Berkeley Haas | Mr. LGBT+CPG
GMAT 720, GPA 3.95
Harvard | Mr. Captain Mishra
GMAT 760, GPA 4.0
Wharton | Mr. Sales From Law School
GMAT 700, GPA 11/20
Stanford GSB | Ms. Lady Programmer
GRE 331, GPA 2.9
Kellogg | Mr. Engineer To PM
GMAT 710, GPA 4.0 (with Honors)
Wharton | Mr. Rural Ed To International Business
GRE 329, GPA 3.6
Yale | Mr. Tambourine Man
GMAT 740, GPA 3.3
Harvard | Ms. Eternal Optimism
GMAT 720, GPA 4.0 (First Class Honours)
McCombs School of Business | Mr. CRE
GMAT 625, GPA 3.4
Ross | Mr. Double Eagle
GMAT 740, GPA 3.77
IU Kelley | Mr. Jiu-Jitsu Account Admin
GMAT 500, GPA 3.23
Columbia | Mr. URM Artillery Officer
GRE 317, GPA 3.65
Stanford GSB | Ms. Eyebrows Say It All
GRE 299, GPA 8.2/10
Harvard | Mr. Air Force Seeking Feedback
GRE 329, GPA 3.2
Harvard | Mr. UHNW Family Office
GMAT 730, GPA 4.0
Harvard | Mr. Certain Government Guy
GMAT 720, GPA 3.3
Stanford GSB | Mr. Hopeful B School Investment Analyst
GRE 334, GPA 4.0
Berkeley Haas | Mr. Stuck Consultant
GMAT 760, GPA 3.6
MIT Sloan | Mr. Mechanical Engineer W/ CFA Level 2
GMAT 760, GPA 3.83/4.0 WES Conversion
Wharton | Mr. Asset Manager – Research Associate
GMAT 730, GPA 3.6
Kellogg | Mr. Community Involvement
GMAT 600, GPA 3.2
Chicago Booth | Mr. International Banker
GMAT 700, GPA 3.4
MIT Sloan | Mr. South East Asian Product Manager
GMAT 720, GPA 3.6
Harvard | Ms. Hollywood To Healthcare
GMAT 730, GPA 2.5
Stanford GSB | Ms. Investor To Fintech
GMAT 750, GPA 3.8
Kellogg | Mr. Structural Engineer
GMAT 680, GPA 3.2
Darden | Mr. Anxious One
GRE 323, GPA 3.85

2021 Best & Brightest MBAs: Krithik Tirupapuliyur, New York University (Stern)

Krithik Tirupapuliyur

New York University, Stern School of Business

I am a calm, analytical, big-picture thinker who enjoys learning, building, and helping others.”

Hometown: Wakefield, MA

Fun fact about yourself: I recently became a certified bartender

Undergraduate School and Degree: Carnegie Mellon UniversityMasters in Chemical Engineering, B.S. in Chemical and Biomedical Engineering

Where was the last place you worked before enrolling in business school? Scientist, Merck & Co.

Where did you intern during the summer of 2020? McKinsey & Company

Where will you be working after graduation? Associate, McKinsey & Company

Community Work and Leadership Roles in Business School: Teaching Fellow of Strategy, Patterns in Entrepreneurship, and International Studies; VP of Knowledge Management, Management Consulting Association; VP of Alumni Relations, Stern Healthcare Association

Which academic or extracurricular achievement are you most proud of during business school? I am most proud of the fact that I participated in the NYU Entrepreneurs Challenge during my first semester at NYU Stern. I pushed myself during a very busy time to work beyond my comfort zone with people outside my normal social circles to pursue two things I was passionate about: healthcare and entrepreneurship. It was a very busy semester filled with meeting my new MBA classmates, taking my first business classes, and recruiting for consulting. After seeing posters for the competition, I knew it was something I had to challenge myself to try out. I met a few students in the NYU Wagner Graduate School of Public Service at a healthcare networking event, and we decided to enter the competition with a health-tech business idea that we came up with during the event. We didn’t win the competition, but I learned a lot from coming up with the business model, building a pitch deck, and developing a prototype. All of this set me up for a great second year at Stern, where I pursued more entrepreneurship courses and activities.

