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Fellows of the Month: Pranjal Hegde

Pranjal HegdeWashington University in St. Louis, International Studies and Marketing, 2008
Babson College F.W. Olin Graduate School of Business, Class of 2014
Hometown: Cincinnati, OH
Pre-MBA Work Experience: Sales Operations Supervisor at a privately-held industrial supplies distributor in Chicago, IL

Why did you decide to pursue an MBA?
My undergraduate degree was a Bachelors in Arts, and I knew that if I wanted to equip myself with the tool set to not only transition from one industry to another, but to make a sustainable impact in social enterprise, pursuing an MBA would enable me to successfully accomplish both of these goals.

What advice do you have for women who are considering business school?
Writing business school applications is a very self-reflective process, and I learned a few things about myself related both to my personal and professional aspirations through the application process that I hadn’t necessarily known before.  As a result, I was able to truly find “the best fit” program for me. My advice would be, don’t rush the process. Take your time in vetting programs thoroughly to find the best one for you. Attending business school is an (expensive, but worthwhile) investment in your future; you want to be sure that the choice you make is the right one.

What’s the most surprising you learned about business school during the application process?
The most surprising thing I learned during the application process was editing, editing and more editing. I didn’t realize when I first began writing my personal statement and essays just how many iterations I would go through before I felt the essays were submissions worthy. It is very helpful to get feedback from family, friends and colleagues who know you well to read and edit your writing. Don’t take the feedback personally, they’re just as excited about you getting into the best business school program as you are!

Do you feel prepared for business school?
I did not feel truly prepared for business school… and for me, that was kind of the whole point. Entering in a business school program is almost like hitting the “re-start” button in terms of your learning curve. It’s helping me recognize that I’m going to do well in certain subjects and struggle a lot in others. While this can be daunting, I’ve achieved a point in my career where it’s so much less about knowing when to use a regression model, and so much more about being able to read the results and draw intelligent conclusions from them.

What do you do in your free time?
I’ve been dancing ever since I can remember, so any opportunity I get to take a dance class or attend a dance performance I try to include it into my schedule. I also love to travel internationally, spend time with my family and friends, read novels and write short stories.

Please share something about your experience with Forté.
In 2010 I had the opportunity to attend the Forté Forum in Chicago. That experience really helped me understand the overall MBA application process, introduced me to many admissions officers from graduate schools, and gave me the confidence to recognize that pursuing a full-time MBA at this point in my career is the right choice for me. Additionally, I really enjoy participating in the webinar series that Forté hosts and sponsors. You get access to some amazing individuals in the business world today, there’s nothing like it!

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