“I’m a curious person, and I ask a lot of questions. I think it was my curiosity and willingness to learn that helped me succeed at that first job,” said Advani.
Eventually, Advani earned a two-level promotion. He then went to US Foods, then to Kroger Co.
“I came to the MBA wanting to round out my business knowledge and develop my soft skills. I left finance to become a brand manager because I wanted to use a broader skill set in my day-to-day life.
“I’m a foodie, and before B-school, I just assumed that I’d end up back in a food/beverage company,” Advani said. “But while I was at Kelley, I wondered ‘What else is out there?’. I realized that brand managers need to immerse themselves in their categories. I would need to eat, sleep, and breathe my products. As I learned more through the Life Sciences Plus Program I found that this was also an area of interest for me. The Life Sciences exposed me to entire new categories of products in addition to food and beverage.”
Based on that realization, Advani pursued a position with Bayer. While Bayer would provide him with marketing training in consumer package goods, he would also be able to promote products that he believed in—products that improved lives.
Enriching, cutting-edge learning experiences
When it came to choosing a program, Advani found several schools that would help him advance his resume and further his career goals.
“My decision was made once I came to Kelley Experience Weekend,” he said.
Advani saw Kelley’s commitment to collaboration and to changing with the times.
“Kelley is nimble enough to spot trends and change quickly enough to keep students on the cutting edge and desirable to recruiters,” Advani said.
At Kelley, Advani developed skills and new interests in the classroom and out.
Inside the classroom, the Consumer Marketing Academy provided enriching experiences.
“Top companies came to teach us about everything from how to interpret scanner data to how to evaluate creative,” Advani said. “They networked with us as they taught, so it was enriching on many levels.”
“I focused on my soft skills through the Leadership Academy and public speaking courses,” said Advani. “My presentation skills made a huge leap while I was at Kelley. It wasn’t by accident, I worked hard at it–but Kelley gave me the opportunity to do that.”
Future success through growth
Advani had a mentor who once told him that he should only take jobs that were over his head.
“The ones where you think you’re going to get fired every day – those are the jobs that help you grow the most,” he said.
Advani learned during his time at Kelley that personal growth leads to future success, even if the growth comes from failure.
“There have been times in my life where I felt that I wasn’t successful because I didn’t ‘win’ only to find that the opposite was true,” said Advani. “Being my best would set me up for future success. That’s why I always strive for excellence rather than perfection.”