Abhishek Damani

Abhishek Damani
Class Year: 
2010
Job Title / Company: 
Marketing Leader - Mining Business, Cummins Inc.

Undergraduate Degree: B.Tech, Chemical Engineering, VIT University (India)

Other degrees earned since graduating? MBA, Indiana University – Kelly School of Business

Why did you choose your program and area of study?

Duke’s engineering management degree provided an ideal route for developing critical business skills to augment my engineering background. The ability to understand technical as well as business concepts, and to put them into practice to become a versatile career professional, drove me to choose Engineering Management.

Upon comparing the Engineering Management programs at different universities, I chose Duke MEM because it offered unparalleled flexibility in selecting coursework and offered industry experience.

Briefly describe your Duke Experience.

The Duke MEM program and the university, in general, provided a rich, multicultural student life. The coursework was intense and contained real-life project work, the professors shared tremendous industry insights, and these generally helped getting hands-on experience in preparation for entering the job market. There was a good balance between studies and co-curricular activities, leadership opportunities were aplenty, and healthy teamwork. And did I hear someone say - Cameroon Crazies!

What impact has the degree had on your career?

The degree kickstarted my marketing career at Cummins [editor’s note - Abhishek completed the required internship at Cummins], and the skills learned during the course have only accelerated my growth in the Company. I was able to stand out amongst my peers due to my ability to assess the business as a whole, make better financial decisions, and a better manager due to coursework such as business and competitive strategy, financial management, project management, and leadership.

What advice would you give to prospective applicants - those who are just beginning to explore graduate options at Duke?

Review the course offerings to determine if they are right for you, talk to current students and alumni to understand how the courses helped them advance in their careers, determine if the type of industry/company you want to work at holds career fairs at Duke (or has hired Duke students), and if possible, talk to a couple of professors to understand their area of expertise and if you want to learn those.

What advice would you give to admitted students who are considering Duke?

First and foremost, congratulations on being accepted at Duke. It has one of the most selective admission processes in the country. Second, a degree from Duke University will definitely burnish your credentials and you will be judged to higher standards than many of your colleagues at work. This will help you stand out and accelerate your career.