of my MBA experience.


Discuss your involvement with the Veterans and the KDCA and the benefits of the organization.


I honestly wish I became involved with KDSLA sooner. KDVA and KDCA are full of hardworking students who inspire and challenge me every single day. As the President of KDVA, I am very enthusiastic and hopeful for all of the exciting opportunities we have planned for our growing community of veterans. We have a new consulting opportunity that we’ll be rolling out soon, webinars, member workshops, mentorship programs, and networking events planned for the next couple of months. All of this is possible through the diligent efforts of a truly amazing group of individuals who are motivated and seek to help shape the program to better meet our individual needs as KD students. The KDCA is truly a breath of fresh air because I have never met a group of individuals so open to new ideas and change. We have a newsletter that we publish bi-monthly, webinars, career development licenses that we offer to our members, and other exciting benefits that we can offer our members. If you are not a current member of KDSLA, I highly recommend joining an association. It will truly round out your IU MBA experience, and I have found it the most rewarding part of my own experience.


Describe the KD Healthcare Association Moffitt Cancer Center experience and your involvement.


The KD Healthcare Association (KDHCA) coordinated with Moffitt Cancer Center, a leading cancer treatment and research center located in Tampa, to create a consulting opportunity for our members. This student-run association created a student retreat in Tampa with workshops on consulting, interview skills, and research skills focused on helping students become better prepared to assist Moffitt. We also met with the CEO, COO, CIO, and other leaders who have the ability to influence the entire organization. For the retreat, I collaborated with the IU library to design a suite of research tools that specially apply to the KDHCA. It is a fantastic resource for secondary or tertiary research and, honestly, for when searching terms on Google is just not going to suffice. Working with the IU library was enlightening because I really gained a sense of all of the information that is readily available to us as students. I’m also involved with the Research Pipeline Team for Moffitt Cancer Center. This team researches oncological treatments, research areas, and technology platforms, which potentially will have a significant impact to Moffitt as a provider. As an individual with absolutely no experience in the healthcare industry teaming up with students who have obtained a doctorate has been such an incredible learning opportunity. Life is strange because I always thought my passion lies in the IT world but after this opportunity I am exploring whether I would enjoy a position in the healthcare consulting field.


What you suggest to others to do while in the program?


Being part of an online MBA, it is extremely difficult to make lasting connections. Let’s be honest, we all lead busy lives. Being part of KDSLA has completely changed my perspective and helped me grow my leadership skills. I find that I have become a better team member because of the perspective this program has provided to me. Before this program, I was the typical type A personality – complete with the thought process that everything in life is a competition. Being on the leadership board for KDVA and KDCA has taught me to view others as possessing great ideas, to recognize the need to work together as a team, and that a single person simply can’t do everything. It was a humbling experience for me. My advice to every student is to find an association that you might be interested in and reach out to them and see how you can help, don’t simply wait for these associations to create an event that you might be interested in. Since I’ve put myself out there and started networking, I was amazed at the number of people who have contacted me for perspectives, potential job opportunities, and I even found other MBA veteran associations who requested to be a sister association to KDVA. Lastly, the most important advice I ever received and would like to share is to joke around with your class teams even if it is virtual and try to have fun. The classes that have had the most lasting impact on me were the ones where I could have fun with my team members. So smile and have fun! You should be enjoying this experience.

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