The Big Reveal and Kickoff for the summer 2018 IBD program took place on May 13th in the Innovation Lab at Berkeley Haas. Fifteen enthusiastic Evening and Weekend MBA (EWMBA) students participated, learning for the first time information about their respective IBD clients and projects. This particular IBD class consists of three teams of five MBA Students each, all of whom will work on their IBD projects for the next five weeks at Berkeley Haas. In July they will travel to Mexico City, Shanghai and Belize City in order to live and work in-country on their respective projects for two weeks.
Frank Schultz, IBD Faculty Director, and Mentor, says he “enjoys working with the EWMBA students because they bring a vast array of work experiences to their projects. This can lead to very creative and transformative solutions for our clients. Plus, they are pretty cool!”
Let’s introduce our newest IBD class! Please enjoy reading something about each EWMBA IBD student and his/her thoughts about participating in the IBD program.
Team Mexico City:
Sounak Basu has 12 plus years of work experience in the IT Industry, specifically in U.S. Health Insurance and U.S. Postal Domains. He has led cross-cultural teams in India, China, and the U.S.
“I believe that the opportunity offered to me by the IBD Program – to be able to expose myself to a new country, a new culture, a new business environment/challenge – will help me grow as a person both personally and professionally. I am a “student always” believer and the IBD program offers an amazing opportunity of learning that I can’t wait to experience.” – Sounak Basu
Mike Chi is a Senior Staff Power Management IC (PMIC) Systems Engineer at Qualcomm Inc. and has a Master of Engineering Degree from University of California, San Diego in Electrical and Computer Engineering.
“I am excited about Mexico city! Living in San Diego and bordering Mexico, I am familiar with some aspects of Mexico, but from what I heard Mexico City will be different. I am very excited about the project, which is a combination of digital marketing, data analytics and behavioral economics. These are not the topics that I focused my studies on, but I think i can apply my strong analytical skills and problem solving ability here very well.” ~ Mike Chi
Shaun Hundle works as a project manager for Business Sweden, the Swedish Trade and Invest Council located in San Francisco. He enjoys biking and trying new restaurants.
“I wanted to take part in IBD since my international experience is limited to Scandinavia and Northern Europe, and I wanted to broaden my global professional experience. There is a certain risk in signing up for the course and not knowing the market and client you’ll be working with beforehand, but I liked that adventure aspect. It’s a pretty unique experience and it’s unlikely I’ll have this type of opportunity again in my career.” ~ Shaun Hundle
After graduating from UC Berkeley with a Doctor of Philosophy, Materials Science and Engineering degree, Charles Shi started his career at Applied Materials, Inc. Charles has published six peer-reviewed papers that were cited 1000+ times.
“Each year I travel over 200,000 miles between U.S. and Asia for work. U.S. and Asia have become a comfort zone in my professional and personal experiences. This time with IBD, I’m going to Mexico for the first time of my life. The project there will give me a rare opportunity to explore a different part of world and put my business skills to the test. Even before the trip starts, I knew I will learn a ton there!” ~ Charles Shi
Sayan Mitra has worked for Genentech as Oncology Pricing, Contracting, and Distribution Strategy Manager since 2014. In this role, Sayan led strategy development for Genentech’s largest product franchise, worth $4.5B. He also enjoys fostering kittens.
“I am very excited about working with my client. It sounds like a very meaty project that will have a lot of impact on the client. I’ve never been to Mexico but I’m excited to taste what an authentic taco tastes like.” ~ Sayan Mitra
The majority of Hima Erukulla’s career has been with Intel as a Product Development and Analog Design Engineer. Hima is also passionate about protecting our planet and volunteered in “Climate Change Lobby” to advocate for Carbon Tax and Dividend Bill”.
“Having trained and worked as an Engineer all my professional life, I saw IBD as an opportunity to apply the business knowledge I gained in Marketing, Accounting, Finance and Strategy to solve a problem in the real world. I was particularly interested in working on a social project as I strongly believe that businesses add value not only to the shareholders but also to the society and planet. “ ~ Hima Erukulla
Andrew Lee has a Master of Biotechnology from Northwestern University and has an extensive background in business, science, and engineering. When he is not working for Intuitive Surgical as a Senior Validation Engineer, Andrew enjoys playing basketball and baseball.
“I hope to learn effective problem-solving skills, interpersonal skills, and leadership skills to deliver meaningful benefits to clients and their business while broadening my general understanding of the consulting profession, particularly in the areas of strategy and operations. Also, as someone who deeply appreciates building connections with people from different professional and cultural backgrounds, I find the program very appealing.” ~ Andrew Lee
Jerry Philip is the Co-Founder of MarHub Berkeley, a crowdsourced information platform and a chatbot that empowers decision-making by enabling refugees with reliable, relevant, and actionable information. His day job is at Cisco as a Technical Evangelist – SP Video Marketing and Engineer.
