Neetek Kumar lives in Newark, Delaware and is a full-time MBA candidate studying business analytics at the University of Delaware’s Alfred Lerner College of Business and Economics. Kumar, who plans to graduate in 2023, shared his experience choosing the Lerner MBA program and how it has impacted him both personally and professionally.
Lerner: Why did you go back to pursue your graduate degree? Why did you choose the Lerner College for your studies?
Kumar: After having spent almost five years in the fashion industry, I realized that I needed to expand my skills and grow my network. In my pursuit to look for universities around the world, I attended the MBA Tour at Hotel Taj in Bengaluru, India, and met Ms. Denise Waters. Upon interaction with Ms. Waters, I found the Lerner MBA as a perfect combination of improving one’s knowledge of business management as well as ensuring skill development and personal growth. I did some research and found out that the University of Delaware is a reputed institution with years of legacy and provides a holistic education and experiential learning opportunities to the students. Also, Delaware is the place where major incorporations takes place, making Lerner my most preferred choice.
Lerner: What did you learn through this opportunity that you wouldn’t have learned anywhere else?
Kumar: The value of diversity is the foremost thing that I learned through this opportunity. Being able to get a different perspective from a diverse group of peers has been one of the most rewarding experiences so far. The discussion becomes incredibly enriched with thoughts guided by the behaviors and attitudes of different people from different countries, cultures and backgrounds.
Lerner: Please share an example of a course or concept that you were able to apply directly to your life and/or career.
Kumar: A course that would come in very handy in my career pursuits is BUAD621- Decision Analytics and Visualization. I am taking this course this semester and it has already helped me improve my computing skills, statistical analysis, domain knowledge and decision making skills through R programming. I have previously extensively worked on Excel but after learning this course I am realizing that there are better and more effective ways to manage and visualize data.
Lerner: Can you describe an important connection you have made through your graduate program?
Kumar: I am making a lot of valuable connections in this graduate program. One such connection is Mr. Deepak Tanna, who is my mentor through the Lerner Executive Mentoring Program. With his expert guidance I have been able to hone my interpersonal skills, learn about the U.S. job market and learned how to beef up my technical knowledge. The mentoring program at Lerner is an exceptional opportunity to be paired with an experienced mentor who can help you in your career with great advice and life experiences.
Lerner: If you were to describe your classmates in one word, what would that be and why?
Kumar: I would describe my classmates as motivated. Despite all the challenges and hurdles they bring a lot of meaningful discussions to the classroom and never lose their passion for what they are doing.
Lerner: How do you balance your career with your studies?
Kumar: I work at the Lerner Career Services as a Business Systems Analyst Intern during the day and have my classes in the evenings. As the course structure is perfectly designed for both the full-time students and the working professionals, I am able to manage my time and balance my career and studies. In fact, I am also able to accommodate my personal learning via online courses on Udemy and Coursera while managing work-study life.
Lerner: Fill in this sentence: “My graduate program helped me become…”
Kumar: more confident in life. With a graduate degree from Lerner and experiential learning opportunities, I feel that I can stand out in any professional organization.
Lerner: What was the most impactful hands-on project or case competition that you were able to participate in?
Kumar: I recently participated in a team of four and won the second prize in the Carol A. Ammon Case Competition which revolved around a real life NPO, More Than Fitness. More than Fitness was looking for recommendations on how it can restructure its existing board, create awareness and raise funds to meet its target. The NPO was very satisfied with our research and recommendations and applauded us for our hard work and critical thinking on the key topics.
I am also grateful for the opportunity to work on Salesforce while working as the Business Systems Analyst at the Lerner Career Services. This gives me ample hands-on experience with customer relationship management and I can see my work actually impacting the growth of the organization which is very satisfying and at the same time, there is a great learning.
Lerner: What are your plans or next steps for the future?
Kumar: I am looking forward to starting my graduate internship program at Barclays this Summer 2022. I am excited to build up my skills in various data analysis tools and hone my decision-making skills for which I think Barclays would be an ideal training ground.