Life has been kind to my family and me, so when we knew we had the ability to help, we selected Fairfield University to be the channel to give back… In 2007, my wife and I established the Rodenhiser-Sadarangani Scholarship Fund.
Yogesh Sadarangani MBA’00
In 2000 I was living in Fairfield, about a mile from the University, and was contemplating making a switch in my career, moving from the technical role I held as a development engineer at ASML, to one in finance, working for a wealth management firm in Westport. I wanted to pursue a MBA program that I could complete in the evenings and on weekends. I looked into programs at all area universities, as well as UCONN’s Stamford program. Then I sat in on a couple of classes at Fairfield, liked what I experienced, and decided to attend the graduate school here.
Influential Faculty: Dr. Russell Boisjoly
My favorite memories and experiences of Fairfield are all around the time I spent Dr. Russell Boisjoly’s classroom. I took a number of finance classes with him, and very much enjoyed his teaching style—the way he encouraged all of us to think outside the box, pushing us to stretch ourselves and, most of all, the energy he brought into the classroom. His classes generally ran late—some nights we did not get out of class until close to 11:00 p.m., but each time I left his classroom with more energy than I came in with at the start of the class, as well as a desire to learn more.
It has been over 14 years since I first walked into Dr. Boisjoly’s class, and I can still hear his voice and his infectious laugh. Having a professor like him, who loved doing what he did for a living—teaching and sharing his knowledge—made my experience at Fairfield University excellent.
Dr. Boisjoly is very much the reason I strive to do the best I can each day, and do it with a smile on my face. The man just has a wonderful outlook on life, and enjoys every minute of every day. There are many other professors at Fairfield who also have amazing energy, and instill a drive for you to learn more, but Dr. Boisjoly is someone you only come across once in a great while.
Dr. Gregory D. Koutmos was another individual who I feel taught me a lot about finance, and also about how to approach and handle risk in the business world.
Many Career Opportunities
I received my undergraduate degree in biomedical and electrical engineering, and worked after graduation as a design engineer, designing blood chemistry machines used in labs and hospitals. I then returned to school for a master’s in engineering management, and joined Norwalk Hospital, where I worked as a biomedical engineer, specializing in surgical equipment.
In 1996, I decided I wanted to do something a little different, but was not sure what. I quit my job and went backpacking through Europe with my friend Christal (now my wife) for the latter half of the year. When I returned to the U.S., I was approached by ASML [a company which manufactures machines for the production of integrated circuits] about a job as a project manager in the engineering development area. Around the same time in 2007 I also got involved with a wealth management firm in Westport, where I worked with a team of investment portfolio managers. Over the next few years, I took various licensing exams and earned the credential needed to manage client accounts independently. That is what brought to me Fairfield University, and the MBA in Finance.
As graduation approached, I was approached by management at ASML and offered a position in the product marketing/management area, responsible for taking the product I had helped design to market, with a focus on trying to gain market share at one of our large customers, Intel Corporation. So, I decided to start my career on the business side of ASML. In 2003, I moved to the business development/sales area of ASML as an account manager responsible for our global relationship with Intel for one of our product lines. This involved managing activity and a business/operational relationship with Intel in the U.S., Israel, and Ireland.
Currently, I am the worldwide business manager for the Intel Account Team at ASML, responsible for overseeing all major business negotiations between ASML and Intel, and managing the day-to-day relationship on an operational level. Intel now has added a factory in China as well, so the activity covers many time zones, and many cultures, which keeps the job exciting and enjoyable. Over the past six years we have grown our business with Intel significantly, and have also recently signed agreements involving funding for research and equity investments in ASML.
In many of my business dealings, I get to apply what I learned at Fairfield University, be it in my finance classes, or organization behavior, or the human resources management class. I feel I gained a lot of knowledge and new skills at my time at Fairfield, which I apply in my business life today.
“Love What You Do, and Do the Best You Can”
Working with different faculty members over my two years at Fairfield, I had many conversations about taking time out to give back to society and help those around us—so I would say along with the “love what you do and do the best you can” attitude I picked up from Dr. Russell Boisjoly, I also learned to take time to step back every now and again, reflect on things, and take the time to help those around me. I found that many of the people on staff were people with big hearts, and who spent a lot of time giving back—Dr. Winston Tellis is one such person.
Why I Give Back—and the Rodenhiser-Sadarangani Scholarship
In the summer of 1990, just prior to starting my senior year in college, Kuwait was invaded by Iraq. I was an expatriate resident of Kuwait at the time, in the U.S. as a foreign student. My parents were in Kuwait at the time of the invasion, and I lost contact with them hours after Iraq entered Kuwait. This meant I also lost access to any funds to pay my tuition for my final year of school. I started to contact foundations, trusts, and honors societies to see I could qualify for any grants or loans. Unfortunately, since I was here on a student visa, I did not qualify for any help.
In the process I made contact with a Ms. Ilona Herlinger, National President of the Phi Kappa Phi Honors Society, of which I was a member. She was generous enough to offer to extend a no-interest loan to me to pay for my senior year. I learned that she had come to the U.S. as a refugee from Estonia, and someone she did not really know had helped her in a similar way. It turned out my parents were able to make their way out of Kuwait before I needed to take Ms. Herlinger up on her generous offer, but the kind act impacted me in many ways. When I asked her what I could do to thank her, she told me to help someone else get an education someday, if I had the means, and I gave her my word I would.
Our boys Sameer and Sanjay (pictured) approach things they do with great passion and are constantly laughing. They serve as daily reminders for Christal and myself that life is short and that we should share our good fortune with others, providing them reasons to smile. Life has been kind to us, so when we knew we had the ability to help, we selected Fairfield University to be the channel to give back through, as I believe the education one receives at Fairfield is excellent—academically and with regards to life.
In 2007, my wife and I established the Rodenhiser-Sadarangani Scholarship. We think providing a first-generation or inner-city student with the opportunity to attend Fairfield is a learning experience not just for that student but also for other students who may not normally interact with someone from that background. I recently met the young man who is the first recipient of the scholarship, and I am so glad we decided to establish this scholarship. In my short meeting with him it was clear that he brings a great deal to the University. Sharing his life experiences with his fellow students will provide an education that no text books can provide.
Tiny URL for this post: http://tinyurl.com/kj9r898