As I sit back and reflect on the whirlwind of experiences that have shaped my journey to global consultancy, I cannot help but feel a sense of gratitude for the path that led me here. It all began in the bustling streets of Mumbai, India, where dreams were nurtured amidst the vibrant chaos of city life.

Growing up in Mumbai for 18 years instilled in me a sense of resilience and ambition, traits that would prove invaluable as I embarked on the next chapter of my life—my undergraduate studies at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. The decision to pursue my education halfway across the globe was not taken lightly, but deep down, I knew it was the right step towards realizing my aspirations in the world of business.

Arriving on campus, I was met with a mix of excitement and apprehension. The unfamiliarity of a new environment and the prospect of navigating through academic challenges loomed large. However, amidst the uncertainty, there was an underlying passion for business that served as my guiding light—a beacon of hope amidst the sea of unfamiliar faces and new beginnings.

As I contemplated my academic path, I found myself torn between the allure of technical expertise and the stability of finance. It was a decision that weighed heavily on my mind, but after much deliberation, I chose to pursue a double major in Finance and Strategic Business Development & Entrepreneurship. The decision was driven by a desire to broaden my horizons and explore new avenues within the realm of business.

Throughout my academic journey, there were moments that stood out as pivotal turning points—moments that shaped my perspective and fueled my ambition. One such moment was my encounter with Professor Warnick, whose passion for business law ignited a spark within me. What started as a mandatory course soon became a source of inspiration, prompting me to briefly consider alternative career paths such as law.

Yet, it was my internship experiences that truly solidified my aspirations in the world of business. From interning at Navigate, a sports consulting firm in Chicago, to delving into renewable energy initiatives at Svakarma Finance, a Non-Banking Financial Company (NBFC) in Mumbai, each experience offered valuable insights into the complexities of the global business landscape.

On campus, my involvement in organizations like the Illinois Business Council (IBC) and EntreCORPS provided invaluable lessons in leadership and teamwork. These experiences not only broadened my horizons but also fostered lifelong friendships and connections that would prove instrumental in my professional journey.

Securing a role as an Associate Consultant at Bain & Company was the culmination of years of hard work, determination, and resilience. Despite initial setbacks, I remained steadfast in my pursuit, drawing strength from the supportive community at Gies and the unwavering mentorship provided by Bain representatives.

Today, as I navigate through the intricacies of global consultancy, I am reminded of the lessons learned and the challenges overcome during my time at Illinois. Each setback has been a steppingstone towards growth, and each success is a testament to the power of perseverance and ambition.

Looking back on my time at Illinois, I have come to appreciate the importance of maintaining an open-minded approach. Embracing opportunities beyond the confines of my dorm room or assigned dining hall allowed me to gain a deeper understanding of the world around me. This openness not only expanded my knowledge but also nurtured crucial skills—whether professional, social, or technical.

In moments of pressure or disappointment, I have learned the value of giving myself time to process before moving forward. Many of my accomplishments followed initial setbacks, and after each failure, I allowed myself to feel disappointed. However, I always found ways to reset—whether by taking a walk, listening to music, or simply talking to my dad. It is important to remember that every experience offers valuable lessons for growth. Success may not come immediately, but persistence ultimately leads to achieving your goals.