For Diganto Choudhury ’18 MBA, there’s no place like homecoming
By Louis R. Carlozo
Before he arrived at Kellogg, Diganto Choudhury ’18 MBA already had a master's degree in engineering from Stanford. But for all his technical savvy, he no longer felt challenged after four-plus years as a technical product manager in the semiconductor industry.
He envisioned a much different path: learning to solve business problems, interact with customers and, if all went well, drive positive change. The question was, where to start? Choudhury, who flew in from Austin, Tex. to attend the Kellogg Reunion 2023 weekend, said that once he learned of the MMM dual degree program at Kellogg, he had nailed his answer.
“It's a one-of-a-kind program, and since graduating, my career has taken off,” said Choudhury, who serves as director, commercial strategy and business Development at Einride. The Swedish company helps shippers and fleet operators decarbonize their transportation networks.
“Where I am today is a result of the academic courses, the experiences I had,” he noted. “I understand business problems very differently: the strategic as well as tactical elements, which wouldn't have been possible without Kellogg.”
After obtaining his MMM, an MBA from Kellogg with an M.S. in Design Innovation from Segal Design Institute, Choudhury went into management consulting at Deloitte. “That's where I figured out that I wanted to be in logistics, & supply chain sustainability,” he said. “I wanted to be in the forefront of solving that problem.”
His drive goes hand-in-hand with the connections he feels to Kellogg — and nurtures to this day. As an alumnus, he’s committed to paying it forward to students, graduates and hopefuls alike. “Whoever reaches out to me, especially Kellogg alums, I try to help and even if I can’t do that directly, I’ll point them to others who can.” He cites his own experience, where a second-year student opened the door for him at Deloitte.
“It's very rewarding to see how I can help guide people, to give back and represent Kellogg even though I graduated five years ago.” Every year since getting his degree, for example, he’s served on the admission committee. “I get to call people and say that they're admitted to Kellogg.”
In fact, he began his involvement with admissions while still an MBA student, “One of the things that I really love about Kellogg is the student focus. A lot of things are student-driven.” In this way, they are invited and encouraged to take an active role in enriching the school experience in ways that range from leading case studies to organizing international trips. While at Kellogg, Choudhury visited eight countries and climbed Machu Picchu with classmates.
He also marvels at how his Kellogg education continues to shape his growth as a present-tense force.
“As a student, I was focused on learning and ‘What do I want to do?’” he recalled. “Now, it’s ‘How can I create an impact and better represent Kellogg as a growth mindset leader?” How do you take sustainability to the next step? How do you solve a challenging problem?”
While the issues of climate change and clean energy weren’t top of mind while he worked towards his degree, the values Kellogg instilled in him set the stage for an a-ha moment where business savvy meets planetary stewardship.
“One of our missions at Einride is to address the 7-to-8 percent of CO2 emissions caused by heavy duty transport, your 18 wheelers, tractor trailers,” he said. “But our trucks are three to four times more expensive than a diesel truck. So how do you tackle emissions reduction in a way that makes sense economically?”
If it sounds as though Choudhury got to this lofty career point on his own, he wants Kellogg applicants to know that alumni are there to help — before, during and after they attend.
“First and foremost, don't hesitate to reach out,” he said. “A lot of folks think, ‘Oh, maybe I shouldn't’ or ‘Maybe I should wait for the right time.’ I think it's important to reach out now. With LinkedIn and the alumni network, there are so many ways to find people doing similar things to what you want to do. Just be very specific when you make the ask.”
Here’s how he summed it up for Kellogg hopefuls in search of their tribe: “Every year I talk to prospective students, they show more and more passion about creating an impact. They want to use Kellogg as the stepping stone to that platform. In terms of what the future holds for Kellogg and the world, it inspires me to see folks like these applying.”