Meet Yale SOM’s MBA Class Of 2019

Rakesh Saha

Yale School of Management 

Describe yourself in 15 words or less: A very curious Philomath who firmly believes that even the most complex, systemic societal challenges can be solved.

Hometown: Bangalore, Karnataka, India

Fun Fact About Yourself: I am a Certified Mixologist. I enjoy experimenting with different flavors and making a variety of cocktails and shots.

Undergraduate School and Major:  Bachelor of Engineering – Computer Science

Employers and Job Titles Since Graduation:

Microsoft

Technology Intern (6 Months)

Ellucian (A global ed-tech software products and services company)

Senior Build and Release Engineer (4.5 Years)

Make a Difference (A 11-year-old, pan-India non-profit focusing on ensuring equitable outcomes for children in shelter homes)

Volunteer Teacher (1 Year)

Fellow – Child Care Program (1 Year)

Director – Program Development (3.5 Years)

Director – Board of Directors (2 Years)

Describe your biggest accomplishment in your career so far: While volunteering with Make a Difference in 2013, I, along with a few peer volunteers, piloted an after-school support program for children living in a shelter home in India. The success of this pilot motivated me to join Make a Difference full-time and attempt to scale this program’s impact and reach. Within 10 months, we were able to scale the program from 1 shelter with 10 volunteers supporting 40 children, to 67 shelters across 23 cities in India, with 2,400 volunteers supporting 3,400 children.

Looking back on your experience, what one piece of advice would you give to future business school applicants? My advice would be to invest some time in drawing up a rich-picture of your long-term goals and creating a competency and experience roadmap before you start the admissions process. The rich picture I ended up creating contained not only the positions I wanted to hold or the organizations I wanted to work for, but more importantly, what I wanted to be able to “do” within the next 7 to 10 years. This, along with a roadmap that charted out the skills I needed to develop and the experiences I needed along this journey, helped me identify which business school was right for me. This process can get arduous and time-consuming but, for me, it was instrumental in creating a compelling application.

What was the key factor that led you to choose this program for your full-time MBA and why was it so important to you?  Well, what I loved about Yale SOM was that the school clearly recognized that leadership is contextual (there is no specific preferred type of leadership) and leadership is essential to all aspects of society. So, it doesn’t really matter whether you are interested in non-profits or technology. What does matter is for you to be able to get a more holistic, deeper understanding of how complex, global organizations function. Since this was my primary drive to pursue management education, Yale SOM was the perfect choice for me!

What would success look like to you after your first year of business school?  Well, I am probably one of the more socially awkward people you would meet at business school and I definitely want to change that. So, I guess one aspect of success for me would be to be able to form meaningful relationships with my peers and faculty at Yale SOM.

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