Meet the MBA Class of 2024: Rod Baradaran, Indiana University (Kelley)

“An entrepreneur at heart who is passionate about using data to find innovative solutions.”

Native city: Mishawaka, Indiana

Fun fact about you: I love traveling to unique places even if it means having a hard time from time to time. I once couch-surfed from southern Alaska to northern Alaska in December to see the Northern Lights. I also spent a few months living in an ashram in Bangalore, India, while starting and growing an adware company.

Undergraduate School and Specialty: Indiana University Bloomington, School of Social Work, Bachelor of Science in Labor Studies

Most Recent Employer and Job Title: CEO and Co-Founder of R&R Applications LLC, a software development company focused on the recommerce industry, which runs Zokos, a home goods resale website.

In the second half of the year, you’ll complete an Academy dedicated to areas like marketing, finance, operations, digital business, and more. Which academy interests you the most and why? I am more interested in the Business Marketing Academy. I am drawn to this Academy because of its focus on experiential learning and partnerships with some of the world’s leading B2B companies in a variety of industries. I am excited to work with experts in the field to understand how they develop solutions to the challenges facing some of the world’s most innovative companies.

Other than your classmates, what was the key part of the Indiana Kelley MBA schedule that led you to choose this business school and why was it so important to you? Of course, one of the main attractions for me was the Kelley Business Marketing Academy, but what cemented my choice to go to Kelley was that every professor I contacted made time in their schedule to talk to me about my background and aspirations. professionals. Each teacher listened to me, gave me personalized advice, and patiently answered my questions. His guidance helped me feel confident in my decisions and well-informed about my career path. It was clear from my interactions with each teacher that they genuinely cared about their students and wanted to see them achieve their goals. As a result, it was easy to choose to attend Kelley.

What course, club, or activity are you most excited about at Indiana Kelley? One of the things I am most excited to experience during my time at Kelley is the wide variety of clubs and activities. While I am incredibly excited to explore all the different offerings and hopefully develop new areas of interest, I am particularly looking forward to joining the Net Impact club and learning more about how sustainability can be integrated into business operations and strategic decision making. .

Describe your biggest career achievement so far: I have had the opportunity to create and grow several start-ups into profitable companies with outside investors, clients, and multiple employees. However, the achievement I am most proud of was being able to develop an incredible team to help me solve some incredibly difficult business challenges and watch them grow in their roles.

What is something you have read, seen or heard recently that you would highly recommend to prospective MBAs? Why? I recently read Adam Minter’s Secondhand and would recommend it to any prospective MBA student. The book explores the secret but thriving resale industry and outlines the challenges businesses face today when trying to recoup value from discarded merchandise.

The reason I recommend this book is because I believe that learning about a variety of real-world problems can help you become a better business leader and be more motivated to further your business education. It can also help you see problems in a new light and make connections between seemingly disparate issues. These are skills that I think would serve any potential MBA candidate well.

What advice would you give to help prospective candidates gain admission to the Indiana Kelley MBA program? I would recommend that potential candidates be really thoughtful and introspective when deciding to pursue an MBA. Before applying to Kelley, I spent a lot of time thinking about my reasons for wanting to go to business school, talking with mentors about the decision, and researching the pros and cons of the different options. I would recommend that any potential applicant take similar steps to ensure they have a solid and honest answer as to why they want to get an MBA, why they want to do it now, and why Kelley is the best program for them.

One of the most important things I did leading up to my application and interview with Kelley was to spend a lot of time thinking about why I wanted to go to business school. I would recommend potential candidates take the time to sit down and think about why now is the right time to pursue an MBA. If you are interested in Kelley, I would recommend that you know why you are interested in Kelley over other programs.