With an undergraduate degree in electronics engineering and a master’s degree in biomedical engineering, Sugandhika Kaul first forged a successful career in the healthcare industry before deciding to add a Deakin MBA to her qualifications.
Currently working as the commercial account manager for a leading global healthcare and research company, Sugandhika wanted a degree that would help her develop a ‘holistic’ business view.
‘An MBA enables me to correlate all the building blocks – finance, accounting, people management, leadership, strategy, marketing, economics, business process management – that make a business successful. It’s a highly flexible program that helps professionals to meet their career objectives without compromising on the quality,’ she says.
Now halfway through her degree – and producing outstanding assessment results – Sugandhika says that studying with Deakin lecturers who boast in-depth industry experience, along with peers from diverse industry sectors, is helping to broaden her professional horizons and boost her career profile.
‘In my current role of managing various stakeholders, the MBA at Deakin distinguishes me in the customers’ perspective as it’s providing me with more polished and sophisticated business acumen,’ she explains.
As commercial account manager, Sugandhika has responsibility for managing the company’s clients and products across three Australian states as well as promoting its strategic business growth.
‘My role involves a lot of travelling, meeting with and managing the expectations of a vast stakeholder group,’ she says.
Because her role sits in a sector of the healthcare industry that focuses on the manufacturing of medical devices, there’s also an ongoing demand for her to keep up with the evolving technologies.
‘There is constant learning that keeps me challenged and motivated all the time. But this gives me a level of satisfaction as I know I am directly involved in improving patient life and making a difference,’ she says.
So far, one of the highlights from Sugandhika’s MBA study journey has been the way the program has helped her analyse her skills.
‘Coming from an engineering background, analytical and logical thinking are my strong areas but working in sales over the years has also developed my relationship-building skills. The course has helped me leverage my strengths but also develop skills that I was lacking,’ she says.
Studying part-time, and on campus, around her full-time work and family responsibilities, Sugandhika says time-management is another critical skill that’s been enhanced through her MBA study.
‘Time management is essential and it helps me plan my priorities. Establishing a goal of finishing MBA in a desired time frame also keeps me motivated and focused.’
While balancing work, study and personal commitments is a major challenge for most postgraduate students, Sugandhika has found support and flexibility to help her manage the workload.
‘Networking with my peers and forming study groups has helped me clarify my doubts and reduce stress levels and discussing shared responsibilities with my family has also relieved some of the pressure. The Deakin MBA is highly flexible and everything is available on Deakin’s cloud campus from notes to recordings – undoubtedly this has helped me in accomplishing the set goals without compromising on the quality,’ she says.
By expanding her professional business qualifications, Sugandhika is now looking forward to the career benefits and opportunities that a Deakin MBA offers.
‘It’s helping me understand the building blocks of business that I was not exposed to before and will definitely help me jump the corporate ladder. It also helps me in building credibility with internal and external customers as it demonstrates a deeper understanding of the organisation’s business. Finally, it will definitely help me with my dream of one day becoming a business entrepreneur.’