As part of Scheller’s Countdown to Commencement series, we are interviewing a few soon-to-be graduates from our Full-time MBA program to learn about their backgrounds, why they chose Scheller College, and what they plan to do after Spring 2020 Commencement.
Meet Subhash Shanmugasundaram, Full-time MBA
Where did you intern/co-op during school?
I interned at Elekta, a healthcare technology firm, in their Regional Market Group as a Digital Marketing Intern. I was involved in analyzing data to improve lead conversion by customizing marketing campaigns. I also developed a micro-influencer campaign strategy for their social media channels including LinkedIn and Twitter.
Where will you be working after graduation?
I will be joining Kearney as an Associate Consultant in the Strategic Operations Group. I will be based out of Atlanta.
Why did you choose Scheller College of Business?
I wanted a career in Operations and Supply Chain and the use of technology to achieve sustainable competitive advantage for businesses is inevitable. My career focus made Scheller one of top choices for many reasons. One of my reasons was that Scheller has a reputation as a Supply Chain & Operations school, being named No. 7 in the US News Rankings in Production/Operations and No. 11 in Supply Chain and Logistics. The program has a technology-oriented curriculum and the ROI of Scheller is one of the best in the country.
Who was your favorite professor (and why)?
Dr Atalay Atasu is my favorite professor. His style of boiling down the complexities of supply chain issues to the basics of capacity, inventory, and time was very effective. I also got to apply and learn the effect of each of these levers in managing a supply chain during the in-class simulation exercises, which was literally a game and we are a competitive bunch.
What was your favorite course (and what was the biggest insight you gained about business from it)?
Managing Information Resources is one of my favorite courses at Scheller. The course took me through the technology changes in the last couple of decades and their impact in the global business landscape in just three months. I learned a lot, from the technicalities behind bitcoins, to conducting network analysis, to identifying the best influencer for a target audience.
As a business student in the heart of Tech Square, how do you think Scheller College embodies the intersection of business and technology?
Being at the heart of Tech Square, the opportunities available to experience it first-hand are unparalleled. There are so many benefits that I reaped out of it personally. We had visits to the state-of-the-art innovation centers of industry leaders like, Delta, Anthem and, Accenture. Scheller also had semester long practicum projects, experts’ knowledge sharing sessions as a part of the curriculum, access to startup companies that are a part of the incubator ATDC, and networking opportunities during ATDC events, like ATDC Retail Technology and Innovation symposium Reimagining Retails.
What is your best piece of advice to an applicant hoping to get into Scheller College?
I wanted to go to B-School to learn and be a better business leader. I learned a lot of hard and soft skills in the last two years, not just from faculty and advisors but equally, if not more, from my peers. My advice to an applicant is to be open to feedback from all directions. In a tight-knit community like Scheller, you have interactions with 80 other brilliant minds from diverse backgrounds and skillsets and there is a lot to learn from each and every one of them. At the same time, be willing to give constructive feedbacks to your peers.
What is the biggest myth about Scheller College?
I had heard (not from any Scheller graduate) and believed that Scheller was a ‘tech’ school and one needs to have a technology background to be successful. It’s a myth! A big one! Yes, it is a tech school, not in a way that ‘you need a tech background to be successful’ but ‘you are going to be introduced to various technologies that are shaping the business world so that you can successfully leverage them to your advantage in your career’.
Who most influenced your decision to pursue business in college? (A parent? A teacher? A role model?)
My mentor from my previous job encouraged me to pursue an MBA. I worked with him in various organization-wide transformational and change management initiatives. He saw my growth from being right out of college to a manager leading a team of more than 100 people through cost and digital transformation. He understood my career interests and suggested that it was the right time for me to consider a business education to see the big picture and move from implementing these initiatives to strategizing and creating them. By far, I can say it is one of the best investments I have made in developing myself.
What activities were you involved with on or off campus, and did your business education impact those activities in any way?
I am the President of Consulting Club, VP of Operations Club, and Chair of International Committee. As a part of these clubs and committees, I helped organize various career development and cultural activities in Scheller College of Business. I was named the ‘Outstanding Graduate Student Instructor’ for Business Administration by Georgia Tech for my contribution as a teaching assistant for the courses Management Statistics and Quantitative Analysis in Business where I covered more than 200 students. I also served as a non-voting Board Member of PeachDish, a retail meal kit and groceries service, where I conducted market research and forecasted a two-year demand profile to develop a business plan and go-to market strategy.
How did the Career Center assist you with your job efforts? Did you end up working or interning for one of your top choice companies?
During orientation, I ended my one-minute introduction by saying, ‘I want to become a Consultant’. The role of the career services team was instrumental in achieving my post-MBA goal. Kevin Stacia was my career mentor, but he wasn’t the only one available to help me during the process. I had a village working with me. Apart from the highly competitive recruitment process of consulting, I also had the challenge of being an international student that was navigating the career search process. Looking back now, I’ve improved a lot in the last two years and the results are evident. From applying to more than 80 positions during my internship search with less than a five-percent conversion rate to applying to just five full-time position with more than fifty-percent conversion. Multiple mock interviews and resume review sessions with Kevin, contacts from Larry, networking tips from Kristen, and ‘how to be a successful consultant’ tips from Dave helped me secure a full-time position with one of the best management consulting firms Kearney in their flagship group of Strategic Operations. I’m extremely satisfied and proud of it! I owe a huge thanks to career services team and my peers for making it a possible.
Did you participate in any hands-on/experiential learning opportunities? If yes, which projects/companies did you work with and how did you help them?
I’ve had the opportunity to work with six clients and partners in experiential learning opportunities to provide solutions to their perpetual business challenges and strategize opportunities for growth. The most exciting among them was the project with a multi-billion-dollar pharmaceutical company to assess their on-premise computing system and recommend if they should continue to invest in their in-house systems or outsource their computing operations to a cloud service provider. They also wanted a comparative analysis of various cloud service providers with respect to their research field. The primary challenge of the project was coming up with the cost model as there was no standard accounting procedure built around it in their organization. After data analysis and multiple calls with the relevant teams, we devised a time-space-cost model to quantify the on-premise systems’ operational cost. We compared it with Google cloud platform, AWS and Microsoft Azure with respect to cost and functionality. Our final recommendation was a hybrid model with the ‘storage’ on-premise and ‘compute’ in the cloud. Applying the principles of accounting, strategy, finance, and technology management that I learned in my core classes came in handy during this project.
What concentration did you pursue and why? How this helped prepare you for your future?
I pursued an immersive track in Supply Chain and Operations and a major in Technology Management. Soon after my internship, I realized that though I loved marketing and learned a lot during the three-month stint, supply chain and operations is where I wanted to build my career. The impact of technology in global supply chain is phenomenal and to be a successful consultant, I needed to know the technologies that the drive competitive advantage. I hope my concentrations will aid me in my future career.
Fun fact about yourself:
I played professional soccer for the first time during my undergrad. I signed a contract with PSG Sports Club and represented them in the ‘A’ Division League of Coimbatore for $15 a game, and of course the pleasure of playing!
“If I hadn’t gone to business school, I would be…"
I would still be in Tata Steel, my previous company, though I would’ve had a couple of promotions. I loved the culture of the company, my team, and challenges that came along with my role.
What are the top two items on your bucket list?
I want to visit every continent and retire in my 40s and open a shack in Goa.
In one sentence, how would you like your peers to remember you?
The guy with the long last name?? Just kidding. They would remember me as a reliable teammate!