My Cranfield degree transformed me as a person


Kalyani Hegde (Management MSc, 2021), is currently working as the Head of Supply Chain, Administration and Legal at Nandu Chemicals Private Limited. We caught up with Kalyani to find out more about her experiences of studying the Management MSc and how her time at Cranfield has supported her career ambitions.

What sparked your interest in this field and why did you choose this course at Cranfield?  

“My goal was to climb up the management leadership role in my family business and gain a broader understanding of core management concepts in a practical manner so that I would be able to lead the company in a dynamic way. I was keen to pursue a postgraduate degree that would further strengthen my foundations in management topics. I was looking for a university that was well established with a long track record and rich in academic research, and Cranfield was a perfect choice. “

What aspect of your course did you find most useful, inspiring or enjoyable?  

“Almost all the modules have insightful takeaways because of the way they are designed; complex topics were made easy to understand with simulation activities and practical examples. For example, the Supply Chain Simulation activity was fun, as we got a gist of how a real-life global supply chain operates. The group activities in the Organisational Behaviour module were very useful to understand team dynamics and personality traits.  The case studies discussed in the Strategic Management module were enriching to understand how companies strategize their objectives and perform.”    

“The representative’s meeting and get-togethers, Christmas Gala night, international food nights, the walks trekked along with walking club, the various cultural nights were some of other enjoyable and memorable events. And personally, for me, delivering my speech as the Cranfield Student voice on the graduation day was very special. What defines my Cranfield experience is my relationships with my peers, my learnings and my personal transformation.”     

“My course leads to many interesting activities. I participated in the Unilever Innovation Accelerator Challenge. After three months of working closely with Unilever’s team and the Bettany Centre for Entrepreneurship, my team and I made it to the finals and secured second place at the competition. It was a great and memorable learning experience as my presentation was appreciated by the board of Unilever. I was also one of the social media representatives for my cohort and it was a delightful experience documenting our stories and creating new social media platforms for Management MSc course that gained a larger audience over the course of time.”

What was your group or individual project (thesis) about? 

“I did an individual thesis analysing the end -to end supply chain of my previous work organisation. I mapped its existing supply chain to identify wasteful activities and evaluate opportunities for cost reduction to improve performance and enhance efficiency. This was done by undertaking a thorough review of extant literature in the pharmaceutical supply chain including major themes, forces and current directions of management research, and understanding various mapping tools and techniques.”

 How did the environment, culture and community at Cranfield support you during your studies?   

“Cranfield community is a very resilient one and this was best proven during the challenging times of the first wave of Covid-19. Overnight, the world experienced something new and scary, the government announced lockdowns, we had to leave campus, take flights back to our home country before borders closed and couldn’t say goodbye to our friends. This was a new experience, something which no other cohort has experienced in its entire history. We had to move to online learning within a few hours and manage to complete the third and fourth semesters of the course virtually in different time zones. Throughout this phase, the whole community was very supportive and understanding of the situation, which is truly remarkable.”

How did the facilities benefit your experience of the university?  

“I stayed in Fedden House along with my husband who pursued his MBA during the same time and this was one of the best decisions we took. Living in Fedden house worked out cost and time effective than living off-campus. This accommodation is neat and beautiful, has easy access to all amenities, walking distance to classrooms and is a well-equipped compact apartment for a couple with all facilities. I also used Career services for my internships, IT and library for my research, sports for group sporting events and yoga sessions and student support for all my visa and other queries. All the facilities are well organised and supportive whenever there was any urgent requirements.”

What are you doing now?  

“I am currently the Head of Supply Chain, Administration and Legal at our family business enterprise. I lead the supply chain team in executing best practices by evaluating and measuring performance through agreed upon Key Performance Indicators (KPI’s), coordinating with the purchase and sales team in identifying gaps to improve the overall efficiency of the supply chain, enabling them to achieve optimum OTD levels. I oversee verifying, reviewing and vetting all legal documents, contracts and policies and enable the business to be compliant with all required legal standards. I also support the recruitment team in head-hunting and coordinate with the recruitment process.”

“What I enjoy the most about my job is the cross-functional aspect; since I am involved in multiple departments, I get to meet key persons from all major teams and there is something new to learn and understand every day. However, the same gets challenging at times when it comes to coordinating with all of them to come on the same board. But with my experience and learnings at Cranfield, I am sure I will soon be able to manage this T-shaped profile that I aim to achieve.”   

“At my job, seeing the consistent growth of the company over the past 4 years in terms of size, capacity and sustainable initiatives has been very interesting. We are working on some exciting projects, such as we recently completed a full-fledged solar project that will enable sustainable and renewable electricity generation for the factory. We received special recognition- Exports Excellence Award in 2021 for noteworthy contribution to the pharmaceutical industry, more specifically for being an integral part of the Covid-19 vaccine supply chain. We supply one of the key ingredients for the Covid vaccine and it gives us immense satisfaction for having worked throughout the pandemic for a lifesaving cause.”

How does your Cranfield degree help you in your current role?  

“My Cranfield degree helped me gain promotion at work, more so after I completed my thesis in supply chain. It was after this degree, that I started working with the supply chain team in the company. I am now more informed and confident in understanding what happens in the supply chain. My Cranfield degree was a perfect bridge for me to move from where I was, to where I am currently/where I will be in near future. It has transformed me as a person since I am more self-aware of my soft skills and hard skills, strengths and weaknesses.”

 Have used your Cranfield alumni networks and resources since graduating?  

“I use my Cranfield Alumni network and resources as and when required to get inputs and suggestions. For example, I recently contacted one of my friends who studied the organisational performance module and then applied it to the performance evaluation/appraisal system of my organisation.”

Finally, do you have any advice for students considering postgraduate study?  

“Cranfield provides a great learning experience. With an exclusive focus on post-graduation studies, focused class sizes, the course focuses on personal transformation. The academic research is rich in quality and its close links to industry makes it a perfect fit for management aspirants and budding entrepreneurs. The professors are world-renowned, the staff and service team are well organised, supportive and helpful, which makes life as a foreign student much easier and the whole process worth it.”

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