What achievement are you most proud of in your professional career? When I was a scientist at Merck, I identified a huge gap in the way my team was dealing with data, proposed a solution, and implemented changes that sparked a revolution in the way the manufacturing division dealt with data.

When we ran experiments in the lab, scientists would spend hours collecting data from various machines, organizing the data in Excel, and plotting graphs used in PowerPoints for the management team to review. After walking through this painful process a few times, I felt that something had to be done to make the system more efficient. I got permission from my manager to work on a solution, networked within our IT department, and started building out a tool to make data collection and analysis more seamless. I integrated our lab equipment to our electronic notebooks, where data would be directly transferred. I then integrated our electronic notebook to Spotfire, a visualization tool, where plots could be made. This allowed our scientists and management team to visualize data in real time as it was being generated in the labs. This meant less time could be spent organizing the data, more time could be spent analyzing it, and actions could be taken on the data more quickly. This new way of working eventually spread to other lab groups and entire manufacturing floors, completely changing the way the manufacturing division operated.

Why did you choose this business school? I picked NYU Stern because I wanted to be in New York City during my MBA. Being in the city has allowed me to have an immersive recruiting process, expose myself to amazing social experiences, and see business in action. During the recruiting season, I was able to tour the offices of many major companies (pre-Covid) and discover many smaller firms that I had never heard of. I get to try new cuisines every week and engage with people from all around the world on a daily basis. In the city, I am constantly surrounded by consumer behavior, technological innovation, and evolving business models. Seeing the concepts you read about in action really helps the course material stick.

Who was your favorite MBA professor? Professor Russell Winer, who teaches the core marketing course, has been my favorite professor at Stern so far. I admire Professor Winer for his commitment to helping students learn marketing concepts, and his course helped change my perspective on a topic I wasn’t previously interested in. His balance of qualitative and quantitative content in the course was perfect, and the cases we went over were very relevant to today’s world. This helped me realize the importance of marketing in the business world. He also worked hard to seamlessly transition the course into the online environment when the pandemic hit. His commitment to the students remained even after the course was over as he continued to send us several news articles that touched on the concepts we learned in the course.

Looking back over your MBA experience, what is the one thing you’d do differently and why? Looking back, I think I would have tried to meet more students outside of my usual circles. I got to know people from my classes and from my consulting recruiting community very well before the pandemic hit. Since then, it has been tougher to branch out. To alleviate this pain point, I came up with an idea with a classmate, which we pitched to the school through a hackathon event during Stern’s inaugural re-LAUNCH orientation for all returning MBA2s.

Our “Pic3” idea involves assigning students to social groups based on three pictures they submit about activities they enjoy. These groups would be tasked with putting together a small 30-second clip about their shared activities while getting to know each other. The videos would be compiled into a film for the School to watch – potentially before graduation.

Our Pic3 idea is currently being implemented in partnership with Stern’s Office of Student Engagement and I cannot wait to see the results!

What is the biggest myth about your school? Before applying, I heard that Stern was meant only for those that wanted to pursue a finance-oriented career. While it was true that Stern had a plethora of finance-related resources and some of the best finance professors in the world, I never felt that it was a “finance school.” While I did soak up the finance resources the School has to offer, including participating in the Glucksman Fellowship Research project and taking classes with the “Dean of Valuation,” Professor Aswath Damodaran, I also pursued my interests in strategy and healthcare.

What surprised you the most about business school? I was really surprised by how quickly some students got locked into their future careers. I envisioned business school to be an environment where students from different industries learned from each other, learned a lot about business, and figured out what career path they want to pursue – which is the case for some students. But for others, a lot of this was determined before even coming to business school. Business school is a place that provides unparalleled opportunities for transitioning and/or accelerating one’s career path. It is really important to do research on different career paths and figure out what paths you wish to go down before coming to business school, so you can make the time here more valuable.

