Forging A Personalized Career Path: Challenge & Fulfillment

Posted on Fri, September 13, 2013 by Carole Gaudet.

Rashmi Khare had spent 10 years as a bond trader with Fidelity Investments when she decided to come to Tuck. Why did this T’14 leave a successful, challenging and high-paying career as a bond trader to spend two years in a place that would change the direction of her career – and perhaps, her life’s work?

“Over time, I started to see that my skills could be better used to serve efforts that I felt connected to,” Khare told the incoming Class of 2015 at Allwin Community Outreach Day. Her fellow Tuckies had just spent the day working on cases for local nonprofits (read more about the day here). Khare was on hand to offer her perspective on building a personalized path to a career that would be both challenging and fulfilling, and would integrate her values in a new way.

In her first year at Tuck, Khare became interested in impact investing, which seeks to look beyond an investment’s rate of return and evaluate “measurable impact on people and planet, not just profits.” She organized a session on the topic for the annual Business & Society Conference, bringing together a broad range of investors for a pitch session, all addressing the core question of how to both generate financial returns and contribute to the betterment of society.

Khare’s exploration led her even further afield to Madagascar for her First Year Project. She and her team worked with the NGO Blue Ventures, to triple the number of farmers involved in a sea cucumber harvesting project and make that project sustainable over a 3-year time horizon.

All this led to a summer internship which Khare finally secured at the end of May, as the academic year was winding down and most of her classmates had decided on summer plans. But, she says, the wait was worth it. Khare spent her summer with the Ulupono Initiative, an impact investing firm oriented towards locally sourced food, renewable energy and waste reduction on the island of Honolulu. There she worked on deal due diligence, using her understanding of finance and her skills gained at Tuck to evaluate and propose investment structures. This -- while living in Waikiki, “gazing every day at the Pacific Ocean with its multiple shades of blue. Not a bad place to be.”

Another passion for Khare is women’s empowerment. This December, she’ll join the board of Red Thread Foundation for Women, an organization which provides scholarships and mentorships to high-potential women of international backgrounds. To help her prepare for this role, Khare will serve this year as a Revers Board Fellow at Tuck, where she’ll sit as a non-voting member on the board of David’s House, a temporary home for families with children being treated at a regional medical center. According to Khare, this experience is the perfect way to prepare for her future responsibilities with Red Thread.

Khare is excited to be back at Tuck in what she calls “this crossing point to continue to align my professional and personal goals.” She has this advice for Tuckies looking to forge a similar path to a personally satisfying career:

  1. Take the time to define your path and yourself.
  2. Be flexible when faced with the conflicting priorities of a busy MBA program. Remember the path you want to be on, and make your choices consistent with it.
  3. Take advantage of all the support that’s around you. There are more resources to help you at Tuck than you realize.