Student Comes Full Circle at Henkel
Little did Nishant Kondamudi know when he participated in Henkel’s first case competition that he would help host the same event as a Henkel employee the following year.
Kondamudi first heard about the Henkel case competition in the fall of 2017, while a second year MBA student at Rutgers University.
“Even as an undergraduate, I was interested in case competitions,” says Kondamudi, whose team took the top prize in the Henkel event. “I’m a competitive person, and I enjoy learning about the topic area involved.”
The Henkel case competition, held at its North America headquarters in Rocky Hill, CT, invites students from business schools across the Northeast to work in teams and tackle a real-life business situation. Students get to learn about Henkel along with the opportunity to build their network. Henkel gets to spot potential talent.
While case studies were nothing new to Kondamudi, the level of leadership involvement at Henkel was. “I remember thinking, ‘WOW – this is just a case competition, but the head of purchasing is a judge. These people are serious about recruiting,’” recalls Kondamudi. “It spoke volumes to me.”
The case competition was designed by participants in the company’s PRISM-F program. This is a rotational program which offers four-month stints in four different areas: Finance, Purchasing, Information Technology, and Business Controlling.
“I loved the company, but I did not think there was any chance I would end up working for Henkel. But then a position magically opened up in the PRISM-F program and the stars aligned,” says Kondamudi, who promptly landed himself the job.
And in a full circle moment, Kondamudi’s PRISM-F cohort was charged with planning and hosting the same case competition that introduced him to Henkel.
“It’s crazy how that worked out. Last fall’s case competition is where I first met a lot of the people I’m working with today,” says Kondamudi. “It was fun to meet new students and to know exactly what they are going through. I encouraged them to take advantage of this opportunity because not every company will send its top leaders to a case competition like this.”
“The best thing about working at Henkel is the people. They work well together and they’re just fun to be around. I couldn’t be happier with the way it turned out.”