Kiran Dhami finished her undergraduate degrees in business administration and economics in spring 2020. The COVID-19 pandemic caused many companies to halt or alter hiring and Dhami knew with just one more year of educational investment, she would greatly expand her career prospects.
“I wanted to complete my master’s degree early in my career,” she said. “I figured doing a one-year specialized program would allow me to further explore different career paths. Through pursuing a master of finance, I was able to narrow down what I wanted to do.”
She discovered she wanted to help companies with their strategy through corporate finance.
“I’ve learned about financial analysis and the technical aspects—I definitely solidified those skills through this program—but you also have to have an informed process of thinking to make the best decision. This program has challenged the way I thought and given me insights on how I could approach something a different way. I feel a lot more confident in my abilities.”
With classroom time disrupted by COVID-19 protocols, Dhami said there were times she would have preferred in-person classes to better connect with her classmates and professors, but others she thought were better received online.
“For example, our Python class was recorded,” she said. “It’s a difficult skill to pick up on, so it was helpful to be able to go back and rewatch the lectures if I missed something.”
Part of why Dhami chose the Lundquist College was its industry connections. She started networking right away to build connections and proactively conducted informational interviews, which gave her great perspective.
“The biggest lesson I took was to embrace the uncertainty of the future,” she said. “It is okay to not have everything figured out right now. It is good to have a plan, but there is no constant, and things are supposed to change to keep life interesting. Every unexpected event that occurs is an opportunity to learn something new.”
All the faculty also brought real-life examples to the courses, which kept her engaged and helped prepare her for interviews.
“The faculty care about the long-term success of their students and were available to discuss anything with me,” she said. “From explaining different industries within finance, to advice on negotiating job offers, they were always happy to help.”
The first in her family to go to college, there were times Dhami was intimidated by the process.
“I’m the oldest child in my family. My parents have worked very hard for me and my brother to have these opportunities. I really wanted to make them proud,” she said.
When it was time to decide, Dhami had two job offers on the table.
Her position as a senior financial analyst at Intel starts in August.
—AnneMarie Knepper-Sjoblom ’05, Lundquist College Communications