My journey from serving as a Navy Commander of a Submarine to a Senior Program Manager with Amazon Web Services has been challenging and also exhilarating.
I joined the Indian Navy as a cadet when I was 17 years old and was commissioned as a Naval Officer at the age of 21 into the Submarine cadre as an electrical engineer. In a career spanning more than 20 years in the Navy, I was often placed in situations demanding various levels of leadership and management. From firing underwater missiles to skydiving, the Navy helped me hone my leadership skills with the benefit of experiential learning not only in military missions but also in disaster management scenarios.
Alongside my missions in ships and submarines, I was fortunate to be the Programs Director for major maritime acquisitions and technical programs involving multimillion-dollar contracts and negotiations with large global firms. This is where I first noticed gaps in my business knowledge and financial acumen resulting in my decision to take voluntary retirement from the Indian Navy to embark on further education.
I was attracted to the University of Sydney Business School's MBA program not only because of the overall value it offered but primarily as the curriculum was unlike any of the traditional MBAs. The program is focused on harnessing entrepreneurial instincts and dealing with change and ambiguity, which I feel are some of the most important traits for effective leadership and management.
The MBA has been instrumental in preparing me for working in environments of conflict, ambiguity, change and diversity.
Studying my MBA at University of Sydney has been the most significant decision in my life as I was seeking to transition from a military leadership role to a strategy focused role in the business world. The MBA has been instrumental in preparing me for working in environments of conflict, ambiguity, change and diversity. It also equipped me with confidence and tools to take on the role of Senior Program Manager (Business Development and Proposals) at Amazon Web Services in the Asia Pacific region.
Key to my success in landing this role was the Business School's MBA Career Services. The team coached and guided me through the nuances of the role requirements and actively helped me to finetune my Curriculum Vitae and application. The MBA Career Services team liaised directly with the talent acquisition team of Amazon Web Services and were incredibly impactful in helping me get an initial look in for the role. The recruitment process for the role had a strong focus on leadership principles, dealing with ambiguity and change, as well as the application of analytical skills. I am certain the learnings from the MBA along with my exposure to real business cases during the program helped me effectively articulate my case with success.