Samir Jaluria (MBA ’11) is a Strategy and Operations Consultant at Slalom in San Francisco.
Why did you decide to pursue an MBA?
I wanted to obtain a holistic business experience by learning about how a company’s departments—HR, technology, operations—function as a whole entity. I wanted to learn from my peers’ varied backgrounds as I had previously spent five years working in the healthcare industry.
Why Boston College?
First, the Carroll School is known for strong finance and accounting programs. Even though I did not want to pursue a career in those fields, I knew that in order to be a successful management consultant I would need to be well versed in finance and accounting topics. Being knowledgeable in those areas has been key to succeeding in my role as a management consultant.
Second, Boston College has an excellent reputation for its professors and academic rigor, and I knew that this would help me with my career. I was told that the BC MBA program would be tough, but that this would pay dividends over the years—and, it has. For instance, MBA experiential learning programs, such as the International Management Experience and International Consulting Project (which took me to China), exposed me to global business and consulting. I was able to relay these real-world, tested experiences to potential employers, which in turn helped me secure my first post-MBA job.
Third, I chose Boston College for its alumni network. Simply put, BC’s alumni network is very strong, and has been helpful for me professionally over the years.
What classes were the most impactful as they relate to your current position?
I have to say International Finance and Financial Statement Analysis, which were two of the toughest classes I ever took. However, they have served me well in my global consulting career—especially when I have had to do in-depth financial analysis for clients.
I would also add Organizational Behavior to this list. As I have risen professionally and designed client re-organizations and future state operating models, the foundational knowledge I gained from this class has helped me understand some best (and frankly, worst) practices, and has aided me in navigating my own career as well.
What is your advice to future BC MBA candidates?
Network. Network. Network. Be sure to leverage the entire BC network, and not just MBA or Carroll School alumni. Get to know your classmates, learn what they are good at, and stay in touch with them. Full-time students should engage with part-time students and vice-versa. Stay in touch with your professors. Join clubs. Do whatever you can to engage and stay in touch with people.
Take challenging classes. You will really be pushed out of your comfort zone. While grades are important, the knowledge that you gain in those classes is far more important. Only one or two prospective employers have ever asked for my MBA GPA, and that was right after I graduated. Your time in the program is a one-off opportunity to truly immerse yourself in learning and expanding your knowledge.
What do you miss most about Boston College? About Boston?
I definitely miss my professors and peers, and the basic interaction and fun times we had. I will always cherish the classroom debates, the pre-football tailgates, and the beautiful BC campus.
Boston is just a great city that thrives off its large college student population. Plus, it’s the quintessential New England city!
Looking back now, was pursuing your MBA at BC worth it?
It was 100% worth it. I have made lifelong friends and continue to stay in touch with classmates. About once a week, I reference something or someone from my BC MBA, whether in a personal or professional context.
Three words to describe your MBA experience?
Amazing. Challenging. Rewarding.