Today on the blog we catch up with Sagar Joshi (EMBA 2018)! This is part of an ongoing series of interviews with members of our Class of 2018 about how the executive formats of the Darden MBA impacted their careers. Be sure to check out our earlier interviews with Jess Ching (GEMBA 2018), Chris Barchet (GEMBA 2018), and Erin Breitzka (EMBA 2018)

What have you been up to since graduation?

The day after graduation, my family and I packed our bags, hauled everything we had accumulated over the last seven years in Delaware and drove to Buffalo, NY, where I started a new role in Marketing Analytics at M&T Bank. My specific team focuses on Digital Analytics, which encompasses everything from campaign analytics to website analytics, with a goal to drive growth at M&T.

How do you feel like your Darden experience prepared you for what you are currently doing?

The Darden experience is unique, and it prepares students to face unfamiliar situations. The Darden curriculum exposes students to a variety of courses, some quantitative, others qualitative. I found both kinds of courses are critical to my career. During my time in the program, I felt I was not only becoming adept at crunching numbers but also in communicating and leading.

As I embarked on my journey after Darden, I have had to wear many hats and take on many different roles including 1) Being quantitative 2) Initiating difficult conversations, 3) Speaking up and 4) Building a good rapport with an offshore team. This diverse set of responsibilities has helped me tremendously, and, in many ways, they continue to build on my experience at Darden. Out of nowhere, I have found myself thinking about cases we read. A few weeks ago, we discussed some workforce restructuring examples, and I could not stop thinking about a Lincoln Financial case we had read as part of the curriculum.

For you, what was the biggest takeaway from the program?

Focus on the course content and get a thorough understanding of the subject matter. It is easy to bypass a topic and think that you are never going to need it. Nothing could be further from the truth. The Darden core curriculum is the core for a reason. Connecting the dots is easy in retrospect, but you may not know the value of a particular course until you have a set of dots to connect. So, trust the process, understand the content and implement where you can.

Now that you are out of school, what do you miss the most about the program?

I miss being on grounds. They continue to inspire me to this day. Darden provided me the opportunity to pivot and change the course of my career, and the grounds were a place where I could be myself and feel empowered. I also want to mention the Executive MBA Program team. These individuals manage all the program logistics and keep things running smoothly. They are truly cornerstones of the executive format experience.

What is your best advice for prospective students?

All top business schools are great in their own way. Here are a few points for you to think through as you consider your MBA journey:

  • Is it the right time to pursue MBA? If you can define why you want to pursue an MBA, it will help make the decision about timing that much easier.
  • How will your family be affected during your two years of MBA? And what will you do to fill the gap that will most certainly be felt at home? For me, family support was critical during the 21 months of the program. I was able to finish business school only because of my wife’s incredible support. It was truly a family affair. My parents, in-laws and wife took the bulk of the responsibilities while I was out or busy with school work. Our youngest daughter was born during an exam week, and I can tell you that without family support, my participation in the program would not have been possible.
  • Is a specific program right for you? Focus on your goals and think critically about what you hope to gain from an MBA. Look at the school’s alumni and what they have done since graduation. This will help you get a sense of the potential opportunities available to you.
  • Does your financial situation support your business school dream? Finances are an important part of this decision. Take a critical look at your financial situation and consider the opportunity cost as you make your decision.