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.