BOSTON – Caleb Unni was one of the highest academics to put on a Suffolk men’s basketball jersey. The dual major, who graduated from the Sawyer Business School in 2016 with Bachelors in both management and marketing from the Honors Program, wasn’t too bad on the court either as the 28th member of the Rams’ 1,000-point club and 15th-ever player to compete in 100 games. Since his playing days in blue-and-gold, GoSuffolkRams.com caught up with the former floor general to see what he’s up to today.
Since Suffolk, you’ve moved into the work field. Could you describe your current occupation, what company you work for and the role you have?
After graduating in 2016, I interned for a well-known engineering firm called Schneider Electric and was a Marketing Analyst. I then moved into a full-time role in the digital marketing space for a little more than a year at C-4 Analytics.
At this time, I knew that I wanted to attain my MBA degree within five years of getting my undergraduate degree. I also understood that many graduate schools require two years of work experience. After working for more than two years, I was accepted into the Johns Hopkins University two-year Global MBA program at the Carey Business School. I have decided to also specialize in data analytics, marketing and entrepreneurship *
Part of the Global MBA program requires students to get an internship for the summer between year one and year two. For my summer internship, I worked in Boston at Eventide Asset Management as a Data Analyst/Research intern in the financial industry. During this internship, I was able to learn advanced excel functionality as well as an open source relational database management system called PostgreSQL.
As of now, I am in my second year at Johns Hopkins and am excited to graduate in May 2020!
*As part of the MBA program, you are required to either concentrate in one area (EX: Marketing, Healthcare, etc.) or specialize in a few areas. Usually students do one concentration or two specializations, but I have decided to do three specializations to learn as much as possible!
How did you land your spot in John Hopkins Carey Business School?
In terms of the graduate school process, I applied to Johns Hopkins and was asked to come in for “Carey Candidate Day” where prospective students come in to see the school, talk with current Hopkins students, etc. From there, I was able to put a “face to my application” and networked with many individuals from the graduate admissions team. After a few months went by, I received my acceptance letter! Networking is key to success and in this world, it is really not what you know, but who you know.
How has John Hopkins helped you towards your career goals?
I believe that by going to graduate school, I am further enhancing my career growth by showing employers I have really dived into the business side and have a breadth of knowledge in many areas. Therefore, it is a step in the right direction to finding my dream job!
Describe your typical day.
At school, every day is different. Sometimes I have class in the morning and other times, they are at night. During times when I do not have class, I have many group meetings I need to attend. Additionally, I also work part-time for graduate admissions. To say the least, I am quite busy each day. In terms of my summer internship at Eventide Asset Management, each day was also different. I was assigned numerous projects so I would have to prioritize certain projects on specific days.
What’s the most surprising part of graduate school?
The biggest perk of being in graduate school is meeting current students and alumni from all parts of the world. Additionally, Johns Hopkins has a vast network of alumni that work for great companies. Therefore, as being a current graduate student, my classmates and I are able to leverage this and connect with alumni to fully understand the role they are in and why they chose this path.
What’s the biggest perk of your job?
The biggest perk of my job is being able to be so active throughout the workday. Personally, I am not sure I would enjoy a typical desk job. In my career I spend every day interacting with all different types of people, and spend a significant amount of my workday on the sidelines of the playing field watching sports. I would say that’s pretty cool.
What are you most proud of?
I am very proud of getting into a prestigious school like Johns Hopkins. When I first started the application process, I was not sure if I would get in because of the high competition and rigorous coursework. However, I have always taught myself to strive for excellence and “shoot for the stars.” Due to this mindset, I got in!
What is your favorite memory at John Hopkins?
My favorite memory at Johns Hopkins was my three-week project in Rwanda. As a first year Global MBA student, one of the main projects we had to engage in was the Innovation for Humanity Project. This is where students will go to a country as consultants and work with a business in that country to solve a specific business challenge. The Carey Business School’s tag line is “Business with Humanity in Mind” so with this project, our goal is to help a company whose mission is to help those at the “base of the pyramid” or in other words, those who do not have as much opportunity as others.
Even though it was a lot of work, I enjoyed my time in Rwanda because I could really see the business problem first-hand vs. seeing the problem in a classroom setting. The difference is enormous. There were also times my teammates and I were confused on how to progress in the project but during this stage, we were able to work together and utilize one another’s strengths to complete the project. Additionally, this is an experience that I can talk about in future interviews!
How did Suffolk prepare you for your role?
While at Suffolk, being a double major, as well as a member of the basketball team was an amazing experience, but still hard because of the limited amount of time I had. However, by doing this, Suffolk was able to help me fine-tune my time management skills that have really benefited me at work and graduate school. For my various jobs, I was able to take on many different projects and, in the end, prove to my manager that I could complete each project at a high-quality. Specifically, graduate school in my opinion is another level and much more work. But by always prioritizing my schoolwork at Suffolk, I was/am able to finish my homework and projects at Johns Hopkins with a lot of time to spare.
What’s your favorite Suffolk memory?
Personally, I would say my favorite Suffolk memory was when I hit a three pointer to attain the 1,000-point mark. I especially loved when my whole team embraced me and celebrated with me moments after I scored my 1000th point in my 100th game on the Suffolk court. The love I received from my teammates, coaches and family members was something I will never forget.
What advice do you have for current students?
My one piece of advice for current students would be to start networking with potential employers or Suffolk alumni right away. There are many students that graduate from various schools each year and therefore, it is extremely competitive to get a job. If current students network and introduce themselves to Suffolk alumni at a young age, they will be able to build rapport with alumni and other contacts they meet along the way. Hence, when they graduate, they will have a much easier time getting interviews and eventually, full-time jobs.
What made you choose Suffolk?
I especially loved that Suffolk was in the heart of Boston and being originally from Winchester, Massachusetts, I was very close to my family. I had always thought of it as the “best of both worlds.” Additionally, I wanted to be a student-athlete and Suffolk provided this opportunity for me. Even though I was recruited by multiple Division II and III colleges, I felt Suffolk was the best fit for me because I had the ability to not only be part of a great basketball program, but also take high-quality classes in the Honors Business program and thus, academically prepare myself for the future.
Outside of work/school, what is your life like? I.E. family, kids, what do you do for fun, etc?
Outside of work and school, I love playing fantasy football against my friends from home as well as the friends I made at Suffolk. It is a great way to stay in touch. I also am still playing basketball and play in tournaments yearly around different parts of the United States (New York, Florida, Philadelphia, etc.). I also coordinate many social events during the weekend for the first and second-year graduate students so that everyone can get together outside of the normal school atmosphere.
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