2022 Best & Brightest Business Major: Khushi Gandhi
This profile was included among the Poets & Quants Best & Brightest Business Majors for 2022 published on March 26.
Rutgers Business School – New Brunswick
“Google calendar aficionado, working to remove barriers to equality an espresso shot at a time.”
Fun fact about yourself: I once went to London for a family vacation for three days and somehow got myself on Good Morning Britain.
Hometown: Monroe, New Jersey
High School: Middlesex County Academy for Science, Mathematics, and Engineering Technologies
Major: Business Analytics and Information Technology; Marketing
Minor: Women and Gender Studies
Favorite Business Course: Business Policy and Strategy
Extracurricular Activities, Community Work and Leadership Roles During College:
Extracurriculars & Leadership
- Girl Up (United Nations Foundation) Mid-Atlantic Regional Team Lead
- Future Business Leaders of America- Phi Beta Lambda (FBLA-PBL)
- Internal Vice President
- Director of Community Service
- Rutgers Institute for Corporate Social Innovation
- Student Advisory Board Member
- Undergraduate Researcher
- Rutgers Business School Dean’s Council
- Secretary General
- Rutgers Business School Council of Business Presidents
- Beta Gamma Sigma International Business Honor Society
- Community Service Director
- School of Arts and Sciences Honors Program
- Peer Mentor Programming Board
- Peer Mentor
- Honors Program Ambassador
- Rutgers University Women in Business
- Director of Community
- Rutgers Business School Women Business Undergraduates in Leadership Development Program
- Summit Events Committee Chair
- Value Creating Society – Rutgers
- Vice President
Awards and Honors
- School of Business Scholarship Award
- Rutgers Business School Alumni Association Prize
- Rutgers Scarlet Scholarship
- Dean’s List
- Volunteer at Elijah’s Promise Soup Kitchen
- Rutgers Day, Scarlet Day of Service, Move-In Day
Where have you interned during your college career?
Boston Consulting Group (BCG)- Summer Associate- NJ/NYC
Novo Nordisk- Commercial Insights & Analytics Intern- Princeton, New Jersey
Where will you be working after graduation? Boston Consulting Group (BCG)- Associate
Who is your favorite professor? My favorite professor during my time at Rutgers Business School is Professor Erich Toncre in the Marketing Department. From all the classes that I have taken with him, what particularly stood out to me was how he incorporated his experiences in each class lecture, thereby adding a layer of real-world application to the concepts being learned. It is because of those lessons, especially in Brand Management, that I determined what I wanted to research further in my honors capstone thesis. The support that Professor Toncre has provided throughout my thesis writing process has influenced me to expand my thought processes and approach the cases at hand through a variety of angles. That way, I can gain a more holistic understanding of the underlying causes for certain crises and the short- and long-term repercussions felt by many.
What is the biggest lesson you gained from studying business? Effective communication is key. While studying business for the past four years and immersing myself in different business-related environments, I learned very quickly that communication is essential to make anything possible, and what distinguishes successful communication is how clearly it is shared. Even the best ideas, if not communicated properly, leave room for misunderstandings and gaps in reasoning. By really focusing on how to be an effective communicator, I have found that the connections that I am building are deeper and that collaborating in teams has become far more seamless. At the end of the day, conducting business has a predominant social aspect, which only further strengthens the need for proper communication, especially in situations where a lot is at stake.
What has surprised you most about majoring in business? As the world that we live in becomes more data intensive, utilizing data for decision-making has become an integral part of majoring in business, regardless of what specific major. I was truly surprised by how much business processes are quantified, even parts of the processes that are more qualitative. However, taking past data to serve as the foundation for decision-making and even forecasting is revolutionary since we will only see this become more prevalent in all fields of business. What was particularly interesting to me was the power of data analytics for storytelling and presenting comprehensive narratives of the cases being dealt with, from supply chain to finance to marketing.
Looking back over your experience, what is the one thing you’d do differently in business school and why? There is very little that I would change during my time at business school. However, one thing that I do wish I got a chance to do would be to study aboard. The opportunity to not only learn business in an international setting but also to immerse myself in a new, cultural environment would have been a unique experience that would have quickly shown me the need to adopt a global mindset when it comes to business. Due to the pandemic, my study aboard plans were cancelled but I do look forward to international experiences in the future, post-graduation.
