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Meet Carnegie Mellon’s MBA Class Of 2019

Abhishek Bhattacharyya

Tepper School of Business at Carnegie Mellon University

Describe yourself in 15 words or less: Experienced investment professional, Army reservist and amateur historian. Recently converted golfer improving his long game.

Hometown: Harrison, New Jersey via Mumbai, India

Fun Fact About Yourself: In my investment banking days, I utilized my commute between Jersey  and NYC to teach myself to read and write Urdu. As a result, I grew interested in medieval Indian literature and the history of the northwestern part of the subcontinent.

Undergraduate School and Major: State University of New York at Plattsburgh, Bachelor of Science in Finance & Economics (Minor in History)

Employers and Job Titles Since Graduation: I was a Director of Structured Finance at Nautilus Solar Energy, LLC, a solar developer and private equity portfolio company in Summit, New Jersey. I was involved in all areas of the firm’s investment activities, with particular emphasis on renewable power generation, corporate finance and private equity investment. I also served the Solar Energy Industries Association, contributing to this venerable trade body’s Finance Working Group.

Prior to joining Nautilus Solar, I worked as an associate in investment banking at BNP Paribas, the Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ, and the valuation group at Deloitte. While at these institutions, I focused on project and leveraged finance and mergers and acquisition transactions among independent power producers, midstream marketers and utilities. I was directly involved in the development of landmark mega-projects in the U.S. power, petrochemical and LNG sectors.

I am a soldier in the Army Reserve, where I enjoy honing my skills as a project and team manager and learning more about the past, present and future of our magnificent military.

Describe your biggest accomplishment in your career so far: Most recently, I headed the financing brain trust at Nautilus Solar, a growing independent energy developer in New Jersey.  I helped build products and processes which achieved our $25 million fundraising target (2.5x run-rate revenue) and fostered credibility with private equity, tax equity and debt investors. I also negotiated hairy, but tremendously lucrative deals that achieved +20% IRRs and established relationships with lenders for future financing.

My team’s efforts have left the firm in good shape to build its 50 megawatt distributed solar pipeline and accomplish the central mission of delivering cost-effective clean power. This has been tremendously fulfilling.

Looking back on your experience, what one piece of advice would you give to future business school applicants? Take the time to breathe and be true to yourself! The admissions process can be grueling, but having unflinching confidence in what you particularly bring to the table is key. Taking five minutes to meditate before tests, interviews or essay-writing sessions works wonders.

 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? I was encouraged to apply to Tepper due to the program’s robust track record of innovation, quantitative focus and technical rigor. Having received offers from several schools, I chose Tepper because I felt it would best build these skills for effective leadership. I was also extremely privileged to be recognized with the School’s prestigious Dean’s Scholarship.

Working in solar, I know it takes immense focus and dedication to bridge the gap between great ideas and concrete business reality. Interacting with students, alumni and staff, I realized that the Tepper School and Carnegie Mellon ecosystem care about and know how to both generate exciting ideas and bring them to fruition. That is incredibly inspiring.

What would success look like to you after your first year of business school?  This is a tough one! I have a sense of where I want to be after earning a Tepper MBA, but I recognize that my outlook may evolve over the next few years. With my background in finance, energy and the military, I have really learned to love working in teams resolving meaningful and technically complex issues.

I think applying my experience and interest in energy- or tech-focused M&A, private equity, hedge fund or venture deal-making will be truly exciting work. I would stay close to the cutting edge of the investment world and hopefully help give back to the communities I am from and identify with.