Jayakanthan Sivasankaran is an MBA candidate with a major in business analytics at the University of Delaware’s Alfred Lerner College of Business and Economics. Sivasankaran, who plans to graduate in 2021, shared his experience choosing his Lerner graduate program and how it has impacted him personally and professionally.
Lerner: Why did you go back to pursue your graduate degree? Why did you choose the Lerner College for your studies?
Sivasankaran: I wanted to start a business and I knew few aspects of it. I wanted to learn all about business in a professional classroom setting where I can meet diverse minds and talents. The UD MBA is well respected and closer to home and became my first choice. As a bonus, my current employer was ready to sponsor.
Lerner: What did you learn through this opportunity that you wouldn’t have learned anywhere else?
Sivasankaran: Accounting, finance, corporate governance, strategy and so many soft skills around leadership, organization effectiveness, emotional intelligence, lateral and critical thinking, etc. All of this was offered to me in a way that I can easily grasp and apply.
Lerner: Please share an example of a course or concept that you were able to apply directly to your life and/or career.
Sivasankaran: My favorites were accounting and corporate governance. There’s a concept I learned called discount rate, which can answer many questions surrounding stock prices. Many pundits say don’t buy stocks with high multiples (P/E) but in today’s market conditions it’s not true. Post 2006, the effect of discount rates on companies is vastly different. This is just one example of how the courses benefited my understanding on various topics. There’s a lot we can learn and apply in real life.
Lerner: Describe an important connection you have made through your graduate program (personal, professional, peers, mentors, professors, etc.)
Sivasankaran: I was able to make many impactful connections to all the people that I dealt with on a daily basis, especially with my peers at work. Several topics on growth mindset and organizational leadership were eye openers for me personally.
Lerner: If you were to describe your classmates in one word, what would that be and why?
Sivasankaran: Leaders. Everyone wants to learn, change and grow in a way that has a positive tone to it.
Lerner: How do you balance your career with your studies?
Sivasankaran: Thorough planning. To an extent the lockdowns due to the coronavirus pandemic and work from home strategies helped to save time.
Lerner: Fill in this sentence: “My graduate program helped me become…”
Sivasankaran: A leader with a much better understanding of things and people.
Lerner: What was the most impactful hands-on project or case competition that you were able to participate in?
Sivasankaran: Marketing case studies where we dissected the business, understood what they did and what can be done to improve.
Lerner: What are your plans or next steps for the future?
Sivasankaran: Start a venture capital firm on the East Coast and grow the Delaware Valley area for all sorts of innovation.