2018 Best MBAs: Sravya Yeleswarapu, Dartmouth College (Tuck)

Sravya Yeleswarapu

Dartmouth College, Tuck School of Business

Indian-American woman who loves getting to know people and is passionate about making a positive impact.”

Age: 28

Hometown: McLean, VA/Hyderabad, India.

Fun fact about yourself: I have a graduation certificate for Indian Classical Dance, Kuchipudi, and have been on multiple Indian dance teams. If I had any other career, it would definitely be as a dancer.

Undergraduate School and Degree: College of William and Mary in Williamsburg, Virginia; Double Majored in Finance and Economics

Where did you work before enrolling in business school? Manager at Ernst & Young Advisory, Financial Services Office and Fellow at Kiva Microfunds in Uganda.

Where did you intern during the summer of 2017? Amazon as a Senior Product Manager Intern in Seattle, WA.

Where will you be working after graduation? Heading back to Amazon as a Senior Product Manager.

Community Work and Leadership Roles in Business School:

  • Tuck Deanery Fellow – Assisting with the review of Tuck’s Core Curriculum
  • Center for Digital Strategies Fellow – One of 12 second-year students selected to engage in discussion and research on the impact of information technology on business strategy. My research topic focuses on business models in emerging markets.
  • Tuck Diversity Conference Co-Chair – Project Lead; Planned the annual diversity conference for prospective Tuck students and alumni.
  • Tech Club and Conference Co-Chair – Planned the annual Tech Conference and launched the first annual Women in Technology panel at Tuck.
  • Emerging Markets Conference Co-Chair – Part of the founding team to bring the inaugural conference to discuss technology, finance, policy and sustainability in the emerging markets.
  • Tuck Admissions Associate – Interview prospective students for admission into Tuck.
  • Consulted with local businesses as part of Tuck Community Consulting.
  • 2017 Winner of JetBlue Case Competition
  • Finalist for 2018 HKUST Global MBA Challenge.

Which academic or extracurricular achievement are you most proud of during business school?
I’m the proudest of our independent study in Spring 2017 which looked at how Nairobi became the “Silicon Savannah” of Africa. We—a team of five Tuck classmates—devised the proposal from scratch, traveled to Nairobi to meet with over 20 startups, VCs, PEs, and entrepreneurs, and developed a point of view on Kenyan growth. The five of us leveraged our diverse personal and professional backgrounds to bring this complex project to life. This study was important to me because we often only hear about the challenges facing the emerging markets. This experience rejuvenated my understanding of the immense opportunities in emerging markets.

What achievement are you most proud of in your professional career? My Fellowship with Kiva Microfunds in Uganda. After 5+ years working in consulting and managing teams, this fellowship was a capstone experience before coming to Tuck. It challenged me to use the principles I learned in my undergraduate curriculum and people skills I strengthened at EY to draw meaningful insights. Living in a new country alone, especially in more rural areas, for six months meant that I had to learn to deal with ambiguity, be unafraid to take risks, embrace the present, and be open-minded.

What was your favorite MBA Course? It’s hard to pick one course because there have been courses that shaped my thinking about business, society and our responsibility to both. I have to say it’s a tie between Governor John Lynch’s “The CEO Experience” and Professor Geoffrey Parker’s “Platform Design, Management and Strategy” classes.

In Governor Lynch’s class, we saw the incredible power of empathetic leadership through the mix of public and private sector cases such as 9/11, Hurricane Katrina, and Nike. The class reinforced that every leadership choice counts and shapes the future of the company, its vision, and its stakeholder’s lives.

Professor Parker’s class was unique because it was a partnership between Tuck and the Thayer School of Engineering at Dartmouth. The incredible diversity of opinion and thought in that class from both MBA and engineering students reminded me of the importance of collaboration across teams, especially in our complex business landscape today.

Why did you choose this business school? I fell in love with Tuck’s campus, culture, and identity when I came to the Tuck Diversity Conference back in 2015. The faculty and administration knows every single student that walks through the halls here. More importantly, they take the time to engage with us in meaningful ways to help us grow both personally and professionally. They host dinners at their houses, show up at events you organize, and act as sounding boards when you have questions, ideas, or concerns.