“Having lived in 3 countries thus far I am eager to learn the differences in doing business in a new part of the world and how I can adapt to them. I was also hoping to be able to use some of the brainpower available at Haas, with some classmates who I have worked with previously to come up with creative solutions, bringing together everything we’ve learnt thus far and sort of serve as a capstone for my HAAS MBA.” ~ Jerry Phillip
Srinivas Rajamani also works at Intel. He is as a Competitive Strategy Manager for the Autonomous Driving (AD) and Infotainment products segments. When he is not busy establishing Intel as a market leader in this arena, he enjoys SCUBA diving and coaching youth soccer teams.
“I couldn’t have asked for a better project and a better team. My expectation for IBD was to do a pro-bono consulting project that had the potential to have a high level of impact on the client. I am lucky to be part of a team that will be helping Glover Reef Research Station in Belize figure out a sustainable business model. This project is exciting on several different fronts: a) We are helping the client explore potential new revenue streams and a path to profitability b) we will out on the world’s second largest reef! c) couldn’t have asked for a better group of people to spend 3 weeks in a different country” ~ Srinivas Rajamani
Nik Reddy works at Google as a Senior Business Strategist and a Member of Trust & Safety’s Chief of Staff Global Strategy team. Prior to Google, he was a management consultant for Accenture. Nik has also earned a Lean Six Sigma Green Belt certification.
“I was hoping that I would get a nonprofit client in Latin America and, fortunately, I got put on the team that’s working with the WCS chapter in Belize. My preferred mode of learning is “by doing”, and my project will allow me to do just that, as we’ve been tasked with defining a sustainable business model for WCS Belize. I have never visited Belize and the fact that we get to spend time on-site at a remote reef research station (Glover’s Reef) is something that should be a truly memorable experience. My team and I are definitely planning on taking a few snorkeling and dive tours on our off days!” ~ Nik Reddy
Nausher Cholavaram’s career has been in E-commerce and FinTech. He has worked at eBay, a startup that was acquired by Walmart Labs and at PayPal where he is currently Senior Manager for Customer Experiences. He has helped entrepreneurs in Indonesia, India and the Bay Area better manage their businesses.
“As a child of parents with a cross-border relationship and having lived across the world, I wanted to add another culture and geography to my wandering work and travel experience. I’m super-excited, I feel like I have the best IBD project. Working on FinTech, something I am really enthusiastic about and in China which as a market has truly taken off. This will be fun to say the least.” ~ Nausher Cholavaram
The majority of Rohan Balwani’s professional experience has been with Oracle as a Product Manager and Design Engineer. He is also the Product Management Mentee and Meetup Co-Organizer “For Lean Product and Lean UX Meetup Silicon Valley.”
“The IBD program gives me a platform to further expand my horizons by working on a problem in a different cultural context. It will also give me exposure to the consulting domain and help me consider consulting as a potential career path. The program will also equip me with the ability and frameworks to think through difficult problems and arrive at impactful solutions.” ~ Rohan Balwani
Tanya Gupta also works at Google and has since 2008. In her current role, she is a Product Manager for Google Assistant. In addition to a Bachelors of Science in Computer Science from Carnegie Mellon University, she also has a Minor in Chemistry.
“IBD is a great opportunity to interact with other cultures in a professional setting. In an increasingly global world, it is valuable to get this exposure.” ~ Tanya Gupta
Pradeep Khanal’s also works at Intel as a Technical Lead and Senior Design Engineer. He is the Co-Founder and Trustee of the Mahim Ojha Memorial Community Library library in a remote village of Nuwakot in Nepal and the Founder of the Nepal Public Service Fellowship and Co-founded PREM – “Peer Assisted Educational Enrichment and Mutual Mentoring.”
“I knew all along that I wanted to do an international project while at Haas. IBD provides a perfect opportunity to work on a real problem with a group of uniquely talented and fun classmates while allowing to travel to a place possibly not exposed to before. IBD is an opportunity where I feel I can utilize business skills gained so far at Haas. And, I am hopeful IBD experience will be helpful in my future international business aspirations.” ~ Pradeep Khanal
Edi Lim is a Senior Project Manager at Amazon where he is responsible for bringing new ideas and building software products that optimize Amazon’s fulfillment center networks. Edi enjoys learning how the world works.
“Chinese FinTech company looking to expand into the U.S. is the perfect combination of destination, industry, client, and project. Super excited and energized. I started researching the company the same day the project was revealed – searched English and Chinese websites, watched Professor La Blanc’s Fintech talk on YouTube, and read World Economic Forum reports.” ~ Edi Lim
In summary, please welcome our summer 2018 IBD Evening and Weekend MBAs. They are a unique and experienced group, and we are excited to see how the next six weeks unfold. We can’t wait to see what these newest IBD students and their teams can accomplish for their international clients. Stay tuned for more news from IBD!