Cooking Up Your Dream Career
Cooking an elaborate gourmet dinner for a large group is hardly a challenge for Zandi Zungu. This avid cook knows that successful recipes require just the right mix of ingredients, and she's taking the same approach in preparing for her dream career in management consulting. Zandi discovered ingredients she felt she was lacking could be added through the Kelley MBA Program and the MBA Consulting Academy.
After nearly five years in the workforce Zandi left her finance career in New York and headed to Bloomington. She felt that an “MBA was the next logical step for career advancement" and it was a step onto the IU campus that clinched the deal.
After considering other MBA programs, Zandi visited the Bloomington campus for the Kelley Experience Weekend. Connecting with other students and immersing herself in what she called the “collegial environment,” Zandi knew Kelley was now her number one choice. She also discovered that the Consulting Academy was the perfect ingredient to create the ideal career she craved.
“My experience within the Consulting Academy group has been great. The Academy has certainly improved my presentation skills and problem solving ability,” says Zandi. ”You can choose a school for the opportunities it can give you, but you also need to create opportunities for yourself. Kelley has allowed me to do just that without compromising who I am, and that is priceless.”
The experience Zandi gained interning at one of the world's largest consumer goods corporations is also something that she considers priceless. At Johnson & Johnson, Zandi was able to create her own perfect mix of career experiences, blending both finance and consulting skills into her summer internship. Working in the consumer products division, you could find her analyzing and strategizing ways to grow the corporation globally using skills she honed in the Kelley classrooms.
“While working at Johnson & Johnson, there were several aspects of my project, assessing growth opportunities for skin care, that required skills from the Consulting Academy such as putting a presentation together,” says Zandi. "Applying the frameworks I learned in the Academy—drawing a content map and coming up with a key question to answer the problem—helped me during the internship.”
Her cooking expertise has taught Zandi that presentation is vital when serving a great meal. She's also knows that how information is presented in the classroom is key too. In fact, the classroom experience and her professors are some of the things she loves most about Kelley.
“One of the best experiences I've had at Kelley is learning from Professor Jim Wahlen. During his Financial Statement Valuation class, he would facilitate class discussions that incorporated elements of accounting, finance and strategy. The deliverables we had in his class helped me gain the confidence to study accounting. Plus, the forecast model we learned in class added significant value to my project at Johnson & Johnson.”
When Zandi is not in the classroom you can often find her in Bloomington's fresh food markets selecting the finest foods for her recipes. She knows that a healthy balance means enjoying your own interests while pursuing your career dreams in the classroom. It is healthy words of advice that she shares with her Kelley classmates and students she mentors.
One of Zandi's favorite dishes to create is Shepard's Pie. It is fitting that she puts her own unique twist on the dish, substituting ground turkey for the traditional lamb. She's taken the same unique approach in creating her dream career. start with the Kelley School MBA Program, add the Consulting Academy, mix with an internship at a corporate giant, add a dash of favorite professor Jim Wahlen and other Kelley “secret ingredients.” Mix it all together and you have Zandi's winning recipe for a promising future.