What is your best piece advice to an applicant hoping to get into your school’s MBA program? Be authentic. Tuck’s mission is about wise leadership and that always starts with strong self-awareness and being unafraid to be vulnerable throughout your application process.

What was your biggest regret in business school?
Not sticking to Tripod Hockey. I played four games and then life got the better of me and I deprioritized hockey. I came to Tuck having never ice-skated before and I wish I was leaving as a Tripod Hockey champion.

Which MBA classmate do you most admire? I genuinely admire every one of my classmates (and the alumni that came before me) who have shared their stories at Tuck Talks. Tuck Talks is a long-standing tradition at Tuck where 7-8 classmates/faculty/administrators share a personal story that shaped them to be who they are today. Some of these stories make you laugh, some undoubtedly make you cry, and all of them leave you inspired. It is one of the most popular and highest attended events at Tuck. It takes a lot of courage to be vulnerable and trust your community with your story. I admire every single one of them wholeheartedly.

Who most influenced your decision to pursue business in college? My parents, sister, and fiancé. They never let me waver and always inspire me to continue challenging myself.

If I hadn’t gone to business school, I would be…a dancer. I would start my own arts academy, teach dance, create a traveling performing group, and give back to local communities through the arts.”

What are the top two items on your bucket list?

  • Fulfilling my promise to my mom to take her to Peru and hike Machu Picchu with her.
  • Learning how to swim. I had a scary near-drowning experience when I was five-years-old and I never got over it. It’s time to face my fears.

In one sentence, how would you like your peers to remember you?
Always smiling, willing to lend a hand, and standing up for what’s right.

What would your theme song be? Really anything by Beyonce is my automatic theme song.

Favorite vacation spot: Zanzibar, Tanzania, or anywhere in Thailand.

Hobbies? Dance, Dance, Dance. Photography, reading and traveling. Lots and lots of traveling.

What made Sravya such an invaluable addition to the class of 2018?

When it comes to contributing to the Tuck community in a robust, authentic, and impactful way, Sravya Yeleswarapu is one of the top ten students I have ever observed. Sravya’s long list of accolades and activities are a glimpse into what Sravya does. I believe you will be impressed by who Sravya is.

I’ve had the pleasure of working with Sravya on multiple projects and initiatives during her two years at Tuck. Most notably in her roles as a second-year orientation leader, as the project lead for the 2017 Tuck Diversity Conference co-chair and as a co-chair for the Marketing Conference. Sravya led a team of students in developing content for the diversity and inclusion component of Tuck’s first year student orientation of over 280 students. In this role she worked with senior administration, our external consultants and her peers to design, develop, and deliver one of our most well-received diversity and inclusion programs. In her diversity conference role, Sravya led a team of seven peers, managing a large budget for one of our most visible programs. For the marketing conference, she was a project manager extraordinaire—sourcing content, speakers, and resources to pull off an event aimed at helping her peers build relationships, network, and pursue professional opportunities, even though she had already secured a coveted full-time position herself!

You will already know that she has a strong academic background and has excelled in Tuck’s rigorous curriculum. Sravya balanced a number of activities, including multiple leadership roles while keeping her studies at the forefront. One of the things that makes Sravya exceptional and a joy to work with is that she actively seeks out ways to improve every project, task, and team. She does this while maintaining an air of approachability, a humor you can see in her eyes, and a confident but inclusive spirit that is borne of the greatest asset to any person seeking education of any kind: boundless curiosity.

One of the things that is most apparent to anyone who meets this exceptional young woman is her ability to put others at ease with her authentic diplomacy. She is not only intelligent, but she is genuinely interested in others, her empathy and curiosity about other people and cultures allows her to connect with a diverse range of people. She brings these skills, many of which cannot be taught, to the Tuck community every day. She represents the school and its mission with integrity, a heart for service, and an inclusive spirit.

Sravya is an exceptionally clear and confident communicator, as evidenced by her success in her career, and selection for multiple leadership roles. While it is clear that Sravya is very bright, she is also emotionally intelligent with a warmth, charm, sense of humor, and genuine empathy. She has demonstrated the ability to respect, understand, and build relationships with a wide range of people. I enjoy our conversations, listening to her debate a point or topic, and am proud of her ability to say and do the right thing, even when it is difficult.

