MUKUND KULASHEKARAN, a secondyear student from India at the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth, US, has been named one of 10 McGowan Fellows (for the period 2010-2011) by the Chicago-based William G McGowan Charitable Fund. This fellowship programme honours the legacy of the late William G McGowan, an American entrepreneur and founder of MCI Communications, by offering fellowships covering full second-year tuition fees for one MBA student enrolled at each of the top 10 US business schools.
The fellowship programme includes three broad parameters in terms of selection. “Each candidate is evaluated on academic performance, leadership potential and community involvement. The fellowship facilitates an international network of influential leaders who recognise the value of ethical practices in all aspects of business,” says Kulashekaran.
So how did he earn the distinction of a McGowan fellow? “At Tuck, I am involved with a variety of initiatives that support both my academic interest and interest in the area of sustainability and economic development. I am the cochair of the Consulting Club and the Tuck India Business Conference, a member of the student roundtable for the Allwin Initiative for Corporate Citizenship and a leadership fellow with the Center for Leadership,” says Kulashekaran. “I led a student team that studied and presented a report about the Allwin Initiative’s strategy towards building ethical and corporate citizens at Tuck and actions to enhance the effectiveness of such programmes. This report was presented to the concerned authorities and influenced some critical changes in terms of the design and execution of programmes,” he adds.
Kulashekaran participated in the first annual McGowan Symposium on Business Leadership and Ethics that was held on November 6 at the National Archives in Washington, DC. Sharing his experience, he says, “The symposium had good speakers such as William M Isaac, former chairman of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) and Michael Connor an award-winning media executive, entrepreneur and journalist. I interacted with them and understood their views. We also discussed specific actions that are needed to avert global catastrophes such as the financial meltdown of 2008.”
Incidentally, this is the first year of the McGowan fellowship. “The 10 selected fellows are now involved with the William G McGowan Charitable Fund to establish the charter and strategy for this fellowship. At the symposium, all the fellows had a working session with the head of the fund and other board members to chart out the fellowship goals,” informs Kulashekaran.
Talking about his future plans, Kulashekaran says, “I always wanted to gain access to thought leaders and learn from their experiences. The fellowship has helped me realise this aspiration by providing access to the best global talent. The fellowship also provides access to a local business leader and hence I am confident that I will graduate with a clear plan to start a consulting firm in India.”