2022 MBA To Watch: Anindita Ravikumar, University of Michigan (Ross)

“A friendly, ambitious, nerd trying to figure out this “life” thing.”

Hometown: Mumbai, India

Fun fact about yourself: I’m a trivia junkie who used to quiz competitively in college. My favorite trivia categories are science, technology, and literature!

Undergraduate School and Degree: Earned a B.Tech in Chemical Engineering at the National Institute of Technology Karnataka

Where was the last place you worked before enrolling in business school? Worked at Swiggy as a manager (Customer Experience) for their nascent hyperlocal grocery delivery vertical where I worked on product features and business initiatives to improve the offering.

Where did you intern during the summer of 2021? Was a remote Senior Product Management Intern at Amazon

Where will you be working after graduation? Returning to Amazon as a Senior Product Manager in Seattle

Community Work and Leadership Roles in Business School:

Co-President, Indian Sub-continent Business Association

  • Vice President – Professional Development, Ross Tech Club
  • Investor Fellow, Zell Lurie Commercialization Fund (early-stage, tech-focused, student-run venture fund at University of Michigan)
  • Tech Peer Coach, Ross Career Development Office
  • Writer, Ross Follies (annual student-run sketch comedy show at Ross)
  • Ross Merit Scholarship awardee

Which academic or extracurricular achievement are you most proud of during business school? Getting the chance to be a Tech Peer Coach and a FACT Group (recruiting-focused accountability groups for first-year MBAs) leader has been a rewarding experience. I’m proud to have guided first-year students through the ups-and-downs of navigating a career search at business school by sharing my own experiences (including embarrassing recruiting stories) and giving back to the Ross community in my own small way. Seeing the first-year students I worked with land amazing jobs and getting to make new friends along the way has been gratifying!

What achievement are you most proud of in your professional career? I’m proudest of the time a few undergraduate classmates and I launched Healthizen, an app that helped citizens of Bangalore raise sanitation and infrastructure issues to the local municipal authority. The app was adopted by the local municipal authority as an official channel to process citizen complaints and helped solve 250+ issues while it was live.

While Healthizen didn’t create impact at the scale I hoped it would, it was the first time I thought of an idea to create change and worked with others to make it a reality outside of a ‘formal’ system such as school, university, or an internship. I felt like I created something of my own.

Why did you choose this business school? I chose Ross for its focus on experiential learning. As someone looking to transition from a pre-MBA career largely in social impact strategy consulting to product management, I was looking for a school that gave me as many opportunities to get my hands dirty in tech as possible. With the Multidisciplinary Action Projects (MAP), the tech-focused Zell Lurie Commercialization Fund, and the action-based technology courses, Ross quickly emerged as a top choice!

What was your favorite MBA event or tradition at your business school? I am a huge fan of Ross Follies, the annual sketch comedy show that is written, produced, and performed by students making light of the surreal experience that is getting your MBA. Ross prides itself on its collaborative community and Follies is a great example of that. Hundreds of students work together to put on a great show; their other classmates come out to support them and share laughs at our crazy collective experience. It’s also great fun to see hidden creative talents of your classmates on full display!

What is the biggest myth about your school? The myth that I was most apprehensive about was that I needed to go to a business school on the West Coast to get a good tech job. Fortunately, that hasn’t proven to be the case for myself or my classmates interested in tech. Thanks to the pandemic, recruiting moved completely virtual and students managed to interact and interview with some of the best tech companies such as Microsoft, Google, Amazon, Apple, and Linkedin. Several of my classmates are headed to Seattle, the Bay Area, New York City, and Austin for cool tech roles.

What surprised you the most about business school? How quickly everything ramps up: academics, extra-curricular activities, social events, and recruiting hit you all at once even in the first semester. This honestly shouldn’t come as a surprise – everyone warns you as you prepare to join business school that the going gets tough quickly, but it doesn’t sink in amid the excitement.

However, it was fun to see how fellow Rossers came through to help each other navigate the crazy start – helping each other with classes they were more experienced in, blowing steam off together by organizing group runs or grabbing coffee or ice-cream together, or serving as a sounding board for navigating recruiting.

What is one thing you did during the application process that gave you an edge at the school you chose? I think my conviction in my chosen post-MBA career path (i.e., the switch to product management) and the detailed way in which I laid out the opportunities I would leverage at Ross to realize my goals gave me an edge in the application process. As I was crafting my application, I spoke to several generous Ross students and alumni who pointed me in the direction of the resources at Ross which would help me most – helping me create a roadmap for my Ross experience and communicate that through my application and interview.

The research paid off in more ways than just getting an admit! I came into Ross with clarity on how I should spend my time, and participated in most things I had written about in my application.

Which MBA classmate do you most admire? A classmate I am amazed by and admire is Krista Su. In addition to being among the kindest people I’ve gotten to know at Ross, Krista is co-president of two of the best-run clubs on campus: the Asian American Business Association and Out For Business, which are affinity clubs for Asian American and LGBT+ students at Ross respectively. Both clubs create supportive communities and help Rossers become better allies through memorable events such as MBGay (a charity drag show which helped raise $13K this year for local non-profits).

Krista manages to juggle all her responsibilities with grace and humor – I hope to be her friend for years after we graduate from Ross!

Who most influenced your decision to pursue business in college? Speaking to Vagisha Goel (Ross MBA ’18) helped shape my decision to go to business school. Like me, Vagisha had spent significant time pre-MBA in social impact consulting and wanted to pursue a long-term career at the intersection of impact, business, and tech. Understanding the realities of attending business school from someone with similar work experience and aspirations helped solidify how exactly business school could benefit me. Vagisha was also incredibly patient while answering my questions and helped assuage my concerns about fitting into business school, whether I could contribute to the community, and how business school could help me navigate a career pivot.

What are the top two items on your professional bucket list?

  • To conceptualize and build a consumer software product from scratch – I have no idea what this will look like right now
  • To find a career at the intersection of technology and social impact in the long-term

How has the pandemic changed your view of a career? The pandemic made me more (but not completely) comfortable with the idea of working at remote-only or remote-first companies. It was crazy to see how quickly people adapted to working virtually, and how the flexibility of working asynchronously benefited employees – it’s making me rethink how ‘real’ some of the normative constraints we face when working full-time are.

What made Anindita such an invaluable addition to the Class of 2022?

“I was very fortunate to have Anindita as a student in my MBA elective on digital marketing strategy. She is whip-smart while being open-minded and curious. She enlivened the class with her contributions, especially asking very thoughtful questions of the multiple (industry) guest speakers, enriching the learning and sharing experience for all of us. But enough about my class – Anindita is a great contributor on all things tech at Ross as a whole. From being an office bearer in the Ross Tech Club to being involved with tech start-ups via the Zell Lurie Fund at Ross, she shares and builds upon her considerable knowledge of the tech ecosystem for the Ross community. Even more important, she is focused on helping others at Ross – she is a tech peer coach, helping students prepare for careers in the tech world as well as participating in cohort-wide initiatives to ensure readiness for recruiting. At a personal level, Anindita is bubbly and cheerful – pretty much every interaction I have had with her has ended in smiles and laughter. She has used this aspect of her personality to contribute to the fun side of Ross by writing for the annual sketch comedy show (Follies). Ross is lucky to have Anindita in this cohort.”

Puneet Manchanda
Isadore and Leon Winkelman Professor and Professor of Marketing
Ross School of Business

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