Career impact doesn’t always mean a promotion or job change. Often, the impact comes from new ways of looking at business and the ability to identify opportunities and challenges. To learn more about how Wharton’s EMBA program impacts careers, we’re hosting a TGIWF (Thank Goodness it’s Wharton Friday) Webinar on July 17 with second-year Philadelphia students, including Niranjan Haridass. We recently asked Niranjan, who is a consulting practice manager at Oracle in Philadelphia, to tell us about his Wharton experience. Here’s what he said:
About a year before I came to Wharton, I changed career tracks at Oracle. I moved from a consulting track to a managerial track when I became a consulting practice manger. Essentially, I took on three jobs: managing consultants who work on our clients’ projects, helping our service team with business development, and working to advance initiatives that help build our organization.
I realized there were some gaps in my business knowledge that I wanted to fill with an MBA. Growing up in India, education is a big thing so it was natural to want to return to school. However, at that point in my career I didn’t want to leave to become a full-time student. I needed a program that would allow me to continue working, provide the intensity and quality of a full-time program, and provide the rigor of a top school. Wharton was a great match.
Although I live near Philadelphia, I’ve come to really appreciate the residential aspect of the program. On Friday nights, we study and hang out together, which really builds relationships. If we all just went home after classes, that wouldn’t happen. Also, if I went home, I’d feel torn between spending time with my wife and young son and needing to study. By staying on campus on Wharton weekends, it alleviates that tension so I can focus on school.
Even within the first year, my class has bonded quite a lot. The diversity of our backgrounds is amazing. For instance, in our class we have people who are accomplished doctors, people who have run Ironman Triathlons, people who manage funds for major corporations, and people involved in social impact work. That diversity creates a very open forum. We talk as though we’ve known each other for 20 years. I’m still amazed by this dynamic.
I’m also impressed with the administration at Wharton. We have a class manager, Diane Harvey, assigned to our class who takes care of us. All we really need to do is show up, study and go home. I don’t have to worry about any logistics because the staff wants us to concentrate on what is most important – studying and building relationships.
As for career impact, I’m hoping to continue moving up in this new managerial track. But beyond promotions, I am better able to appreciate our company’s strategy and the challenges our customers face. My industry also is going through a transition from hardware to cloud technology and I’m now running several initiatives for our products in that space. So the biggest impact has been a combination of taking on more responsibility in business areas, and gaining a much broader perspective.
That new perspective has changed the way I look at just about everything. I’m learning to think like an entrepreneur. I’m not just doing a job anymore, but am thinking about the overall business. It’s very enlightening to take this view rather than just focus on my specific role or business unit. I can now see how things are interrelated and connected, and I’m only just getting started.
To watch the recording of the TGIWF Webinar on career impact, click here.