BLOOMINGTON, Ind. — When Agrayan Gupta started college at the Indiana University Kelley School of Business in fall 2019, he couldn’t have imagined his mother, Anita, would become his study buddy. This month, the Guptas graduated from Kelley together — he with a bachelor’s degree and she with the Kelley Direct Online MBA.
The mother of two, Anita says sharing the Kelley graduation platform with her younger son is an honor. Agrayan says she is an inspiration. Both acknowledge they leaned on one another.
“My mom has constantly been there for me during my time at Kelley. She really pushed me to do work that is meaningful to me, like food insecurity,” said Agrayan, who works at Deloitte as a strategy consulting analyst.
“My son stood by me the entire time,” said Anita. “We have been pillars for each other. He patiently listened when I talked about my classes, and he helped me when I had doubts or wasn’t sure if an elective would be right for me.”
Anita’s Kelley Direct journey wasn’t easy. Like many professional women, she had to balance her studies with other responsibilities, including full-time work as a physician researcher and taking care of her family. But she was driven to fulfill her dream of making a difference for patients.
“I struggled through my first semester, as I was coming back to class after a long time,” remembered Anita, who graduated from medical school in 1993 and moved to the U.S. from India in 1996. “Kelley Direct has excellent professors and supportive staff who are always there for you, helping and guiding you throughout the program. They changed my outlook.
“You need to follow your dreams and know you are never too old to pivot your career path,” she added.
Agrayan’s path to Kelley is a direct result of his mother’s encouragement to follow his dreams. The Honors student, who majored in economic consulting and public policy, is interested in sustainable healthcare development and data interoperability. He says choosing the Kelley School for college made a lot of sense in every aspect.
“I wanted to get an interdisciplinary education where I could mix my interests in business, policy, and healthcare. Kelley made that dream come true,” Agrayan said. “Kelley’s supportive environment and course structure gave me a strong business foundation while allowing me to explore my areas of interest.”
Earning Kelley degrees together brought Anita and Agrayan closer than ever before. They pushed each other to succeed — studying together, sharing words of encouragement, and celebrating each other’s successes.
Like the Kelley grads before them and those who will follow, the Guptas know business is personal and that succeeding together is a greater achievement than going it alone.
Editor’s note: This article was written by Brenda Bishop.