Sugeith Naguleswaran has the best of both worlds, as he holds two degrees from two countries.
Naguleswaran put the finishing touches on achieving that goal by completing the online Master of Business Administration in Management program at Fitchburg State University in August 2020.
“I always wanted to earn an American MBA,” said Naguleswaran, who was born in Sri Lanka and raised in Montreal, Canada. “Since I already had the work experience, I said, ‘Okay, let’s go get that education south of the border to make myself more diversified and a more competitive candidate.’ That’s where Fitchburg State University came along.”
Naguleswaran has worked in Montreal’s banking industry for seven years. He started a senior role as a small business and liberal professions advisor at Scotiabank nine months before completing the MBA program.
“I made my way up the corporate ladder with my first financial institution, which was my first-ever employer,” he said. “I thought I needed something to bridge what I was doing with my work experience to my education to make myself a little bit more competitive.”
Although Naguleswaran was set on earning a master’s degree from a U.S. university, he wanted one that was still close to home. Fitchburg, Massachusetts, was that chosen destination for him.
“I was doing some online research and bumped into Fitchburg State,” he said. “It was definitely flexible and affordable, especially for an American graduate degree. When COVID-19 hit, I was already on board at that point. It worked out perfectly for me.
The university’s great reputation and close proximity were major perks. “I have been to the campus on several occasions. It’s a great school in a small community,” he said.
Glorious and Free
Naguleswaran moved to Canada with his family when he was four years old. In 2012 he graduated with a bachelor’s degree in political science from Concordia University in Montreal. Though he had intended to leave the city to pursue government work and even go to law school, he ended up staying there and building his career in the banking industry.
“Even though I didn’t have the educational background for it, I enjoyed it,” he said. “I also had the opportunity to work for some great managers who guided me and told me, ‘I can see you going far in your career. It’s time for you to go back and get your MBA.'”
In addition to the information that Naguleswaran gained while in the online MBA in Management program, the leadership of the Fitchburg State faculty made an impression on him.
“I worked with great professors like Dr. Michael Greenwood,” he said. “He did a lot of great things for me. I came out of the program feeling destined for success.”
Naguleswaran has applied the information he learned during his time in the MBA program to his current role and to his former position as a business account manager, which he held when he enrolled at Fitchburg State.
“Now that I have finished the MBA, I have the education as well to support my working background in finance,” he said. “It’s unique how the MBA looks at all components and lines of business.
“In each course, you see the ins and outs of each element of business and learn about the overall business structure. The program gave me the option to understand how the higher executives at the bank think and allowed me to put myself in their shoes and understand the risk before the reward.”
Dreams Do Come True
With university degrees from Canada and the United States, Naguleswaran looks forward to having new opportunities open up for him as he continues his career in the banking industry.
“Having the work experience and having a U.S. degree is big for me,” he said. “I want to go into a senior executive-level management position in the financial industry. The MBA will give me an express ticket with my work experience and sales objectives.”
Naguleswaran, who enjoys American football, is a huge New York Jets fan. He is fluent in Tamil, French and English, and he is the first person in his family to earn a master’s degree. His family and friends cheered him on through his endeavors to reach this milestone.
“They were excited for me,” he said. “At the beginning, I had supporters and some people who weren’t so sure. It’s a whole different program in a whole different country. I am proud to finish with a 3.92 GPA. That was the highlight of the hard work. I am excited to finish.”
Even though Naguleswaran graduated only recently, he has already tasted the fruits of his labor.
“Earning an MBA might seem challenging at first, but it’s an adventure you need to experience,” he said. “The knowledge you build will make you confident and give you the ammunition to be a stronger candidate in the ever-competitive corporate world. The flexibility of the program is great. It’s given me the opportunity to grow.”
Learn more about the Fitchburg State online MBA in Management program.