Final Reflections: Growth and transformation in business school

Rohan Rajiv (Kellogg, ’16) has managed to stay busy and involved throughout his entire MBA experience. In addition to juggling multiple leadership activities, he blogs daily on his thoughts and insights over at his blog “A Learning a Day.”We’re fortunate that Rohan found some time in his busy schedule to share with us about his thoughts on his own transformation and growth at Kellogg along with his thoughts on some of his memorable experiences from business school.

MBASchooled: What will you miss most about your MBA experience?

Rohan: I’ll miss the ability to have a conversation over a long walk down to the lake here in Evanston with a good friend. I love these “walk-and-talks” and, while I’m sure I’ll have plenty more once I start working, the environment at school is special.

MBASchooled: What is your favorite memory of business school?

Rohan: My favorite memory was a powerful personal growth moment the day before we welcomed the class of 2017 to Kellogg for their orientation. Our team had spent many months rethinking and reshaping the orientation week experience.
This was late Saturday night. We had been hard at work over the past week getting things ready and the new students would arrive on Monday morning. Sunday was the day when 20 of our classmates who’d volunteered to be “Section Leaders” would show up for a half day training. For us, Sunday was effectively showtime.

We had been working off a really long list of things and were wrapping up our final two mammoth tasks. And, around 2:30am, we finally got done. Two things happened at that moment. First, we turned up the music and just danced for a couple of minutes — a wonderful memory. But, second, at that moment, I had this overwhelming feeling that we had done everything we could, with the best of intentions, to make this experience work. Now that we’d done our best and engaged wholeheartedly, it was time to let go completely to just enjoy the experience. And, that’s what I did.

To be able to engage thoroughly with the process and then to say “this might not work” and find distance from the outcome was something I had hoped to do for the longest time. And, to be able to do that was special.

MBASchooled: What are you most proud of from your MBA experience?

Rohan: I took/had the opportunity to build multiple teams at school that took on fairly large projects. I am most proud of the way these teams came together to have an impact on the student body that will hopefully last a long time.

MBASchooled: What part of you has undergone the most transformation while in business school?

Rohan: I think I have definitely grown a lot as a leader. I chose to spend a lot of time taking on extracurricular projects because I believed understanding how teams worked would be the single best thing I’d take from school.

And, I think that has been totally true. My synthesis from these experiences is here.

MBASchooled: Who is someone who has had a positive influence on you while in business school?

Rohan: I will cheat and say there are two groups of people who’ve had a massive positive influence on my experience.There is a small group of Professors and Administrators who were incredibly encouraging and supportive.

The next group was all those wonderful peers who joined me in the teams I led. You are, after all, a by product of those you spend most of your time with. They pushed me to get much much better.

But, if I had to pick one person anyway — in business school or beyond, I’d pick my wife. She does 90% of the work and gets 5% of the credit — I’d be nowhere without her support.

MBASchooled: Is there anything that you haven’t gotten to do that you wish you had done?

Rohan: Nope. I try to be fairly intentional about where I spend my time. So, I tend to not to be one for regrets.

MBASchooled: Where do you hope to be in five years?

Rohan: I am not sure. I say that because I could choose to interpret “where” as a location question. That becomes complicated quickly because of visas and the like.

My guess is that “where” in this question refers to type of job. I think of this similar to how Jeff Bezos thinks of Amazon’s operating priorities — there are things that will change and things that will not change. I think the things that will not change in 5 years are — I’d like to work in technology and I’d like to be learning and growing.

As long as we’re directionally in this zone, I think (/hope) the rest will be just fine.

This article originally appeared on MBASchooled’s website

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