“Whether it has been mixing chemical engineering (my core field of education) with other areas, or exploring new things in management, the OCW website has always provided good first-hand information.”
A native of Kota, in Rajasthan, India, Ankit Khandelwal has been using OCW for the past seven years. While studying for his Bachelor’s in chemical engineering at the Vellore Institute of Technology University (located in Vellore, Tamilnadu, India), Khandelwal and two of his fellow students entered “Jerusalem 2050”. This contest was organized by MIT’s School of Planning and Architecture to solve urban problems that Jerusalem might encounter in 2050. Because the teammates knew little about urban planning, they consulted OCW for information. “It helped me to understand some key aspects mandatory for every city in order to function in an effective manner,” says Khandelwal. The team also addressed issues such as security and infrastructure, as well as “suggestions to resolve ongoing conflicts among different communities.”
In 2011, Khandelwal received a Master’s in chemical and biochemical engineering from the Technical University of Denmark, located in Kongens Lyngby, Denmark. He also immersed himself in the language, culture, and politics of the nation. “Talking with lots of local people and attending local events enriched my knowledge and helped me to know the place better.” Likewise, Khandelwal shared his perspectives on India with Danes. He explains, “This open communication helped to remove lots of misunderstanding people have about each other.” Khandelwal currently maintains his ties with Denmark as a Youth Goodwill Ambassador, by raising awareness of Danish culture in India.
Upon his return to India, Khandelwal decided to pursue a degree in management. “My vision was to become an interdisciplinary professional possessing abilities to merge different skills … to bring about innovative solutions”. Because going to school for a Master’s was not feasible for him at the time, Khandelwal turned to OCW, to help him with a “Self-designed International Management Study Program”.
The first course of Khandelwal’s individualized program was Global Strategy and Organization. He says, “This course has given me a lot of interesting ways to prepare myself (for) thinking like a global strategist.” Over a 22-month period, Khandelwal studied materials from more than 20 MIT courses, including Trade Negotiations, Mergers and Acquisitions, and Financial Accounting, along with courses from other universities. During his international management program, Khandelwal recognized the need to understand other cultures. He explains, “In order to lead/work with the global workforce, I also need to make myself more global.” Therefore, he studied OCW courses on Russia, China, Japan, and Central Asia.
Khandelwal is very pleased with the way OCW has enabled him to study management with an international focus. “Participants from different backgrounds and countries give the possibility to diversify the subject knowledge, without even going anywhere.” Now that he has completed his self-designed program, Khandelwal is seeking a position that will combine his engineering and management skills. “Chemical engineering and (the) related sector will be my first choice. But as an opportunist, I will not restrict myself to any particular sector if I see a good opportunity.”