Nothing brings people together like food. Hosting dinners of butter paneer, aloo gobi and pad gra prow for his MBAi classmates, Kunaal could feel connections forming.
“You hear about ‘Kellogg personality’ during the interview process and from admissions, but you really do see it once you’re here," he says. "Everyone is so genuine.”
Kunaal isn’t the only Kellogg student inviting everyone over. One morning, he got a text from a classmate inviting the MBAi cohort over for Southern-style biscuits. His roommate, also a Kellogg student, cooked Korean food for all their friends. Homemade chili with homework. An international student Friendsgiving. These tiny moments are indicative of something bigger.
“The community here is so supportive and allows you to take risks. I’m constantly being pushed in new and different ways,” Kunaal says.
At Kellogg, taking risks might mean signing up for a class you don’t have experience in or applying for an internship in an unexpected field. Whatever it is, having a safe place to land is sometimes the key to taking the leap.
The MBAi Program is, in some ways, a leap for Kunaal. Growing up near Silicon Valley in the shadow of Apple HQ, he'd always been interested in technology. In fact, Kunaal graduated with a degree in bioengineering with his eyes set on being a researcher.
But it wasn't long before the idea of working mostly solo in the lab started to seem a little lonely. "I made the switch to consulting because I wanted to focus on the teamwork component of it," he says. "Research is often working next to people rather than with people."
For Kunaal, the MBAi is the perfect intersection of both his bioengineering studies and his work in consulting.
"I’m interested in splitting the difference between technology and leadership. My consulting background was analytics focused when I joined my first firm out of college. Learning to make sense of data to drive business decisions as an MBAi student is a natural progression for me," he says.
The focus on making connections and building community that drew Kunaal out of the lab and into consulting are evident in the special relationship he's formed with his cohort. Whether it's cooking dinner for his cohort or seeing if any of his neighbors want to play pool, he knows these experiences are unique, and he credits the culture at Kellogg and on campus for helping him form such deep bonds.
“A natural function of living in Evanston is that all your friends live 10 minutes away."