Arjun Sen is coming to the J on May 3 to talk about the “Secrets to Win Big.”
Originally from Kolkata, India, Arjun went on to receive his MBA at BYU and eventually transitioned to public speaking and consulting for Fortune 500 companies. Mr. Sen is an outrageously accomplished icon in the business and marketing world and we are honored to have him visit the J and speak to our community–for free.
We were able to speak on the phone with Arjun and, might we say, it was an incredibly enlightening experience.
What made you want to become a consultant?
Arjun Sen: I was in Aerospace Engineering in India–I studied at IIT (Kharagpur, India) and it was an amazing institution. In my final year, I had this project where we had to put this whole aircraft together and I aced every element, however when I put all the pieces together, my aircraft was .87 miles long. And I thought, “how could the pieces be all perfect, but the whole does not work?” and that really pushed me to realize that I wanted to see how pieces connect to the whole. So I learned that, for me, it’s very important to see how things connect and that’s what made me want to get my MBA. An MBA is one of the degrees where you don’t apply anything you learn in the classroom, but the classroom teaches you a process of connecting pieces to the bigger picture.
Was it difficult to leave the Aerospace industry?
AS: It was my passion, but when I came to the USA for my MBA, I wanted to stay in the Operations Department of Aerospace, or Operations Research, and then a faculty member changed my life–Heikki Rinne. This man, after my first marketing project, he took me into his office and told me it was the best report he’d ever seen. I thought he was being sarcastic, and all semester he mentored me to the point where, at the end of the semester, I was like a four-year-old kid–somebody told me I was really good and I was like, “I have to impress this guy.” And that’s the part where Heikki has been, in my life, a huge mentor. He helped me find a passion I never knew I had.
Did you decide to come to the USA because of schooling?
AS: Yes, I came to Provo, Utah to get my MBA.
If somebody were to attend this event who knew nothing about business, what could they take away from it?
AS: Life is bigger than work or business because in everyone’s life, there is a moment that they can seize to make an impact in other people’s lives and that’s what leadership is all about. Leadership is about life in general–there will be a lot of life lessons and we will bring some of them to the business world.
Has the JCC been a part of your life at any point in time?
AS: My daughter actually used to go to tennis lessons there when she was a kid. And she reminded me of that–I had forgotten, but when I told her about this event she was like, “Dad, remember…”
In your day to day life, what does “success” look like?
AS: To me, success starts with a clear goal of what you want to accomplish, having a plan, and acting on that. Success that is planned can be repeated. If you win the lottery, it’s impossible to repeat that because it’s just chance, but success that is planned can be replicated and repeated. So I really think that’s one of the things that I look at. The determination that people have, the plan–how they overcome obstacles when things go wrong, the fact that they don’t give up–that’s what makes success.
You do not want to miss out on Arjun’s speaking engagement–RSVP by emailing us at email@example.com.