Leela Prasad Pamidimukkala
Cambridge Judge Business School, University of Cambridge
Describe yourself in 15 words or less: A loyal friend and passionate entrepreneur who wants to change the world in this lifetime!
Hometown: Ann Arbor, Michigan and Nairobi, Kenya
Fun Fact About Yourself: I absolutely love cooking and baking! To be able to craft and create something exciting, and to watch your friends and family enjoy every bite of it…pure satisfaction!
Undergraduate School and Major: University of Northampton – BSc. Honors in Leather Technology & Science
Employers and Job Titles Since Graduation:
Ikwetta Inc., Nairobi, Kenya – Founder
Alpharama Ltd., Athi River, Kenya – Director of Finishing and R&D
Eagle Ottawa LLC., Rochester Hills, Michigan, USA – R&D Associate
Describe your biggest accomplishment in your career so far: The purpose of Ikwetta was to not only create a successful ethnical African footwear brand, but to ensure that it had an impact on the lives of those involved! Therefore, after months of talking to struggling artisans in the slums of Nairobi, and convincing them to join us to make better use of their talents, we successfully set up a first of its kind Maasai Sandal workshop in the heart of the city and moved our artisans and their families out of slums. A couple of months later one of our artisans – Anthony – requested a day off in order to take his daughter to her first day of school! He had always wanted to send her to school, but did not have the funds to do so. To have set up a workshop and create a brand was one thing, but to have truly made a difference in someone’s life…that was my greatest accomplishment!
Looking back on your experience, what advice would you give to future business school applicants? When it comes to the essays, definitely do make sure you have enough time to do multiple drafts. Putting together a draft is only half of the job; make sure you give a day or two before reading it again, and you will be surprised at how your perspective would have changed. This allows you to get rid of unnecessary information, rewrite certain parts of the essay so that the reader understands you better, and incorporate new ideas that will come to mind after the initial draft. Most importantly though, do not write what you think the university wants you to write – write what you are passionate about and really excited about, because you really want that passion to show through, and you really want to portray your interests and not the universities! Be true to yourself!
What led you to choose this program for your full-time MBA? While rankings and reputation were definitely a factor, the two standout reasons I picked Judge Business School was due to the program’s diversity and its class size! With such a large international student contingent, and immensely diverse backgrounds, I truly was excited to be in the same class as such accomplished people and just learn of their experiences. Especially with such an efficient class size of about 170, I knew that being a part of this program would allow me to in a way tailor the available resources to my needs. Being a part of Judge Business School truly makes you feel elite, and gives you a sense of comfort and security to explore and innovate!
Tell us about your dream job or dream employer at this point in your life? I want to be able to develop a portfolio of business ventures that combine my passion for entrepreneurship with social impact, thus setting an example for future entrepreneurs and proving that business is the best tool to fight poverty, overcome inequality, and make a positive difference in people’s lives!
What would you like your business school peers to say about you after you graduate from this program? “Leela is a super fun guy and a fantastic friend. We had amazing debates and discussions over the past year, and I am truly looking forward to visiting him in Kenya very soon!”