As part of Scheller’s Countdown to Commencement series, we interviewed a few soon-to-be graduates from our undergraduate, MBA, and Ph.D. programs to learn about their backgrounds, why they chose Scheller College, and what they plan to do after Spring 2019 Commencement.
Meet Raghu Valluri:
Raghu is completing his Evening MBA with concentrations in Strategy and Data Analytics. He has a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering from Louisiana State University (LSU) and describes himself as “passionate about building teams and always look to help others succeed.” A native of Bangalore, India, Raghu can speak six languages
Where will you be working after graduation?
I’m very excited to be joining the Leadership Development Program at LexisNexis Risk Solutions.
Why did you choose Scheller College of Business?
As an engineer, the opportunity to work with a curriculum dedicated to bridging technology and business was attractive. I wanted the ability to build a solid foundation of business classes before diving into immersive tracks in strategy and analytics. Scheller has the best curriculum and the best professors to impart that knowledge. I also wanted to gain practical experience by helping companies solve business challenges while I was enrolled in the program. All things considered, I chose the best business school in the city of Atlanta.
Who was your favorite professor (and why)?
My favorite professor is Professor Saby Mitra. His course on Managing Information Resources was a perfect example of enabling business through technology. His experience and passion for technology in business really came through. The material and homework were challenging in a short period of time, but it was very well explained during lectures through supplemental readings. Outside of class, I respect his ability to lead the program, his willingness to listen and always help students.
What was your favorite course (and what was the biggest insight you gained about business from it?)
Manpreet Hora’s Service Operations Management was my favorite class. I have been a consulting engineer for over six years and my future is tied to delivering great products and services to clients. This class made me realize that I have always been a service junkie. It gave me the frameworks and concepts that I can apply at work to align teams toward delivering great value to clients. A simple concept that I will always take with me is that “we cannot let our customers consume our organizational structure." Delighting a customer is not an option, it is a necessity to survive as an organization today.
As a business student in the heart of Tech Square, how do you think Scheller College embodies the intersection of business and technology?
Scheller embodies this intersection in every way, including the curriculum, networking opportunities, and on campus recruiting. The best examples are the practicums that enable students to work with companies on real business challenges during the program.
Did you participate in any hands-on/experiential learning opportunities?
I took two practicums MGT 6058 AND MGT 6113. For MGT 6058, my client was The Coca-Cola Company and we worked with the VP of IT Strategy at Coca Cola on leveraging collaboration into employee engagement, which is a challenge that every company is working on. We provided insights into levers of engagement and improving productivity, and provided a practical implementation strategy for a social collaboration tool they were rolling out across The Coca Cola Company.
For MGT 6113, my team worked with the Decatur Dekalb YMCA Soccer Club (DDYSC) to improve marketing that would result in higher enrollment at this non-profit soccer club that is in danger of lagging behind other clubs in the area. We helped the club analyze their current technology infrastructure and provided solutions to improve their mobile and analytics implementations. I found working with a non-profit to be extremely educational and their challenges were eye-opening. I look forward to being more involved with non-profits in the future.
What activities were you involved with on or off campus, and did your business education impact those activities in any way?
I was on the Alumni Club Committee on Graduate Evening MBA Students (GEMS), the student body for the Evening MBA program. I was lucky to work with and learn from the Scheller program and other driven students who were part of the committee. The Leadership and Negotiation class (MGT 6110) was very helpful in working within a large team.
What is your best piece advice to an applicant hoping to get into Scheller College?
I like to prepare and stay ahead. I would ask that prospective students start their process as early as possible. Making connections, talking to people at Scheller frequently and putting effort into the application process goes a long way. I would ask that students stay true to themselves, ask themselves why they want to enroll in the program and at Scheller, and then portray that through the application and essays.
What is the biggest myth about Scheller College?
The perception of Evening MBA programs is that they push students to the limit, and that was no myth. The program challenged me in ways that I did not expect. I’m better off for it and my last three years has instilled a work ethic that is now a part of me forever.
“If I hadn’t gone to business school, I would be…
An engineer for life, without a firm direction to pursue my curiosity in business and finance.
Who most influenced your decision to pursue business in college? (A parent? A teacher? A role model/mentor?)
My uncle and aunt are my role models, and I sought out their advice. They emphatically supported my decision to enroll at Scheller. A colleague at work was very helpful as well. It really would not have been possible without the support of my wife and family, as they supported me once the decision was made.
What are the top two items on your bucket list?
- Attend an Arsenal Football Club game at the Emirates Stadium
- Lead a global assignment in a foreign country
In one sentence, how would you like your peers to remember you?
I hope my friends remember me as someone who could be trusted to deliver while bringing some laughs along the way.
I love reading and am currently staying on track to read more than 2 books a month this year. I enjoy traveling, cooking and gardening with my wife.