What business executive do you admire most? Over the past few years, I have found to really admire and be inspired by Julie Sweet, the CEO of Accenture. Hearing her experience in transitioning from a law firm to general counsel of Accenture to later becoming the CEO, showed me the value of willingly taking on challenges. I recall in an interview she did with Forbes, she shared that each time you make a choice, it’s a choice about reinvention. This particularly stuck with me as she emphasized that taking on these risks can help you see a future that is less predictable and create opportunities to challenge yourself, in a good way. At the same time, her active work and support for a culture of equality at Accenture reinforces how important it is for company leadership to represent the values of a firm, especially in times where there many differences and layers of inequality that permeate everyday lives.
Which academic, extracurricular or personal achievement are you most proud of? I am proud of many aspects of my life, but I think that my journey in Phi Beta Lambda-FBLA is the one that has brought me the greatest fulfillment. Reflecting on my experience in PBL-FBLA, I remember it starting during high school where I was a member of the FBLA Club, participating in the state conferences but not really taking on leadership. However, coming from a small engineering high school, studying at business school forced me to shift gears and find a community that would make a large campus seem a bit smaller. I joined PBL my freshman year at business school and pushed myself to take a step in being more involved; I joined the Community Service Committee the same year, which allowed me to bring together my passion for service and business. Little did I know that this experience would lead me to become the Director of Community Service the following year, the Internal Vice President the year after that, and now the current President. PBL encouraged me to step out of my comfort zones, run in the elections, and take on leadership positions to create an impact on the organization that had become such a large part of my life. From organizing small- and large-scale events for business school students to working alongside various incredible E-Boards over the years, I have gotten the chance to collaborate and be a part of an amazing community. Reflecting on my journey in PBL, I truly realize how pivotal it was in my professional development that made me who I am as a leader but also as a person.
Which classmate do you most admire? I most admire Unnati Agrawal, who has been my best friend since kindergarten and is now graduating with me from college. We have grown up together, and I have always been inspired by how she has been a meticulous planner and a go-getter from the start. From taking classes together, attending career fairs for hours, to talking about our times as presidents of business school student organizations, our shared experiences have brought us closer. I am inspired by her consistent drive to work towards her goals and become her best self. I think that surrounding yourself with the people that inspire you and make you a better person is truly important, and she is a person that reflects that.
Who would you most want to thank for your success? I want to thank my parents for my success. Coming from an immigrant family, I noticed the challenges that it took to adjust to a new country at an incredibly young age, which made me value every single opportunity I had that much more. My parents have always encouraged me to follow my passion and have instilled values in me that I cherish and believe have influenced every aspect of my character. Values of perseverance, kindness, hard work, and gratitude dictate everything that I put my time and energy into. My parents have done everything to make sure that I get a chance to live the best life I can, for which I am truly appreciative.
What are the top two items on your professional bucket list?
- I really would like to, at some point in my career, work outside of the US to gain international experience. Business is global and I think that having such an opportunity would expand my horizons and impact issues in a different physical, cultural, and sociological context.
- Teaching has always been a passion of mine and I hope to one day be a professor, giving back to academia in light of the significant impact it has had on me.
What are your hobbies? I love to travel, swim, hike, cook and try global cuisines, and I am an avid coffee enthusiast.
What made Khushi such an invaluable addition to the Class of 2022?
“Khushi Gandhi is an exceptionally well-rounded and driven young woman. She stands out because of her ability to not only excel in academics, but impressively manage several prominent leadership roles with authenticity and true commitment. In her roles as president of both Beta Gamma Sigma and Future Business Leaders of America- Phi Beta Lambda, as well as secretary general of the RBS Dean’s Council, she has proven to be a highly effective and steadfast leader who is eliciting the best from others in these organizations. Many students major in business with the sole goal of finding a well-paying position in a prestigious company. While this is a legitimate goal to have, Khushi is remarkable as she has other important aspirations that extend beyond personal success. This is demonstrated by the fact that she has also been shouldering another significant responsibility – that of USA Mid-Atlantic Regional Team Lead of Girl Up, an organization of the United Nations Foundation, where since high-school, she has sustained her involvement and advocacy to ensure that girls across the world have access to basic human rights including education.
Through her participation and leadership within the highly selective Women BUILD program at Rutgers Business School, I had the opportunity to observe not only these strong leadership talents, but her intellectual curiosity and eclectic thinking, which has led to her interest in marrying data with storytelling. These qualities, combined with her impeccable work-ethic, and strong commitment to developing both self and community make Khushi exactly the kind of student we hope to produce.”
Sangeeta Rao, Ph.D. Assistant Dean of Mentoring Programs
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