Brandeis International Business School

Rohan Nagi, MBA’21: Multiple experiential learning opportunities

Rohan NagyWhy did you choose Brandeis International Business School?

Brandeis stood out to me for several reasons, but primarily because of its smaller class size and familial feel; its reputation for academic rigor (and the STEM-designated Data Analytics concentration), especially within finance and economics; and its proximity to Boston and all the connections that come with that location. The financial aid was also very generous.

What were the highlights of your Brandeis experience?

The one thing that will always stand out to me is the relationships I had the opportunity to build with people from all walks of life. Brandeis International Business School is truly international. We had students and professors with such interesting life stories, and as someone who grew up in different places around the world, I always loved connecting with people over what the world has been like for us, and to be able to learn about that through the eyes of another was always special and deeply meaningful.

As much as classes and extracurriculars helped me grow, so did all the people I met at Brandeis. I can confidently say I walk away from my experience with friends and mentors that will last a lifetime.

How would you describe the learning environment and support services at the business school?

I began my MBA program at Brandeis (in person) in January 2020 — little did I know that everything would change due to COVID-19. At first it was difficult to adapt to the virtual teaching, but I must salute all the Brandeis faculty and staff. The level of empathy, kindness and resilience they showed during this challenging time was outstanding. Professors, despite battling their own challenges, found ways to make classes more interesting through fun, unique ways of teaching, or by bringing in speakers from around the world.

The Career Strategies & Engagement team was committed to ensuring students could still connect with each other and with professionals in our desired fields through consistent events throughout each semester. Mental health became a large concern during this time as well, and Brandeis staff did whatever was necessary to ensure we learned and grew, but in a more manageable way. Brandeis is a tight-knit community, which I love, and going virtual, although tough, didn’t change that much. The pandemic showed us what more was possible.

Tell us a bit about experiential learning at Brandeis. How did these experiences help in your career path?

I came into my MBA program at Brandeis with three years of experience in international marketing advising, but I wanted to pivot into more cross-functional strategic roles such as consulting or corporate strategy. Three parts of my Brandeis education were critical in helping me achieve this: my internship, field project and research assistantship.

I fell in love with the private equity space a bit late into my MBA program, but through a career event I met Samantha Ory, Heller MBA’14, a Brandeis alumna and general partner of Ouroboros Group. In my internship there, I learned how businesses across industries work at an extremely granular level, what makes them interesting investment opportunities to various stakeholders, and how to model their growth moving forward. This experience opened many doors for me as I began looking for full-time roles after graduation.

Secondly, I did a field project advising a Chilean vineyard because this industry was always interesting to me. The international element was crucial because I knew if I ended up in a strategy consulting role, I’d want to be involved in international engagements. The project taught me how to ask good questions, deal with family businesses and create a well-thought-out business plan.

Finally, during my research assistantship studying climate innovation, I had the chance to really dig into some analytical work. Working with teammates and one of my favorite professors, Ben Gomes-Casseres, we published a report on clean-tech innovation over the last 20 years in the Northeast. Here I learned about how to derive meaningful insights from data and present those insights in equally meaningful ways. Heading into consulting or corporate strategy roles right out of business school meant I would need to be able to get my hands dirty with data, and this really helped me do that.

What are you doing in your current role, and what knowledge, skills, or experiences from your time at Brandeis are you using in your job?

The experiential learning opportunities I had, without a doubt, contributed significantly to my ability to perform well in my current role, especially when it comes to soft skills. Specific classes that continue to pay dividends on the technical side include Business Dynamics; Alliance, Acquisition & Divestment Strategy; Private Equity; Branding Strategy; and Big Data II.

 

Master of Business Administration
Class of 2021

Home Country
India and the United States

Job
Manager, Strategy & Analytics, SponsorUnited

Previous experience
Key Account Manager & Content Studio Lead, The Higher Pitch

Undergraduate Institution and Major
Northeastern University, BSBA, Marketing & Psychology; Nanjing University of Aeronautics and Astronautics, international business dual degree

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