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Bobby Agarwal: Using Communication Skills to Enhance Company Growth

With over 20 years of leadership experience, Bobby Agarwal (’18SPS, Strategic Communication) has expanded brand development for businesses including Amazon, Hershey’s, and Splenda. His accomplishments include helping companies launch new products and grow new markets. Currently Agarwal manages marketing for Amazon Advertising’s product portfolio. His role involves launching new products to improve advertisers’ performance that convert customer insights into advantages to deliver profitable growth.

What initially attracted you to the Strategic Communication program at Columbia University?

As I reached a mid-career point in my life, I had been reflecting on the first couple of decades of my experiences, education, and acquired skills. As I assessed my development, I decided that I wanted to continue refreshing and perfecting my skills while I continued to work. One program I considered was the Executive Master of Science in Strategic Communication program at Columbia University. The one skill that has been essential to my career so far but also the one that I can always further improve on, is communication, whether enrolling a team in a vision, developing a marketing campaign, or convincing management of a strategic plan, or even closing a sale with a customer. The Strategic Communication program’s interdisciplinary approach and teaching staff made the program a perfect complement to my education and experiences thus far.

What type of skills were you able to build and improve on through the program?

The program helped me further develop my critical thinking, analysis, and practical skills. These are essential to developing and implementing strategies that advance an organization’s goals and mission. The program provided me with a toolset to effectively navigate various audiences and situations.

How have these skills helped you succeed in your career?

The program taught me how to develop effective communication strategies and to foster the thinking habits that will allow me to offer strategic counsel to my organizations. The ability to take electives in other schools enhanced the interdisciplinary approach. Professors include professionals at the top of their field, which helped me relate the theory to everyday applications and real-world setting