Last weekend, Broad College alumni from the Full-Time MBA class of 1999 ventured back to campus from around the world for their 20-year reunion. Three of these alumni took the opportunity to directly connect with current MBA students to answer questions and share career advice. On Sept. 12, Srini Bangalore, Sanjay Baskaran and Jeffrey Ge were the featured guest speakers to kick off the Roy S. Pung Executive Speaker Series fall 2019 installment.
Srini Bangalore (MBA Supply Chain Management ’99), managing director and partner at Boston Consulting Group, has spent his career becoming an expert in mergers and acquisitions, and supply chain management in the technology industry. He recalled specific highlights from his time at MSU that have helped shape his journey, including his role in taking first place in the 1999 Big Ten MBA Case Competition. He spoke of his experience within the Broad MBA program as giving him the groundwork for his consulting career success and shared, “In consulting, to be successful, I believe you need two [sets of] skills. One is consultative problem-solving skills, and the second is a set of deep functional skills.”
Sanjay Baskaran (MBA Marketing ’99), CEO of One Technologies, has layered his passion for serving customers into every position he has held. He emphasized that his approach to problem solving throughout his career has been centered on listening to employees to get a firsthand connection to customers and building relationships at all levels. “Being a CEO is not about telling people about what to do. It’s about earning your right to lead,” Baskaran said.
Jeffrey Ge (MBA Supply Chain Management ’99), vice president of global supply chain for Lumentum, shared how his career has provided him with diverse experiences. In 18 years, he has held six positions across three continents. He has been able to navigate these transitions and changes by focusing on his passion of authentic leadership with an entrepreneurial mindset. “I see myself as an entrepreneur; I always want to do something new, and my passion is for making a difference for people and to create value,” Ge said.
Eli and Edythe L. Broad Dean Sanjay Gupta guided the discussion for the three alumni, asking them to share advice that current MBA students could take with them in their own career journeys. Students were able to engage with a question-and-answer round at the end of the discussion, and many stayed after the event to chat personally with the speakers.
Bangalore’s biggest takeaways were for students to follow an apprenticeship model to both teach, and learn from those around them, to consider workspace and people when seeking to inspire creativity, and to “leave work at work” to manage their stress levels.
Baskaran’s advice centered on transparency and fairness, two keys for his leadership style. He also referenced the strength-based leadership model for developing teams, which includes a blend of strategic thinking, relationship building, influencing and executing.
Ge encouraged students to follow in his footsteps by caring for people and building an environment of trust, respect, confidence and hope. He shared his “3H and G” model for leadership: heart (to show the importance of connecting with and investing in people), head (to highlight the intelligence and strategic thinking needed in business), hands (to emphasize work ethic, getting involved to get things done) and guts (to illustrate the ability to trust your inner feelings and make quick decisions).
All three speakers encouraged students to connect with them on LinkedIn and continue career and life conversations in the spirit of giving back to many future generations of students.
The Roy S. Pung Executive Speaker Series was launched in fall 2016 as a tool for engagement between executive speakers and full-time MBA students. The series has been made possible by an endowment from the Photo Marketing Association in Roy S. Pung’s name in honor of Glenn Omura, former Associate Dean for MBA and Professional Master’s Programs and associate professor of marketing. Pung (B.A. Business and Distribution – Teacher Education ’61) spent more than 30 years as the Photo Marketing Association’s CEO and worked closely with Omura throughout his career. Two of Pung’s children, Mark Pung (B.A. Supply Chain Management ’85) and Lisa Pung Francisco (B.A. Elementary Education ’88), often attend the series events on campus.
More information on the upcoming 2019-2020 Pung Speaker Series, as well as information on past events, can be found here.