Meet Babson College’s MBA Class Of 2020

Manan Bhandari

Babson College’s F.W. Olin Graduate School of Business

“Entrepreneur, Technology Lover and a Real Madrid Fan. Not necessarily in that order.”

Hometown: Indore, India

Fun Fact About Yourself: I do not wear plain T-Shirts. All my T-Shirts have a quote or reference to my favorite books, movies, T.V Shows or fictional characters.

Undergraduate School and Major: Pune Institute of Computer Technology, University of Pune – Bachelor of Engineering in Information Technology

Most Recent Employer and Job Title: Project Consultant at India Pvt. Ltd.

Describe your biggest accomplishment in your career so far: Co-founding a mobile application startup in my hometown – a small city in India, and was selected to launch it at DEMO Fall ’12 – a startup showcase event in Santa Clara, CA

What quality best describes the MBA classmates you’ve met so far and why? Friendly and Collaborative! My classmates are always ready to help each other out, be it academics, extracurricular activities, or just having fun. We’ve been here for only a few weeks, but it feels like we’ve been friends forever. The feeling of companionship is contagious.

Aside from your classmates, 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? Focus on entrepreneurship and class size – Babson’s commitment towards creating Entrepreneurs (of all kinds) and the design of the program to enable that was a key factor. Also, I wanted to go to a program where I could know my entire class personally. The comparatively smaller class size of Babson was a key factor too.

What club or activity are you looking most forward to in business school? As the flagship event of Babson, I’m looking forward to participating and being part of the Babson Entrepreneurship Forum and all it has to offer—speeches, startup showcase, interactions, etc. I’m also looking forward to the electives abroad—studying an elective or two in a different country with new educational surroundings.

What led you to pursue an MBA at this point in your career? As a startup co-founder, I became more aware of the shortcomings I had as an entrepreneur. I realized the need for learning about business in a more structured environment.

How did you decide if an MBA was worth the investment? I wanted to meet people from all over the world, learn from others’ perspectives, and strengthen my own skills. For me, it was never about if it was worth it, it was just about where!

What other MBA programs did you apply to? Stanford and USC Marshall

How did you determine your fit at various schools? I went through a step-by-step process in determining my fit. First, I was sure about coming to the United States. I wanted to attend a 2-year program compared to a 1-year program, giving me more time to evolve, and coupled with the desire to experience education in US, it made the most sense. Then, I was looking for schools with entrepreneurship value and focus. Even though every school these days is talking about it, I wanted a school that ‘lived it’. Then, I looked at faculty of the courses I was interested in, class size, and location. And finally, I wanted to go to a school with a very diverse global community.

I attended events, talked with alums of various schools, researched online, and also had long conversations with my friends who had attended undergraduate and graduate schools in the US. I was always figuring out which school I could see myself being a part of, which school could I call ‘home’!

What was your defining moment and how did it shape who you are? I spent a (gap) year figuring out what I was really passionate about and wanted to do. I worked on several projects and ideas eventually culminating into my startup. That entire year helped me be more comfortable with the choices I make; doing something you are passionate about (or being willing to explore and discover) is always worthwhile.

What do you plan to do after you graduate? Be part of (or begin it myself) a tech startup. Currently figuring out the domain I want to be in, using the MBA to gain more clarity.

Where do you see yourself in five years? I have a deep desire for building a centre in my hometown that promotes entrepreneurship and creates more opportunities for people with ideas. I believe in the talent pool available there, with the right skill set, I will be able to be a part of building the infrastructure that will create a great innovation ecosystem.

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