July 2015~Student of the Month

01 Aug

Student of the Month 

July 2015 

Rish Sawant

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Key-points for the time-deprived: 

•      Discover the powerful leader and team player in yourself by participating in KDSLA (More in section 2)

•      No program is perfect, become a change agent (More in section 3)

•      Two value-adding books read during time at Kelley (See section 4)


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

Ever since I entered my professional work life 15 years ago, I had an eye set on completing management studies to learn the art and science of management. The journey began in 2005 when I enrolled for a non-degree Management Study program at Lehigh University’s College of Business and Economics, Bethlehem, PA. By end of 2006, I had completed a few management courses, but life changes (moved several times) restricted my ability to enroll into the traditional brick and mortar MBA program. But, that did not hold me back from earning my “dream” degree. Deep inside, I was determined to earn an MBA and that too from a Top 20 Business School. Kelley Direct presented me with that excellent opportunity which has entirely changed my career trajectory for the better. Thank You Kelley!

I will graduate with the MBA degree at end of August 2015, but will be around until 2016 to finish-up courses in MS in Marketing. Consulting is what I do and have been doing for the past 15 years; it defines who I am. Specifically, my career goal is to mature as a Management Consultant in Strategy with a focus, more so, on Strategic Marketing projects. Without the Kelley curriculum and the experience, this career pursuit would have probably remained as a remote possibility. Kelley School of Business has provided me with the “Momentum” that it so aggressively brands.


2) Discuss your involvement with the KD Consulting Association and KD Marketing Association, and the benefits of the organizations

VP of Communications of KDMA (2014 – 2015), President of KDMA (2015 – 2016), VP of Communications of KDCA (2015 – 2016), Chief-Editor of KDCA Consulting Connection newsletter 

The leadership roles in KDCA and KDMA have added three important dimensions to my MBA program – NetworkingPersonal Branding and Leadership/Teamwork. The first two are self-explanatory, but the third deserves a bit of elaboration.

Leadership/Teamwork – It is during my involvement with these two Associations that I was introduced to my own natural leadership style, and I learned the skills of effective teamwork. If you can learn to drive results in a volunteer-based organizations such as SLA, KDCA, KDMA etc…., chances are high that you will succeed as a leader in any professional organization.

3) What tips can you provide to the first year students?

  • No program is perfect, but you can improve yours and for others by becoming a powerful change agent
  • Begin with the end in mind. Define what success from your time at Kelley means to you. Two years at Kelley (or for some a bit longer) will pass-by before you know. Prepare our own version of a written plan for success at Kelley in your very first month or two at Kelley. (“On the graduation day, I’d like to have achieved ABC and for that I will need to do XYZ”). You don’t start driving without knowing the destination and a roadmap. You shouldn’t at Kelley either!
  • Take on a leadership role in KDSLA and/or affiliated Associations – you will be surprised after you figure out the actual intangible ROI.
  • If you are interested in a Management Consulting career, a Level 3 AGILE course is recommended
  • And the most important… You will get what you put into your program.

4) Two value-adding books read during my time at Kelley

  • The Go-Giver: A little story about a powerful business idea” by Bob Burg and John Mann


  • Crucial Conversations: Tools for Talking When Stakes are High” by Kerry Patterson et al


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