From India to the UK: How my MBA prepared me for a career in consulting |

From India to the UK: How my MBA prepared me for a career in consulting

By Craig OCallaghan

Updated September 9, 2022 Updated September 9, 2022

Komal Bhalla studied an MBA at the University of Exeter before embarking upon a career in consulting, working for leading management consulting company Avanade.

We spoke to Komal about her MBA experience and to learn how the university and its faculty supported her career ambitions.

What factors did you consider when choosing the Exeter MBA?

After working in public sector consulting in India, I was looking for a programme that combined my passion to work improving lives with my desire to step up my career towards management.

While considering the universities, I wanted a business school which is globally recognised and has creating a better world at the heart of the programme structure. The Exeter MBA at University of Exeter, focused on creating purposeful leadership and innovation and this connected with my career development and personal goals. 

What were the academic highlights of your MBA?

I pursued the Exeter MBA at the University of Exeter and the key highlights of my degree were the well-structured extensive programme comprising of both traditional (strategy, operations, economics) and unique subjects (circular economy, global challenges, responsible leadership) which were a strong foundation of my experience.

The programme also offered career development with continuous support from Dominic Prosser; active measures for personal growth; practical application of learnings through the MBA consulting project; and the professional network I built along the way.

Can you give any examples of how Exeter supported your personal development?

The university has been a pillar of support for me, from providing financial aid to career development support. The instance that is most dear to me is the support I got from our Programme Director, Jackie Bagnall, who supported me in my personal development journey with practices of mindfulness, reflection and recognising my capabilities and staying on the path of becoming a better version of myself.

As a part of the Exeter MBA, I received continuous support for my career development. I was able to connect with a career coach in the first week of the programme itself and this connection lasted even after I graduated. From creating a career plan to actually executing it with Dominic’s support was a crucial part for me in getting my dream job. He helped in prepping my application material, conducting mock interviews and kept the chain of regular feedback going.

What continued support has your university provided since you graduated?

The University of Exeter has been ensuring that I stay connected to the university as an alumni. From receiving monthly newsletters to opportunities of advancing my learning or even expanding my network. I feel equipped by the university for my journey post-graduation.

What are your future career ambitions?

Following the successful completion of the Exeter MBA, I am working with a leading management consulting company, Avanade. It is the next best step in my career where I have the opportunity to marry my deep interest of creating genuine human impact by empowering organisations in embracing continual change with a privileged access of Microsoft.

Aligning it to my long-term career ambitions, I aim to support government and public services with transformation while keeping sustainability at the heart of innovation. I wish to do this in the capacity of a consulting professional and via entrepreneurial ventures.

What advice would you offer to any future applicants to Exeter?

Time at the University of Exeter became a year of reflection and learning for me and I believe what worked the best for me was my openness to treat each day as a fresh opportunity. Therefore, from my experience, my advice to future applicants is that whether you are coming with a set plan & goals or not, stay flexible to treat each day as a new opportunity to create and learn. Via its curriculum, facilities and staff, the University of Exeter will give you a great canvas to draw a future you wish for yourself.

This article was originally published in September 2022 .

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