Everything begins with a blank canvas. For Suniti Mujumdar, a 2018 graduate of the UK-UofL Executive MBA, she thought hers was already painted and framed until a new path in college drew up something different for her career. Mujumdar, the Manager for Educational Engagement at Alltech, earned a bachelor’s degree in both biology and psychology from Transylvania University with aspirations of going into medical school, like her mother and rest of her family pursued. “Because everyone had gone through medicine growing up, that’s all I ever knew,” Mujumdar said. “But for me, I prefer a blank canvas to something that already has lines already drawn. I like to create the space and populate the canvas and paint whatever picture I want to paint.”
For Mujumdar, Alltech became her blank canvas when she was hired to work in the marketing department straight out of college and has since been with the company for 20+ years. She has worked on several different projects before becoming Brand Manager for one of Alltech’s “Big Six” brands, Bio-Mos®, a role she still claims it is one in which she feels “proudest.” Since then she’s been able to diversify her professional skills and work up to her current role as Manager of Educational Engagement, where she helps the company recruit and cultivate talent from both within and outside of the company.
With Alltech’s strong focus on education, it’s no wonder its Manager of Educational Engagement is furthering her own professional and personal development with the UK-UofL Executive MBA program. “Something I really liked, particularly about this program is that that the cohort consists of people who are experienced professionals in a broad range of industries. And while yes, there’s the academic piece that’s attractive to just refresh your foundational knowledge, the stronger piece to me is the interactive experiences. Everyone faces similar challenges just under different circumstances, and so the ability to learn a lot from my classmates and having that conversation with faculty at Louisville and Kentucky are all so incredibly valuable.”
That mix of professionals in the UK-UofL Executive MBA program not only acts as a teaching tool itself, but broadens the professional network tremendously. Mujumdar notices that this cohort, specifically, has been able to click almost immediately upon the first day of orientation. It’s with this bond that they’re able to also able to bridge connections with other professionals in each other’s industry, an asset the UK-UofL Executive MBA focuses on. “It’s super cool that you sort of start to become six-degrees of ‘Cohort Three,’ Mujumdar laughs. “There are ways you can link people to different things."
Academically, the program has been able to bring classroom teachings directly into work projects. For Mujumdar, it was the Business Intelligence class that allowed her to see the ways in which information technology works cross-functionally in every department, even her own.“Going back to my nerdy roots, I went back and actually pulled out the book,” Mujumdar said. “I looked up [the issue we were discussing] and sat down and brought up some things to our project group and were like, ‘Yeah, we totally need to do this.’”
Mujumdar truly admires the uniqueness of the joint program and the partnership between Kentucky’s “power-house” universities. “A lot of times you hear about rivalry, but from a personal and professional perspective it’s incredibly great to see two really big entities collaborate on something that’s extremely unique,” Mujumdar said. “It’s really nice to be able to have access and exposure to two very strong universities.”
And by blending UK's blue and UofL’s red together Mujumdar will indeed be able to paint her professional and personal future, right next to her framed diploma on the wall.