Didn’t Expect to Start My MBA So Soon

How did I end up here?

Hi! I’m Dev Chandra, and I’m in the Part-Time Flex MBA program, Class of 2023! I currently live in Arlington, VA, and plan on moving to Pittsburgh in the next year!

The short answer is because of COVID.

In February of this year, I had no plans to attend an MBA program. After five years of being in the Navy, I planned to leave my job that August. I love the Navy; however, it was time for me to unleash my creativity, embrace entrepreneurship, and work on my own projects. I wanted to grow my online side business, The Process Hacker, and travel the world for a few years. 

But as the title reflects, life did not turn out that way and it took a different course. A few weeks later, the pandemic took over the world, and I was confined to my tiny Washington DC apartment. I normally am never home, so it sucked to fight the feelings of wanting to be out and do stuff.

Over the next few weeks, I slowed down, stepped back, and had a lot of time to think. I ended my relationship at the time as I realized I felt I was with the wrong person for me. I decided to stay in the Navy another year to keep my job, buy time, and figure things out.

I also applied to Tepper. Many MBA programs lowered the barriers to entry in order to mitigate the effects of COVID-19. Tepper had been on the back of my mind, and it made sense to pull the trigger in April. It ranks highly in both online MBA programs and entrepreneurship. Besides, it’s in the best city in America. In case you didn’t know, I love Pittsburgh (used to live on the South Side), decided that an MBA program would provide me with flexibility, and it would satisfy my needs to keep learning.

Who am I?

My friends and I (far right) finished a Tough Muddler outside of LA.

I was born and raised in central Pennsylvania. After high school, I went to Johns Hopkins University and majored in Mechanical Engineering. I joined the Navy in my junior year and became an Officer in the summer after graduation. Over the next few years, I worked on nuclear engineering projects related to materials science, spent nuclear fuel, and aircraft carrier construction. Now, I am a Congressional Liaison and help the Navy negotiate with Congress to fund nuclear-powered warship construction and maintenance.

This past year, I started my side business, The Process Hacker, to help other entrepreneurs and high-performers that are overwhelmed by not having enough time or being unorganized. I coach my clients to implement strategy, structure, and systems to unleash their productivity and get their time back. Currently, I spend most of my free time working to grow the business with my business coach, reading many resources, and collaborating with others. Also, I write for my website blog and create Instagram content to build my brand.

In my free time, I enjoy challenging myself and my beliefs through travel, the outdoors, and competition. In one of my favorite books, Can’t Hurt Me, author David Goggins states that you will genuinely grow when you “Get comfortable with being uncomfortable.” So far I have visited 16 countries, including backing Europe and road-tripping through India. And I have been to 12 US National Parks, getting to explore glaciers, canyons, and waterfalls. Last, I have completed the Marine Corps Marathon and have done a Tough Mudder.

Where Am I Going?

I did a beautiful hike at Yosemite National Park.

“You didn’t come this far, to only come this far.” – Jesse Itzler

What a year it has been, and we’ll have to see where life takes me in the year to come. I plan to leave the Navy next summer and join the Naval Reserves. I intend to grow my side business to provide me a stable income. I also plan on moving to Pittsburgh and investing in the local real estate. Last, I want the world to open up, so I can go about and explore.

Dev Chandra | Part-Time MBA 2023
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