MBA Student Profile Akhilla Ashok

Q&A with Akhilla Ashok, full-time MBA student.
Akhilla Ashok shares why she chose the University of Sydney MBA, the best part of the degree so far, and how she found the transition from Mumbai to Sydney.
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Akhilla Ashok, Current full-time MBA student 

Why did you decide to do an MBA?

During the pandemic, with remote working and long working hours, I started to question myself. Am I really doing what I want to do? Is there a purpose in what I'm doing? I questioned whether I saw myself in that role for the rest of my life.

Ultimately, where I got to was the desire to pursue a career with social impact. Having an impact in the social world, whether it is people, culture, sustainability or anything else. It is about having a purpose.  

How do you spend your free time?

Among my varied hobbies, I love to dance and am very passionate about it. I am a staunch believer of the role extracurriculars play in helping one to become a well-rounded individual. Dance has played a role in shaping me as a person and as a leader.  I'm not a trained dancer, but when I dance, I tend to make the others want to feel like dancing along. In my opinion, that’s what leadership entails – one need not be an expert, but can lead with zeal and intent.  Bringing trained dancers and dance enthusiasts together is beyond just the skills, it is about collaborating, coordinating and showcasing a great performance with passion for the artform being the common thread.

Why did you choose the University of Sydney?

If you have that passion for something it comes out, and that is exactly what I saw in Professor Guy Ford. I liked the way the program was structured around leadership and enterprise. The full-time MBA gives you a holistic experience with all the essential business skills as well as the skills to make you confident as a leader.

At this point in life, the MBA is not just a degree for me. It's a transformation journey towards my end goal. This is where I'm meant to be.

What has been the best thing about the MBA so far? 

The journey with my cohort mates! I thoroughly enjoy my time with the cohort because we all come from diverse cultural and professional backgrounds and are at the same stage of our academic life. There are people younger and older to me, and to be at that phase of life where you're learning from both sides, is second to none. To not only learn from the academics, but also your cohort mates and network - I think that's the beauty of the MBA!

There are people who have figured things out in life, but are also willing to explore further. It's that fire within that's burning to know and learn more.

How has the move to Sydney been for you? 

Mumbai is very close to my heart. But I knew I needed to give myself the chance to be independent and live my life in a completely new city with new people. Sydney’s been great – a scenic place with a vibrant culture!

What would you say to someone considering the MBA at Sydney? 

It's not just about getting another degree. It's not about getting all of the knowledge in my head and then thinking “I'm going to change the world”, but using it literally as a weapon to change perspectives - to change the way people see things and help create a lasting impact.

29 August 2022

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