2016 MBAs To Watch: Vinay Pratap Yelaboyina, Indiana (Kelley)

Vinay Pratap Yelaboyina-Indiana-PoetsAndQuants_MBAsToWatch2016

Vinay Pratap Yelaboyina


Indiana University, Kelley School of Business

Age: 27

Hometown: Hyderabad, India

Undergraduate School: University College of Engineering, Osmania University, Hyderabad, India

Undergraduate Degree: Bachelor of Engineering in Electronics and Communications Engineering

Where did you work before enrolling in business school? Consultant, Deloitte Consulting LLP in Hyderabad, India; Partner, Sai Krishna Constructions, Hyderabad, India

Where did you intern during the summer of 2015? EY Advisory LLP, Chicago, IL

Where will you be working after graduation? Senior Consultant, EY Advisory LLP, Chicago, IL

Community Work and Leadership Roles in Business School: Dean-selected member of student task force

Which academic or extracurricular achievement are you most proud of during business school? I am very proud of the pro bono consulting work that I have done in Botswana. Kelley collaborates with local enterprises based in developing countries and provides a unique platform in the form of the GLOBASE program. I worked in Botswana on a turnaround strategy assignment for a sorghum flour manufacturer that once was the largest player in the country. I developed a road map and recommended a turnaround plan. The recommendations resulted in my client’s return to sustainable operations. This experience gave me unique global experience of working in sub-Saharan Africa and catered to my desire to give back to society.

What achievement are you most proud of in your professional career? As a consultant, I loved working for an aerospace and defense client. I was instrumental in implementing an ERP system which helped me gain a complete perspective of the business and also helped me realize how technology was vital to improvising the business process. I am proud of the work I did, where my work saved millions of dollars for my client. Consulting excites me and I look forward to creating value for my clients in the future.

Who is your favorite professor? Dr. John Wisneski. John played two crucial roles during my time at Kelley School of Business. First, as a professor, John displays exceptional capabilities to amplify learning by combining case studies with practical in-class analysis. He brings in plethora of energy and a childlike curiosity to help students strategize along with him. He encourages liberal participation and taught me how healthy competition in class can collectively garner new strategies. Second, as my academy director, John was more than a guide and an honest critic. He is undoubtedly my favorite professor.

Favorite MBA Courses? Developing Strategic Capabilities, New Venture Business Planning, and Valuation of Real Options

Why did you choose this business school? As an international student, I did not have an opportunity to personally visit the school before making my decision. I decided to research experiences of then-current students and alumni. Kelley stood out on multiple aspects and I was impressed by two factors that sealed the deal for me. First, as a team player, I really enjoyed the fact that collaboration is an alias for Kelley. Second, I loved the academies-based teaching and experiential mentoring. Academies is the poster child of Kelley and is unique in several ways. Having personally experienced these two things, I am happy with my decision and encourage prospective students to learn more about these values and offerings at Kelley.

What did you enjoy most about business school? Personally, I am thrilled by the breadth of opportunities at Kelley. Beyond curriculum, case studies, and career services, I enjoyed the offerings such as pro bono consulting projects (GLOBASE), study-abroad programs, community activities, student club initiatives, socializing events, and many more.

What is the biggest lesson you gained from business school? After meeting people from various walks of life, I have come to learn a basic essence of career choice-making. I have seen accomplished individuals who realized their true passion and followed their dreams irrespective of the forthcoming struggle. Following one’s heart is fundamental to an enjoyable career and a business school provides all resources required to accomplish one’s pursuits. Furthermore, internships are a great way to test the waters before taking the full plunge.

What was the most surprising thing about business school? A surprisingly interesting fact about Kelley is its collaborative competition. It is well known that collaboration is a cornerstone of Kelley’s values. However, it is surprising to see how well Kelley students manage to compete and yet work toward appreciating each other’s success. This value helped me to perform at Kelley and also during my summer internship at Ernst & Young.

What was the hardest part of business school? Managing expectations is crucial for success at any business school. Amidst the sky-high expectations and aura of an MBA, it is important to diagnose one’s strengths and weaknesses early on at the business school so as to chart a practical course. I have gone through this exercise and found “Me Inc.,” a unique program at Kelley, to be very helpful in addressing this challenge.

What’s your best advice to an applicant to your school? Kelley is a great program in itself and Indiana University offers additional avenues to learn during the MBA. I would highly recommend “Kelley experience weekend,” a comprehensive, personalized experience program offered by the school to applicants. It is an ideal platform to meet current students, professors and program coaches. As an international student, I could not participate in this program. However, I learnt the true purpose of this initiative after participating in it as a student. I heard amazing feedback from applicants and also from current students as to how this initiative made them feel a part of Kelley even before beginning their MBA. Please reach out to current students or the MBA office to learn more about “Kelley experience weekend.”

“I knew I wanted to go to business school when… my previous job as a technology consultant became less enjoyable. The learning curve, in particular, had plateaued. I love to learn new things and perform under challenging conditions. Additionally, business school offers a well-rounded skill set that is ever-so-versatile. I realized that I needed additional expertise to perform better as a future executive higher up the ladder. These factors kindled my desire to go to business school.”

“If I hadn’t gone to business school, I would be… exploring ideas to create a new business.”

Which executive or entrepreneur do you most admire? I admire Manoj Bhargava, CEO of 5-hour Energy. I learned about his pledge to create meaningful innovations through the Billions in Change campaign. I am inspired by entrepreneurs like Manoj Bhargava who are genuinely committed to the betterment of the society.

What are your long-term professional goals? I would like to remain in consulting for the near long term. However, I am passionate about entrepreneurship and would like to explore opportunities in Asia in the long term.

Who would you most want to thank for your success? My father. He has been an endless source of inspiration and encouragement all through my life. He is my best critic and trusted guide. I owe my success to him and would like to thank him for everything he has done for me.

Fun fact about yourself: I am called a “Spicy Dancer” due to my dancing prowess and my Indian ethnicity.

Favorite book: The Kite Runner

Favorite movie: 12 Angry Men

Favorite musical performer: Ilayaraja

Favorite television show: “Breaking Bad”

Favorite vacation spot: Goa, India

Hobbies? Dancing, cooking, running

What made Vinay such an invaluable addition to the class of 2016?

“Vinay’s strongest asset is his focused drive for excellence in those initiatives he chooses to participate in. This manifests itself in his attention to detail, his willingness to put in extra hours, and his frequent leadership role in team settings. As a student of mine, I always knew Vinay would produce quality, insightful work. Having him on your team means no stone will be unturned, no loose ends will need to be tied up, and your end deliverable will be something the entire team will be proud of. Vinay also exhibited a fascination with asking the killer question. His ability to discern the most critical line of inquiry from a sea of seemingly unrelated and disparate issues helps to focus the team on value creation. This skill, which he has honed in the Kelley MBA Program, will continue to serve him well in his management consulting career post-graduation.”

Dr. John E. Wisneski

Department of Management and Entrepreneurship

Director – MBA Consulting Academy

Director – MBA for Educators Program

Indiana University, Kelley School of Business



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