In this series, we celebrate the truly impressive and diverse students who recently joined Kellogg’s Evening & Weekend Program. Today, we’re excited to introduce (from left): Richa Bhargava (Operations Manager, Ferrara) an Adib Rushdan, MD (Physician, Oak Street Health).
What are you currently doing from a career perspective? Anything you’re particularly proud of?
Richa: I work at a candy factory! I’m currently working at Ferrara, one of the largest candy companies in the world as an operations manager at one of their factories. I have built a career in food manufacturing. I stumbled upon the industry after a rotational trainee program with Kraft Heinz. Manufacturing is complex, fast-paced, high-stakes and always interesting. There is always room for improvement, which means there are always problems to solve. Additional parameters with food regulations adds another challenging element.
Manufacturing as an industry is very male-dominated. I take pride that I have succeeded in operations as a thinker and leader. My proudest achievements have always been promoting women and helping women develop on my team. The industry is slowly changing, and while I am the only female operations manager in the company now, I am determined to change how it looks in 5-10 years.
Adib: I am currently a Value Based Care Fellow and Primary Care Physician at Oak Street Health in Chicago and pursuing my MBA via the Kellogg School of Management Evening and Weekend Program. My proudest professional achievement next to completing medical school, was being elected to serve as Chief Resident amongst my fellow resident physician colleagues at Drexel University Tower Health Family Medicine Program.
As an incredibly accomplished and very busy professional, why was now the right time to get your MBA? Why Kellogg and your specific program?
Richa: I have been moving very quickly “up the ladder” in my career so far and have been distracted by moving job to job. However, when COVID stopped the world, it allowed me to take the time to reflect on what I want out of my career. I enjoy the critical thinking and decision-making I get to do in my role and want to move into a role that allows me to strengthen and flex those muscles. But what exactly is that job? I am excited to be in school to learn from my peers what other opportunities are waiting for me.
Because I have momentum in my career thus far, I didn’t want to pause that and stop working. I enjoy the growth opportunities and want to continue doing my favorite part of the job: developing others. This made it easy for me to choose to pursue the Evening and Weekend Program. I get to continue learning in my current role and supplement it with an amazing education in the classroom.
There are many amazing schools to choose from. My fiancé is currently in law school in Chicago and we decided against doing long-distance again, as we’d done long-distance twice already because of my career. After much deliberation, I found that Kellogg offered unique programs, a core foundation, and an amazing network. Talking to several people from each program, I just knew Kellogg was the perfect fit for me. I am very proud to be part of this community and excited to make the community proud!
Adib: There is no time like now! I truly believe that when an opportunity presents itself one must take action. I had the opportunity to witness the impact that business had on patient care during my residency training, and I made a commitment to further enhance my skills to better improve healthcare for my patients. Oak Street Health created a great opportunity with Kellogg through the establishment of the joint fellowship program and I knew, given the reputation of Kellogg, that it would be a great experience. I like being in the downtown portion of the city with all the action as you can’t replace that feeling, but I do intend to visit Evanston, as well.
As an E&W student, how do you manage your time (between work, family/personal life, class)?
Richa: Adding anything to your plate, especially school, will be challenging at first. However, very quickly I fell into a new routine! Kellogg professors are extremely engaging, and the post-class happy hours are always a great time. Once you get into the flow, it does not feel like a burden added to your plate.
Adib: It is difficult at times; however, the key to balancing it all is setting priorities and goals to stay organized. I use my calendar as a system of checks and balances and have learned to stay abreast of approaching deadlines and obligations. Also, there always needs to be break times put in where possible to prevent feeling overwhelmed.
Any application tips or words of advice?
Richa: There are very few people who enjoy standardized tests. Be consistent and intentional with your GMAT studying, do your best and move forward. The real work comes when you start writing your essays. Be authentic! Take time to self-reflect and understand what you really want out of the program. Once you understand that, writing your essays will come easy. And most importantly, believe in yourself.
Adib: Be yourself and invest the time to prepare before your interview day. It goes a long way to bring some known interest or program information that you may have learned from an outside source through your exchanges in the process. The only thing I wish I knew was the importance of a good headshot. The little things matter! Lastly, Kellogg offers such a rich, supportive culture, there’s absolutely no way to know about it until you can experience it for yourself!