Each week, JWMI profiles students and alumni in its new featured series “Winning Voices.” Learn about our diverse community and what sets our program apart from those who have experienced it. For more great “Winning Voices” content, click here.
Sarang Kishor Deshpande
Portfolio Delivery Executive
TELL US A LITTLE BIT ABOUT YOUR ROLE AT ACCENTURE.
I lead a portfolio of customer engagement products designed on the Microsoft technology platforms. I speak with our global customers to try and simplify the way they adopt new technologies. The goal is to find ways for them to be more efficient with their businesses using the global delivery network Accenture has at its disposal.
HOW HAS THE JWMI CURRICULUM HELPED YOU IN YOUR CAREER?
JWMI’s curriculum has undoubtedly made me more confident in navigating the business landscape.
The Leadership in the 21st Century course was critical in this task. I utilize the tools I learned in this course daily to interact with my global professional network.
Another course, Change Management, helped me to navigate the complex and ever-changing structures within my business. It taught me how to adapt and how to build allies. Most importantly, the course taught me how to take the initiative from the trial stage to the implementation stage with the help of a clear strategy.
The Communications & Executive Presence course taught me to seize the moment and how to influence others respectfully. I use these skills to ensure that my presentations are professional and impactful.
These courses, and others, provided me the skills and confidence to navigate complex scenarios while working with senior stakeholders to achieve better outcomes for my team and the company.
WHY WERE YOU LOOKING TO GET YOUR MBA?
I was not specifically looking to get an MBA but wanted to understand the global language of business better. I realized an MBA would provide this knowledge. When I learned that the program was built on Jack Welch’s teachings, I knew I had to enroll. I first read Jack’s book Winning in 2006 and came to appreciate all the achievements he made as a business leader. Jack was a pioneer, and in today’s global and competitive world, it is critical more than ever to implement his leadership principles to take our organizations to even greater heights.
DID YOU FIND THE CURRICULUM WAS IMMEDIATELY APPLICABLE?
It was indeed. Simply put: in the business world, one needs skills to deal with two critical inputs: a business problem and the people who are working to solve it. JWMI’s curriculum teaches you not just about these skills but provides you the opportunity to apply these skills in your job. Having the ability to use these skills in the real world is the best test for when you are tasked with it on the job—the more opportunity to practice, the better the outcome.
LOOKING BACK AT WHAT YOU THOUGHT ABOUT AN ONLINE PROGRAM WHEN YOU FIRST EMBARKED, WHAT WAS YOUR OVERALL IMPRESSION NOW? DID IT MEET YOUR EXPECTATIONS?
The online format allows people of every industry and nationality to come together. As I live in India, this was of great importance, and it also created a more significant network and additional learning opportunities. Blackboard, the online learning portal, was intuitive and easy to navigate. It allowed me to fully immerse myself in the readings, videos, lectures, etc. rather than merely just engaging with them.
WHAT’S BEEN YOUR MOST REWARDING EXPERIENCE IN THE PROGRAM?
The most rewarding experience is undoubtedly the connections I have built. I have learned a great quantity from all of the students I’ve had the pleasure to be in class with and vice versa. I had the pleasure of meeting many of them and my professors at graduation in Washington, DC, in 2019. It was an honor and a thrill.
HOW DID YOU NAVIGATE JOB, FAMILY, AND WORK? WHAT STRATEGIES DID YOU IMPLEMENT TO GET IT DONE?
I must thank my young daughters and my pillar of strength, my better half, Priya. They stood by me during every challenge. As a family, we adjusted our schedules so that I could find time to concentrate on schoolwork. It only got more hectic during the last three months of the program when we welcomed the birth of my second daughter. It can be a roller coaster at times to manage it all, but like most things that challenge you, it is worth it. I completed the program with an Honors grade, which was thrilling, but the honor of seeing how proud my parents and extended family were was the icing on the cake.
PLEASE SHARE ANY ADVICE FOR NEW STUDENTS EMBARKING ON THE MBA JOURNEY.
The one piece of advice I offer is to be true to yourself and seek to find unique and original ways to execute ideas. It can be easy to copy or emulate others, but we each have strengths and weaknesses. Play to your strengths and don’t be afraid to fail. Jack’s career was full of challenges and even some failures, but from them came phenomenal successes. Managing time is equal to managing yourself, i.e., your health and your well-being. The program allows you to find a flow that works for you and your family. Find that, and you will do well.
Connect with Sarang Kishor Deshpande on Linkedin
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