Sravya is a leader amongst leaders and is trusted for her integrity, confidence, moral fortitude, and compassion. Sravya has dedicated herself to ensuring that Tuck and her fellow Tuckies would be better at the conclusion of her tenure. She has been a valuable contributor both inside and outside of the classroom. She has been fully engaged and has never stopped pushing herself and others to collaborate, dream big and most important: get things done. It is her ability to really listen, to organize and motivate her peers, her ability to manage people, projects and ambiguity, and her great sense of humor and lack of ego that make her a popular student and teammate.

The success of Sravya’s peers has been as important to her as her own development and success. Sravya gives credit where credit is due and seeks solutions, not excuses. From welcoming the first year class, to living the values of wise leadership, to helping her peers pursue their professional dreams, to paving the way for the next batch of hope-filled applicants, I can think of no better representative of Tuck’s values than Sravya.”

Dia Draper, Director of Strategic Initiatives, MBA Program
Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth College

 

“The term overachiever is a common descriptor at elite MBA programs. Despite its over-use, occasionally the term is simply insufficient to describe a student’s achievements. Sravya is that student.

Merely listing Sravya’s exhaustive list of accomplishments and activities – which reach around the globe – would be far too reductive of the true impact Sravya has had at Tuck.

She is a leader in the Technology Club and in that role, crafted the largest and most well-attended Technology Conference ever at Tuck. In addition, she augmented the conference to include a “Women in Technology” event that brought together students and female technology executives to discuss the timely and important issues around discrimination and opportunity gaps affecting women in the sector. At the same time, she was planning and executing the Tuck Diversity Conference – one of the largest conferences on campus all year. Both conferences were a huge success, with record numbers attending the Tech Conference and rave reviews from students and executive speakers alike about both conferences. In fact, her peers supporting both conferences answered a question from the school administration about what made each conference so successful by stating, “We had Sravya. If other conferences want to repeat our success they should clone her.”

Beyond the well-crafted vision and flawless execution of these conferences, Sravya’s commitment to Tuck’s mission to educate wise leaders to better the world of business was clear in the programming and design of each conference. The passion she has for understanding the world and bringing what she learns back to the Tuck community is further exemplified by her focus on the intersection of technology and opportunity. For example, prior to matriculation, Sravya took time to travel to Uganda for a pre-MBA internship with Kiva Microfinance. There she helped local businesses learn how to connect with financiers to grow their businesses. That experience resulted in an independent student project examining the rise of Nairobi as the Silicon Savannah. Her experience and research resulted in Sravya wanting to help her peers understand emerging markets. Naturally, Sravya stepped up the plate and took on the responsibility for planning the first ever Tuck Emerging Markets Conference while simultaneously completing an independent research project with the Center for Digital Strategies – where she is an MBA Fellow – seeking to identify successful strategies MNCs can use to enter emerging markets.

Topping off her contributions at Tuck, Sravya helps our Admissions team select the next class of Tuck students as an Admissions Associate and is a Deanery Fellow working with faculty and the Dean to review and redesign the core curriculum at Tuck. Somehow she also serves on the boards of several non-profits in her home city, Washington, DC.

Sravya is a remarkable young woman. She is smart and poised, but also affable and open, and combines these qualities with true humility. To say that Sravya is an invaluable addition to the Tuck class of 2018 and an overachiever is certainly appropriate, but ultimately inadequate. She has truly had an impact on not only her classmates, but on the Tuck community and beyond. After graduation, Sravya plans to join Amazon as a Product Manager and we look forward to following her accomplishments there.”

Hans Brechbuhl
Executive Director of Center for Digital Strategies at Tuck

Professor Alva Taylor
Faculty Director of Center for Digital Strategies at Tuck

Patrick Wheeler
Assistant Director of Center for Digital Strategies at Tuck

DON’T MISS: THE ENTIRE LIST OF THE BEST & BRIGHTEST: CLASS OF 2018