In 2015 MUM alumna Abha Bhandair took the position of director of equity administration and benefits accounting at Brown & Brown Insurance in Daytona Beach, Florida, and she immediately decided to make changes. She streamlined and automated certain processes that were in place for decades, which caught the attention of the company’s leadership.
For thinking outside the box and taking risks, Abha was nominated to speak at the Women in Leadership conference at Bowling Green State University in Perrysburg, Ohio, last October. She also received a Distinguished Presenter Award at the Brown & Brown Senior Financial Leadership Presentation meeting.
Abha came to MUM in 1999 from New Delhi, India, to pursue an MBA degree. She wanted a career in finance and accounting, so in her senior year she decided to study for the CPA exam. At the time, MUM wasn’t offering an accounting program yet, so Abha pursued the certification in her own time and passed the test on her first attempt.
“MUM was a great experience,” said Abha. “When I first started there, I didn’t know anything about Transcendental Meditation, but I learned a lot, and the twice-a-day TM practice added some peace and quiet to my busy day-to-day life.”
After graduating from MUM with an Outstanding Student Award in 2002, Abha earned a master’s degree in taxation from Florida Atlantic University. Since then, she has been striving to take leadership positions, such as manager of Accounting Services at Newport Group. Abha sees herself moving all the way to the top and serving as chief financial officer or chief accounting officer someday.
“I enjoy challenges in my career, and I enjoy conquering those challenges,” she said. “So that’s what drives me most—being able to make a difference.”