"I wanted to challenge myself to learn new theories and concepts; the academic experience thus far has been nothing short of fantastic."

GET TO KNOW SUMIRAN

Builder. Problem Solver. Futurist in the Making. Potential Mars Colonist.

For as long as I can remember, I’ve been fascinated with creating things. There’s something about dreaming up new concepts and giving them shape and form that I find immensely satisfying. That’s what led me to study engineering.

Prior to business school, I’d been working at Singapore Telecommunications Ltd, Southeast Asia’s largest telco group. I kickstarted my corporate career there so I was learning and gaining hands-on experience every day. I discovered my strengths and, more importantly, gained a strong understanding of the skills I needed to polish to accelerate my career progression and develop into an innovative and strategic problem solver. The quickest and surest way to gain those skills was to pursue an MBA.

I spend my time outside school and work playing sports, being an avid reader and traveling. I’ve been playing pingpong for quite some time. I love visiting new places. I’ve lived in five countries and visited 18 so far. This year, I want to explore South America.

YOUR LIFE + TEPPER SCHOOL

The Tepper School consistently ranks as having among the most rigorous academic curricula and the program has not disappointed at all. I wanted to challenge myself to learn new theories and concepts, and the academic experience thus far has been nothing short of fantastic.

Thinking of the Tepper School as a quantitative-only school is a misconception that some people may have. The Tepper School is one of the few business schools that teaches students to think strategically and qualitatively and then back hypotheses with quantitative analyses. This integrated view of business and management thinking is what makes the Tepper School truly unique.

While the small class size at the Tepper School truly has its merits in the classroom, it really shines outside the classroom, where you get to know all your batch mates. To be surrounded by peers who are supremely intelligent, driven and humble has been inspiring and fun.

I really like how the faculty link the material across courses. Concepts we learn in economics, marketing, strategy, operations and finance are brilliantly woven together by the professors. As future managers and business leaders, this really helps Tepper MBAs look at the same business problem through various lenses while always remembering to consider the bigger picture.

One example of this that instantly comes to mind is how our Corporate Strategy, Optimization, Operations and Marketing Management classes converged to address the seemingly simple question of how differentiated a company’s product mix should be. Our professors addressed the question not only from the perspective of their own domain expertise but also highlighted how their colleagues in the other classes we were attending would approach the problem.

The talk by Deepak Ahuja, the CFO of Tesla, was memorable. Listening to him share how he pivoted his career from a large multinational to an upstart and what he learned along the way provided insight into how taking calculated risks and venturing into the unknown can sometimes be refreshing, enlightening and rewarding.

TEPPER SCHOOL ADVICE

Take advantage of this unique opportunity and have a clear plan of what you want to learn during your time here. Having such a plan in mind will accentuate the learning experience further and maximize what you take away from your time at the Tepper School.

YOUR LIFE + PITTSBURGH

Pittsburgh has some pretty good restaurants and cafés, most with a little bit of uniqueness and history to them. The foodie in me is very satisfied.