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Meet the Swartz Center for Entrepreneurship’s New Class of James R. Swartz Entrepreneurial Fellows

swartz fellowsTwelve graduate students across Carnegie Mellon University have been selected as the latest class of James R. Swartz Entrepreneurial Fellows. This year, half of the Swartz Fellows chosen are first-year Tepper School of Business MBA candidates.

The Swartz Entrepreneurial Fellows Program is conducted through the CMU Swartz Center for Entrepreneurship. The program aims to advance career development for Carnegie Mellon graduate students who demonstrate a passion for innovation in the technology space.

Esme Rhine, MBA ‘19, applied to supplement her interests in the intersection of technology and innovation.

“I came to Tepper to round out my engineering degree with a strong business foundation and leadership skills while staying closely tied with the tech world,” Rhine said. “The Swartz Fellowship seemed like a fantastic way to supplement this education and begin to build a cornerstone to one day start my own company.”

This year’s Swartz Fellows are:

  • Keri Chen, MBA '19
  • Scott Dombkowski, CFA '19
  • Jonathan Dyer, E&TIM ‘19
  • Shreya Gupta, ECE ‘18
  • Rishav Khemka, MBA ‘19
  • Arun Ramasami, MBA ‘19
  • Esme Rhine, MBA ‘19
  • Marc J. Rosenberg, MBA ‘19
  • Anagh Singh, SCS ‘18
  • Tania A. Taloute, HNZ ‘19
  • Grant Vandenbussche, MBA ‘19
  • Karthik Venkateshan, MBA ‘19 

As a Swartz Fellow, students will engage in interdisciplinary collaboration across campus, coaching and mentorship by Carnegie Mellon entrepreneurial faculty and staff, alumni of the program, business community members, investors and C-level executives. The program also offers each fellow unique entrepreneurial opportunities, including a summer internship at a top-tier startup in the Bay Area and networking trips.

After spending time in wealth management operations at Morgan Stanley, Keri Chen, MBA ‘19, who has a background in bioengineering, looked to entrepreneurship and the Swartz Fellows program to have a more hands-on experience.

“After spending time in a big company, it was time to go back to the start,” Chen, who was also driven by the success of her engineer-turned-entrepreneur parents, said. “Being able to be your own boss and have a substantial impact on the company inspired me.”

Like Chen, Marc Rosenberg, MBA ’19, also comes from a family of entrepreneurs and looks to enter into working in a smaller company.

“I come from a family of business owners that have shaped my way of thinking,” Rosenberg said. “When I graduated from undergrad, I went to work at a large company. Though I learned an incredible amount from the people around me, I felt my skill-set was better served working in smaller company where I could align my goals better.”

Rosenberg is excited to see what’s next through the Swartz Fellows program in continuing to grow the culture of entrepreneurship at CMU.

“We owe it to the past Swartz Fellows to move the program further and continue to make improvements,” Rosenberg said. “This program is motivation to be a better entrepreneur and a better person.”

Alumnus James R. Swartz, MSIA ’66, is a distinguished entrepreneur and founding partner of venture capital firm Accel Partners. In 2015, Swartz donated $31 million to support Carnegie Mellon’s entrepreneurship activities. In recognition of this generous gift, the university created the Swartz Center for Entrepreneurship. Swartz is an inaugural member of the Tepper School’s Business Board of Advisers and is the benefactor of the James R. Swartz Leadership Scholarship, awarded to first-year MBA students who demonstrate exceptional leadership potential.