Thunderbird graduate steps out of comfort zone to gain life experience
Sakhi Solanki knew she would learn a lot when she started her MGM program but didn't anticipate how much extra life experience she would gain
Sakhi Solanki was born and raised in Ahmedabad, India. Before attending Thunderbird School of Global Management at Arizona State University, she earned her bachelor's degree in computer engineering. While working toward her degree, she had already developed an innovative android sales analysis tool that enables small businesses to use business intelligence tools.
After researching different master's programs and speaking with T-bird alumni, she chose to attend Thunderbird because she felt it fit perfectly with her professional goals.
"Professionally, I was fascinated by the emphasis given on analytics, big data and artificial intelligence technologies, as they are the need of the hour," Solanki said. "I expected to learn a lot when I started my master's program, but I didn't anticipate how much extra life experience I would gain."
Solanki will graduate with a Master of Global Management with a concentration in global digital transformation.
"You gain so much more from Thunderbird than just a degree," Solanki explained. "I learned from people from different backgrounds. I learned professional and personal skills. I refined my time management skills, grew out of my comfort zone, participated in school activities and planned various events. These organizational skills and professional learning have made me a well-rounded person."
After graduation, she hopes to work as a marketing analyst, but she is also open to working in data analysis and consulting. She feels that her background and skills gained during her master's program have prepared her to work in any of these fields.
Solanki is motivated by making her family proud and truly wants to be excellent in whatever she does. She works extremely hard to make the most of her Thunderbird journey. Her advice for future T-birds is, "Open up and get out of your comfort zone. Try to meet as many people as possible, talk to them and be genuine in your conversations and you will make friends for a lifetime — and you may even meet your next business partner here (at Thunderbird).”
Question: What do you love about being a T-bird?
Answer: Being a T-bird has been an incredible journey. The best part is the people you meet from all over the world, with different cultures, ages and professions. You learn not just in the classrooms but outside as well. You will experience other cultures, which I probably would not have experienced anywhere else.
Q: Which professor taught you the most important lesson while at Thunderbird?
A: I learned corporate strategy and global strategy from Professor Kannan Ramaswamy, which was an exceptional experience. I learned how global multinational firms create value. I learned about competitive advantage and its sources in emerging and developed markets and how organizations tackle the complexities of being an international corporation. This class taught me that strategic decisions are ingrained in every business unit and that no unit functions as a separate entity.
Q: What would you tackle if someone gave you $40 million to solve one problem on our planet?
A: If I was given $40 million to solve one problem, I would try to solve the food and water insecurity problem. Millions of children are impacted and have malnutrition because of this problem. And the number has been rising and has been severely impacted by the pandemic.
Q: For what in your life do you feel most grateful?
A: I feel most grateful for my family and friends. Their constant support and love have made me the person I am today. I couldn't have done this without them. So, from the bottom of my heart, I am thankful for all of them!