What is one thing you did during the application process that gave you an edge at the school you chose? After knowing I wanted to apply, I spent a lot of time reflecting on my past experiences and interests. I didn’t get started on studying for the GMAT or even putting together an application strategy right away. Instead, I spent a lot of time thinking about my story and what I wanted to highlight to show not only IQ but also EQ – something Stern seeks in candidates. This included my part-time job tutoring adults in Philadelphia, my photography hobby that I expressed through restaurant photography, and my passion for food – which led me to pursue a culinary education at a nearby school. I also spent time rounding out my accomplishments at work, taking on projects outside of my comfort zone, and thinking through what impact I was actually having on my company. All of this not only made my application stronger when I got to it, but made my life more fulfilling.

Which MBA classmate do you most admire? Sam Greene is a classmate in my block that I’ve gotten to know well throughout the MBA program. I remember seeing him enter our first statistics exam a little early with a sharp suit on because he was in the midst of investment bank recruiting. I asked him how his weekend was, to which he replied, “Great, I just finished an Iron Man!” That memory just about sums it up. Sam’s enthusiasm for actually learning the course material, pursuing fulfilling activities outside of work, being successful in his career pursuits, and caring about his peers is contagious. I don’t know how he has the time or energy to do it all, but he does, and I admire him for it!

How disruptive was it to shift to an online or hybrid environment after COVID hit? To my surprise, I found the transition to online classes rather easy from a learning perspective. Though it required a bit more discipline and focus, the learning experience was great. I could shave off hours of commute in my day, make myself comfortable at home, be confident that everything was recorded, and participate in great chats and breakout room conversations. However, from a social perspective, online classes made it challenging to feel as attached to an MBA program or community. I miss the routine of walking to lecture halls, spending time with classmates in the hallways between classes, and making coffee runs with whoever was working around you. Overall, while the pandemic did take a toll on the social experience of the MBA program, I don’t think online classes adversely affected the learning experience all that much.

Who most influenced your decision to pursue business in college? Going to business school was a pretty risky decision for me in the sense that it would mean giving up a stable career in science that I was enjoying and taking on loans. My father encouraged me to apply, reassuring me that it was going to be worth the risk as long as I could see opportunity in it. He himself took huge risks to move his entire life to the US when he was young to start a career in computer engineering, something that wasn’t popular at the time, simply because he saw opportunity in it. He helped me think through the benefits of a business degree, evaluate the risks, and gave me the courage to apply and pivot directions professionally.

What are the top two items on your professional bucket list?

  1. Start a social-impact focused company to tackle problems in sanitization, healthcare, food, or education in developing countries
  2. Open and run a restaurant which serves some of my favorite food and drinks from around the world

What made Krithik such an invaluable addition to the Class of 2021?

“Krithik has been an outstanding member of the NYU Stern community during his two years in the program. Building on his strong foundation of serving others, Krithik has been a mentor and connector for his classmates. Prior to NYU Stern, Krithik served as a tutor for adult students in under-served neighborhoods and worked as a mentor to new employees at Merck & Co, his pre-NYU Stern employer. Krithik has a proven track record of empowering others, building meaningful relationships and offering ongoing mentorship and support.

While at NYU Stern, Krithik was selected to serve as a Career Mentor to provide career preparation and guidance to first-year MBA students interested in pursuing consulting roles. When Krithik applied for a Career Mentor role he did not know that he would be asked to work with first-year students in a virtual environment. Krithik went above and beyond to build relationships by leveraging zoom and other tools. He helped first-year students refine their resumes, build interview skills and learn the key components of the case-based interview process. Many of our first-year students who were interested in consulting were successful in their internship recruiting process due to Krithik’s support.

Leveraging his community-building mindset, Krithik participated in a hackathon for second-year MBA students to come up with ways to build relationships among Stern students in the midst of the restrictions brought about by the pandemic. Krithik worked with a team to create an innovative solution to leverage a virtual platform to share interests and create connections. Krithik’s idea, Pic3, is a way for NYU Stern MBA students to share three things that are of interest to them and find others who have similar interests. This idea is being implemented and would not have happened without Krithik’s contributions.”

Beth Briggs
Associate Dean, Career Services

DON’T MISS: BEST & BRIGHTEST MBAS IN THE CLASS OF 2021