Praveen Savalgi

New Haven, Connecticut

Tell us a little bit about yourself and your background.

I immigrated to the U.S. from the U.K. when I was 5. My parents are both surgeons from India. I originally started pursuing my bachelor’s degree in biology with a goal of going into bioinformatics and research. I completed a B.S. in Biology at Charter Oak State College in New Britain, Connecticut. 

As an undergraduate, I and a group of friends created a small tech startup that made digital content management solutions. We eventually focused on rich-media LMS systems before we closed down. With the skills from that position, I transitioned to an IT management role at a third-party administrator (TPA) for health care payers. I left that position before starting my MBA. In addition, I took on an advisory role at a family-owned nonprofit and education company. It provides malnutrition prevention and adult business education in West Africa. Recently, I have taken an active management role focusing on technology strategy and growth. 

Why did you decide to pursue your master’s?

My bachelor’s degree isn’t in my current career field, and I don’t want to start over again. While I’ve been able to advance my career as a technical specialist, I’ve been unable to get the management recognition I’d like. I believe a master’s degree will help validate my skills and improve my overall effectiveness.

How has what you’ve learned in the program impacted the work you are currently doing? How will it prepare you to be a leader in your industry?

I’ve talked with other friends who are pursuing an MBA (some of them at M7 schools) and am surprised when they tell me that they don’t see themselves using what they’ve learned. I use my skills every day. The courses are so practically focused, and my classmates are all management professionals — everything seems relevant. Even just halfway through the program, I’ve been able to look at our company’s balance sheets, understand the problems and come up with a marketing strategy that is already producing results. As we grow, more of my MBA knowledge will become applicable. As someone who doesn’t have an accounting or finance background, I feel those classes have helped me the most in understanding the performance of our current operations.

How will this degree move you closer to your long-term career goals?

I ultimately want to be in a position that can create impact. An executive technology role is where I see myself in the next five years. Having a solid foundation in business operations and management is a key aspect of that.

How has MBA@Dayton’s focus on servant leadership influenced the way you approach business?

The idea of serving others isn’t completely new to me. However, the MBA@Dayton program has done a good job in identifying the nontraditional stakeholders involved with a firm. This in turn has made me more focused on the prosperity of not just our clients but our employees as well. 

What was the most valuable thing you took away from the immersion?

The greatest takeaway was seeing everyone, and not just because it was a fun time. We sometimes think we’re alone on our quest to make the world a better place. It’s incredibly motivating to see so many people that are on a social mission.