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Ajaay will start with Amazon, Inc. as a senior product manager after graduation.
Ajaay will start with Amazon, Inc. as a senior product manager after graduation.

Countdown to Commencement – Ajaay Ravi

As part of our Countdown to Commencement series, we spent some time with a few full-time MBA soon-to-be graduates to learn about their backgrounds, why they chose Scheller College for their MBA program, and what they plan to do with their degrees after May 5.

Meet Ajaay Ravi. Ajaay is from Chennai, Tamil Nadu (India) and earned a bachelor’s degree in electronics and telecommunication engineering from SRM University in Chennai and his master’s in computer engineering from the University of Cincinnati. He describes himself as an “avid traveler, car aficionado and technology enthusiast who’s comfortable with ambiguity and relishes challenges.” Ajaay has visited 12 countries, lived in nine different cities across three countries, studied in nine different schools and has never lived in any city for more than four years. Before business school, Ajaay worked as a senior R&D engineer and team lead at Broadcom Technologies Ltd. in San Jose, California. During the summer of 2016 he worked as a senior product manager at Amazon, Inc. in their Kindle division in Seattle, Washington and will return to Amazon, Inc. as a senior product manager after graduation.

Which academic or extracurricular achievement are you most proud of during business school?  
An extracurricular achievement that I am most proud of is winning the TiE Atlanta Business plan competition. As a student in the TI:GER (Technological Innovation: Generating Economic Results) program, I’m working with a team of PhD, JD and MBA students to commercialize a polymer based thermal interface material invention targeted at cooling electronic devices and improving battery life. I’m involved in developing the business model, conducting customer research and overseeing product market analysis. We participated in the TiE Atlanta Business plan competition last year and worked with eminent coaches who are successful entrepreneurs themselves. We competed against the top teams from the southeast and won the competition.

Who was your favorite MBA professor?
My favorite MBA professor is Prof. Peter Thompson. He teaches Behavioral Economics and is also the Senior Associate Dean of Faculty and Research. Not every day does a student get to meet a professor who tells him/her – “Even if you disagree with me and your answers in exams are totally different from mine, I will still give you the full points if I see strong logic behind your reasoning and am able to follow your train of thought.” Prof. Thompson is not only an excellent professor, he is also a fantastic individual. He made us relate the concepts covered in class with our own lives and the real world examples made me appreciate what I learned even further and understand its importance.

Why did you choose the Scheller College of Business?
  • The TI:GER program. The program prepares students for the challenges of commercializing new technologies and delivering innovative products to the marketplace. To me this was a dream program that was an amalgamation of my passion for entrepreneurship and technology.
  • The close knit community. The Scheller College is a smaller sized program and everyone from staff to faculty to the students are all like family. Today as I get ready to graduate, one of things that I am really proud of is the camaraderie and the relationships that I have formed with people all over the program.
  • The value of an affordable tuition at a top ranked program. Additionally, I was given a scholarship which has helped me stay debt free the whole time as an out of state student. Nothing can beat the feeling of graduating with a top class MBA with zero loans.

I know for certain that I am not the same person today that enrolled in the program two years ago. My time here at the Scheller College has been phenomenal and something that I will cherish fondly for years to come.

What is the biggest myth about your school?
Though we are not yet in the top-10 or 15 b-schools in the country, I truly believe that the Scheller College may very well rival schools like Chicago Booth, UCLA Anderson, MIT Sloan and Carnegie Mellon’s Tepper School of Business with respect to its focus on the application of technology to global business problems. Situated right in the heart of Technology Square in Midtown Atlanta, Scheller College offers students numerous networking and innovation resources within the city’s high-tech business community, including Venture Lab, the Advanced Technology Development Center business incubator and the Atlanta Technology Angels group. During my internship at Amazon, Inc. last summer, I had the opportunity to work with some of the best minds from the top-ranked MBA programs in the country. Interacting with them, I found that I was well equipped for the challenging role in a fast paced company and Scheller put me on par with the other interns across the whole company.

“I knew I wanted to go to business school when…"
I saw the passion with which my dad started his own IT company and the business challenges he faced, growing the ERP business. I was drawn to it and I wanted to continue what he started and diversify it further. My dad earned his MBA from the Indian Institute of Management – Ahmedabad, the best b-school in India. I consider my dad my hero and role model in life. I try to emulate him in whatever I do and getting an MBA was no exception.

Who would you most want to thank for your success?  
My mother is one person I dedicate all my successes to and thank her for them as well. She has always been my true friend, philosopher and guide all my life. She was my first teacher and my first coach. My mother taught me the value of success and at the same time the value of humility as well. She taught me to respect people and whatever I am today is because of her.

In one sentence, how would you like your peers to remember you?
A dynamic, calm, composed, mature and democratic leader who always had a smile and a solution no matter what the problem.


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