Sai Konkala 24MBA cut his teeth as a producer for CNN during the COVID-19 pandemic. For four years, he perfected video segments for screen time, coordinated reporters for on-air stories, combed through news story data, and even put his own stories together.

“I worked as a producer at CNN International, advocating for stories from all parts of the world, particularly those that are underrepresented, to be given air-time,” says Konkala.

Sai Konkala 24MBA

During his tenure, Konkala noticed a divide between the creatives and the business side of the house. It’s a gap common in many industries. This lack of understanding and communication often leads to issues, inefficiencies, and unsatisfactory relationships among staff.

It was this realization, combined with Konkala’s passion for storytelling and a drive to do “business for good,” that lead him to pursue an MBA.

“Storytelling can be incredibly impactful to communities,” says Konkala. He aims to use strategy development to help businesses shift towards a more sustainable and equitable future and help the communities they impact.

Resume Builder

Learning the basic functions of a business is the main building block of most MBA curricula. But Konkala was drawn to Goizueta’s two-year program because of the “strong emphasis on social impact.”

Goizueta’s commitment to meaningful engagement and purposeful actions shapes its academic endeavors. It also underscores the school’s dedication to fostering positive change both on campus and within the broader community.

Sai Konkala 24MBA

Konkala offers this advice to future MBA students: Say yes to everything—but also know when to say no. His resume gained significant length over the last two years as he took his own advice to heart. Konkala participated in the Goizueta Consulting Association and the Energy & Clean Tech Association. He held the position of vice president in both organizations.

“The best advice I learned was ‘saying no is a leadership skill. I knew two years would fly by fast, and I wanted to take advantage of every possible adventure,” says Konkala. “However, it’s crucial to strike a balance and avoid overloading yourself.”

He was also a Business & Society Institute Social Enterprise Fellow. The fellowship included a trip to Honduras and to the 2024 ClimateCAP conference in Michigan.

I’m so grateful for my experiences with the Business & Society Institute. It provided me with a unique lens through which to view the intersection of business and social impact.

Sai Konkala 24MBA

“It’s inspiring to engage with such passionate individuals,” says Konkala. “These are people dedicated to placing humans and the planet at the forefront of business decision-making.”

Group Mentality

As a finale to his time in graduate school, Konkala was on a team that participated in the Rice University CleanTech Innovation Case Competition—and won.

“The achievement was the culmination of weeks of hard work,” he says. “I am immensely proud to have represented Goizueta.”

Sai and team aboard a sailing vessel during the Goizueta Advanced Leadership Academy

His first team project—or a version of it—was Goizueta’s Leadership Reaction Course. All graduate students participate in the course before their first semester begins. Konkala says this bonding experience, with then-strangers, is one of his favorite MBA memories.

But his absolute favorite MBA experience was joining the Goizueta Advanced Leadership Academy. Students who join the academy take additional classes, listen to guest speakers, attend seminars, and participate in tailored coaching sessions to help develop their unique leadership skills. They round out the program with a capstone trip to the British Virgin Islands.

Out at sea, students took turns filling different roles on the boat, including a day as captain.

All of us are and have been capable leaders. But one muscle or skill that we had to really flex again was how to be a good follower and support the captain and each other.

Sai Konkala 24MBA

Beyond these leadership tests on the water, Konkala enjoyed the opportunity to swim, snorkel, and simply enjoy the British Virgin Islands during his final spring break of graduate school.

“I worked in high-stress environments prior to business school. Being able to remain calm and focused on the task really reflected back to the team. It enabled us to be collected and unified.”

Sai and team at the Goizueta Advanced Leadership Academy in the British Virgin Islands

These team-building experiences—in addition the friendships and collaboration Konkala formed in the classroom—taught him something else, too. He recognized that a belief he once held about business school was simply not true.  

When applying to schools, Konkala thought the environment would be fiercely competitive. In his mind, students would be so pitted against one another that securing a job in the southeast would prove a challenge.

However, starting with the recruiting process, he found that applicants supported one another. That support continued from fellow students in the program, all the way through the Leadership Reaction Course and well into his final semester. Konkala now knows just how supportive the Goizueta community is.  

I discovered a remarkably collaborative community. Competition took a backseat to camaraderie.

Sai Konkala 24MBA

“There is very much an attitude of ‘lift as you climb’ at Goizueta,” he says. “I truly value that.”

Looking Toward the Future

With his time at Goizueta coming to an end, Konkala is excited to be joining Deloitte as a senior consultant. He plans to put all the knowledge and skills gained from the last two years to work. He hopes to “steer industries towards reducing their environmental footprint, promoting zero waste, mitigating pollution, and uplifting communities.”

Working closely with businesses—with these goals in mind—Konkala will draw from what he learned in the strategy class taught by Renée Dye, associate professor in the practice of organization and management. Often, the broad strokes mission and vision language that companies proclaim differs from the nuanced approaches they take in situations. There is no one-size-fits-all language or strategy that works across industries either, explains Konkala. These discrepancies can be confusing to employees and hinder a company’s progress. That’s where Konkala hopes to come in.

“One of the most valuable takeaways from my time at Goizueta has been the ability to dissect the relationship between a company’s stated language and its actual strategy.”

Hats off to Sai and the rest of Goizueta’s graduating classes of 2024!

Long-term, Konkala aspires to fill the initial gap he noticed that lead him to Goizueta. He wants to use strategy to better connect the creatives and the business teams in the media and entertainment companies. He may also open a plant and coffee shop. His direct study as a Business & Society Institute Fellow explores the business case for a sustainable coffee farm that accounts for climate change.

Or, maybe he’ll launch a sustainable fashion brand.

Or, maybe, he’ll do it all.

“I aspire to make business a potent force for good.”

This May, hundreds of Goizueta graduates will walk through our doors ready for the workforce. Learn more about the celebration and register for Goizueta’s Commencement activities. Continue to check out the stories of our amazing students all month long.

Whether you’re looking to accelerate your career or make a career pivot, our full-time Two-Year MBA will prepare you to challenge business as usual and become the innovators who disrupt it.Learn more here.