Careers & Student Outcomes

How to Navigate a Career, Continent and Culture Change

Rhythm Goyal ’22 parlayed the Stevens/SPJIMR dual-degree program into a rewarding consulting career in the United States.

The dual degree program offered by the Stevens School of Business, New Jersey, and SP Jain Institute of Management and Research (SPJIMR), Mumbai, allowed Rhythm Goyal to earn a Graduate Management (GMP) certificate and an Analytics MBA, move to the United States, and change careers without skipping a beat.

Rhythm completed her bachelor’s degree in electronics and communications engineering at Chitkara University, Punjab, in 2017 and went to work at Hewlett Packard in Bengaluru as a Technical Solutions Consultant. In addition to the practical aspects of her work, she spent roughly 30% of her time interacting and communicating with clients—a role she enjoyed so much that she decided to pursue being a full-time consultant. She is now a Management Consultant with Kenway Consulting in Chicago.

Shifting careers required Rhythm to go back to school to pursue an MBA. She applied to SPJIMR without intending to come to the United States, but a brochure changed her trajectory.

“I’d sent my official GMAT Score to several universities in India including SPJIMR and was contacted by them about the Global Management Program,” she said. “As I started looking through the brochure, their partnership with U.S. universities, including Stevens, stood out. I then spoke with the GMP admissions team to learn more about the course and had a session with Brian Rothschild [Stevens’ assistant dean of graduate studies and senior director of graduate management programs]. After consulting with them, the opportunity seemed like a perfect fit for what I wanted to do.”

Several factors made Stevens the perfect choice for Rhythm. The first thing she noticed was the STEM-designated MBA, which allows international students to be eligible for a 24-month extension of their Optional Practical Training (OPT). The second box Stevens checked on her list was its proximity to New York City. Number three on the list was that starting the program at SPJIMR allowed her to transfer credits to Stevens and shortened the time it took to complete her degree.

Rhythm Goyal holds her Stevens Institute of Technology diploma wearing her cap and gown.Last, but certainly not least, was the analytics MBA itself.Designed for students who have studied a technical discipline, the program presents traditional themes like strategy, marketing, finance and accounting through an analytical, problem-solving lens.

“I hadn't come across an MBA with majors in analytics,” she said. “It stood out to me because it would mean that while I familiarize myself with the core business concepts, I could also upgrade my skillset on emerging technologies. It was the time when data and analytics was becoming the focal point of every business, and everyone wanted to work in that field.”

Rhythm’s read on the job market and her opportunities to stay connected to her technology and engineering background were spot-on. She completed her MBA in May 2022, and in June began her current role at Kenway.

“I’ve always wanted to work with the technology side of things,” she explained. “We’re a boutique management and technology consulting firm. The projects we work on span from modern data management to Salesforce implementations to agile transformation services. I feel incredibly grateful to be working with an amazing team of individuals who are both passionate and empathetic.”

Already equipped with the technical background, her time at both SPJIMR and Stevens rounded out the skill set she now uses daily.

“It was exactly what I needed to get into the consulting industry,” she said. “My course at Stevens was packed with classes, group studies and exams. Our professors encouraged active participation and let us challenge conventional opinions. One of my favorite courses was Business Strategy where we discussed real-world case studies with Professor Michael Parfett. Professor Parfett urged us to ask questions and propose solutions to complex issues. The emphasis on honing our communication and storytelling ability was a pivotal part of the course.”

The other critical component of the Stevens experience was the Industry Capstone Program. Rhythm and her teammates, under the watchful eye of faculty mentors, used what they learned in their courses to develop a solution to a real business problem and presented their recommendations to senior executives. Her project was with eMazzanti Technologies, an IT consulting company based in Hoboken that works with clients around the world.

“We were hired for a business process redesign project in the marketing department,” she said. “It involved working directly with Carl Mazzanti, CEO at eMazzanti, who was a great mentor to our team. We dedicated long hours aiming to exceed expectations, all while balancing our studies in parallel. My time at Stevens and Emazzanti introduced me to the egalitarian professional culture, along with a greater emphasis on individual autonomy, and a direct communication style – all of which were new to me, and the lessons proved invaluable as I started working.”

Of course, all these experiences and classes at Stevens are available to students who come directly to Hoboken without any affiliation with SPJIMR. So, what are the advantages of the dual-degree program? For Rhythm, the answer to that question was both practical and cultural.

“SPJIMR is one of the top B-schools in India, and their six-month GMP program was truly a life-changing experience for me,” she said. “We were taught by top-class faculty and simultaneously developed our network in both India and the United States. The long hours of classes, assignments, and exams prepared me for the demanding schedule that lay ahead. We were taught the foundational courses for an MBA – operations, finance, marketing and some electives, which could be transferred to our partner university, reducing the overall time it took to complete the degree. The university actively connected us with faculty and alumni of the partner schools to ensure we had a smooth transition.”

Rhythm Goyal sits in front of purple flowers with the Chicago skyline in the background.“The association with SPJIMR was a huge advantage and definitely made the journey seamless,” she continued. “I was accompanied by my three batchmates from GMP and we arrived Stevens together that fall. Having them around was a great source of support throughout the journey. SPJIMR also connected us with Stevens alumni, and we quickly warmed up to them. They shared their experiences with us and helped us each step of the way[IR1] .

While Rhythm discovered the dual-degree program by a bit of happenstance, she is doing her best to make sure others are starting their search from a more informed place. She is often asked about her experience at SPJIMR and Stevens by students in India considering following a similar path.

“It depends,” she said laughing. “Make sure it's a good fit for what you want to do. While it’s a highly rewarding path to take, it also requires strong determination and adaptability. It was a perfect fit for what I wanted to do, and I would highly recommend it to anyone seeking to build their career in the global market."