When Hemant Keskar was preparing to attend engineering school, the first microprocessor had just hit the market.
“It was an 8-bit microprocessor — minuscule compared to what we have today, but I knew it was the beginning of a boom in computer technology,” said Keskar, now a patent attorney with Harness Dickey in Troy. “It felt like an exciting field to get into.”
Keskar spent more than five years as a computer design engineer in his native India before moving to the U.S. and setting up his own computer service company in Metro Detroit.
“It was fun to be in R&D as a design engineer. I was able to use everything I learned in school and work with a team of people who were trained like I was,” he said. “It takes a lot of resources and capital to be a design engineer or own a business with an R&D team, though, so when I struck out on my own I decided to focus on service.”
Then came the burst of the Internet bubble in the early 2000s.
Closing his business in Metro Detroit, he decided to switch gears and get an MBA. Enrolling in a program at Walsh College in Troy, he took a class about legal issues in management that was taught by an experienced lawyer. He was hooked immediately.
“Patent law appealed to me directly because it meant I could still use all of my technical training and experience,” he said. “I knew it would mean a big career shift, but it wasn’t a total career change. I’d always been interested in electrical and computer technology, and bio-medical technology was another big interest, so it was an easy, natural choice to switch from the MBA program to law school.”