Arvind Chahal, MMA'18

June 26, 2018

Why did you choose Smith School of Business?

I wanted to jump-start my career. I was not happy with where my career was headed. I needed a way to demonstrate credibility as a professional with analytics capabilities and horsepower. The Master of Management Analytics program was a great option. It gave me a wide range of skills, tools and knowledge in analytics; I was able to work full time during the program, so I could support my growing family; and now I have a great alumni network to connect with.

What was your most memorable experience in the program?

I remember how energized and excited I felt after the first residential session. That week really set the tone for our class dynamic and helped me forge the foundation for some great relationships I developed through the program. I’ve done a lot of fun and exciting things in my life, and that week in Kingston will be a memory I cherish.

What advice would you give your student self?

You’ll get out of the program what you put into it; which applies to more than just the studying and assignments. The team-based structure provides an incredibly rich opportunity to work on leadership and teamwork skills, so don’t be afraid to go outside of your comfort zone to really stretch and grow.

What is your proudest accomplishment? 

I haven’t always had career success. I’ve been rejected, I’ve made mistakes and I’ve even been very unexpectedly let go. But I’m still standing. I am really proud of the fact that in those tough moments —  when it feels like the world is crashing in on you — I leveraged my adaptability, resiliency and determination to pick myself up and move forward.

What’s something most people don’t know about you?

When I lived in Chicago I took comedy improv classes at Second City. It was a lot of fun and also really impacted how I think about communication with others. Really great improv isn’t about being the funniest person; it is about learning to pick up on cues from your improv partners and learning how to say “Yes, and…” not “No, but…” to ideas that are sent your way. That is a lesson that can definitely apply to many contexts, especially the workplace.

If you were recommending the MMA to a friend, what would you say?

Go into the program with a really clear objective in mind for what you want your outcome to be and what you want to get out of the program… and then make sure the program can actually offer that.