Georgia Tech Scheller College of Business students come to learn, explore, and build community. As they move forward in their careers, they take everything they’ve learned and use it to power innovation in industries and businesses across the globe. Before graduating, we sat down with a few students to find out what they’ve learned and what advice they want to give to other students.
Meet Nithin Nedumthakady, who is graduating with an MBA/Ph.D. dual-degree. His MBA concentration is in Strategy and Innovation, and his Ph.D. is in Materials Science and Engineering.
Where are you from?
Hudson Valley, New York
What will you be doing to celebrate your graduation?
I’m actually still finishing up my Ph.D., but once I’m finished with that, I hope to take three months off. One to catch up on sleep. One to do a bit of international travel. And, one to get my life back in shape to enter into the working world.
Who most influenced your decision to pursue business in college?
One of my closest friends, Bartlet DeProspo, had already begun the dual degree MBA/Ph.D. program the year before, so I had a lot of exposure to the amazing people, advantages, and opportunities associated with the Scheller MBA. This exposure made my decision to pursue the Scheller MBA an easy choice.
What was your favorite business course and why?
Wow, hard question. There were so many amazing professors who just brought a brilliant and thoughtful approach to teaching. If I had to choose just one, I would choose the MBA core strategy class. Professor Frank Rothaermel ensured that we had critical discussions about very relevant companies in today’s business landscape. Even better, we had the opportunity to do a live case project, a team assignment that serves as an experiential learning exercise with an actual industry client and feedback, allowing us to utilize the learnings from the classroom in the real world.
What advice would you give to a first-year MBA student?
Keep your mind open to change and use the MBA as an exploratory experience. Even if you came into the MBA for a specific reason, or have a specific goal in mind, use the MBA as an opportunity to consider and try new ideas and future pathways. Also, make sure to take the time to appreciate and learn from all your amazing peers around you. Scheller’s MBA brings together so many amazing, wonderful people from so many different walks of life. Definitely take the time to listen to their stories, expertise, and experience!
What activities were you involved with on or off campus, and did your business education impact those activities in any way?
In addition to being a graduate research assistant and graduate teaching assistant as part of my Ph.D. program, I served as president of the PhD2Consulting Club, was a Venture Analyst for the Atlanta Technology Angels, was a Georgia Tech Student Ambassador, and was involved with several pro-bono consulting opportunities as part of Scheller and the Atlanta community at large. I also mentored incoming and current graduate students, both in and out of the lab. Scheller made a direct impact in easily increasing my exposure and awareness to many of the opportunities out there and allowed me to take advantage.
Where will you be working after graduation?
Bain & Company right here in Atlanta!
What are the top two items on your professional bucket list?
Hard question number two! My goals are constantly evolving as I achieve them. I love pursuing the next grand challenge and am happiest when tackling it with a great team.
Currently, one of the top items on my professional bucket list is to become partner of a venture capital firm or arm, particularly one that operates in the advanced technology space. I have always been absolutely fascinated by innovative, futuristic ideas, and it would bring me much fulfillment in developing and nurturing relationships with founders to bring such ideas to life.
But perhaps my top item is just to do good, whether that’s as a person, as a family member, as a teammate, as a partner, and as a leader. In the future, when I take a moment to reflect on my actions and decisions, I hope I find that I made the world a better place, even if only slightly.
What was a moment when you had to practice persistence and/or resilience while in the MBA program?
My first go at the full-time recruitment cycle, I had successfully received internships from all the companies that I was targeting. However, I unfortunately didn’t convert any of them into full-time offers and had to re-enter the recruiting cycle. This was difficult and quite frankly, I was burned out.
This was a distinct moment in the program where I had to practice resilience and lean on some recovery techniques. I took a good deal of time to reflect and internalize the lessons I had learned. I also took a good deal of time off, allowing myself to come back with a strategic plan that leaned on my reflections and allowed me to be a stronger, more capable candidate. All is well, and I succeeded the second time around.
What is the biggest lesson you gained from your Scheller MBA?
Maybe not a lesson I learned, but rather a lesson I confirmed at Scheller can be summed up in two quotes.
“If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.”
“I get by with a little help from my friends.”
I would be nowhere without the amazing people that I’ve met along the journey. The people I’ve met at Scheller are all wonderful, amazing, intelligent, talented, incredible individuals. They never fail to leave me in awe, and I have learned so much from all of them. I am infinitely blessed to call many of them some of my closest friends.
What is a fun fact about yourself?
I was in the National Spelling Bee on ESPN as a kid—meaning I was most definitely a pro (semi-pro?) athlete.