Meet The MBA Class Of 2023: Abhimanyu Vashistha, University Of Michigan (Ross)

Abhimanyu Vashistha

University of Michigan, Ross School of Business

“A motorsports nerd who wants to democratize technology for the greater social good.”

Hometown: New Delhi, India

Fun Fact About Yourself: I have fractured both my wrists and ankles – all on different occasions

Undergraduate School and Major: Delhi Technological University, Bachelor of Technology (Mechanical Engineering)

Most Recent Employer and Job Title – Boston Consulting Group, Consultant

What word best describes the Michigan Ross students and alumni you’ve met so far and why? Driven by purpose. The common thread that I have noticed in all Rossers is a deep understanding of their purpose and an intentionality in how they have shaped their Ross MBA journey. They celebrated their unique backgrounds and aspirations and brought that energy in the conversations with me.

Aside from your classmates, what was the key part of Michigan Ross’s MBA programming that led you to choose this business school and why was it so important to you? Ross MBAs’ ethos of learning by doing resonated with me the most. I have always been the tinkering kind. Changing wheel setups and taking the car to the racetrack was the way I learned about vehicle dynamics. With the curriculum designed around this ethos – be it MAP or the Crisis Challenge, I can’t wait to be in the Ross classroom.

What course, club, or activity excites you the most at Michigan Ross? Sanger’s Story Lab program excites me the most. I recognize that along with finding the solutions to the most pressing problems, an effective leader needs to build consensus and bring the team together. Story Lab is a unique program that will let me be an effective storyteller and work on my executive presence.

When you think of Michigan Ross, what is the first word that comes to mind? Why? Team spirit. I have seen various schools talk about the collaborative spirit, but at Michigan Ross I have truly seen the school spirit to be integral to the social fabric. Be it the school football spirit or helping you with recruiting the “Go Blue” spirit is infectious. I just bought the season tickets to the football games, and I don’t even know the rules (I am international, ‘football’ is a very different sport for us).

Describe your biggest accomplishment in your career so far: In March 2020, our BCG team was working with NITI Ayog – India’s Planning Commission – on a transformation case to improve learning levels in Odisha, MP, and Jharkhand, three of India’s most challenged states. We were strengthening learning frameworks and deploying information systems to enable data-driven policy decisions. As COVID cases rose, schools closed. NITI Ayog’s principal secretary turned to us to ensure that learning continues for 24 million students. We analyzed the digital leaning landscape and drew up our strategy. We partnered with pedagogists to create “learning packages”, containing videos, worksheets, and assignments for topics in local languages. I created processes to share these packages and track dissemination through cascaded WhatsApp groups. I launched social media campaigns, aiming to make parents active participants and ran online assessment campaigns to measure impact.

By June, learning levels rose and I realized that compelling digital content made accessible through technology can substantially enhance classroom learning. I developed a web-based tool for students to discover these “packages” and teachers to access teaching material. My platform – – has since become a source accessed by millions of learners and has become a mainstay of the learning continuity strategy and the long-term digital learning vision.

How did COVID-19 change your perspective on your career and your life in general? The second wave of COVID-19 was devastating in India. All of my friends and loved ones were positive and there was an acute shortage of oxygen in Delhi. As my grandmother’s O2 levels dipped, I reached out to all my connections for help. I was overwhelmed how the community came together in a matter of hours to help me secure oxygen cylinders and potentially save my grandmother’s life.

It filled me with a sense of overwhelming gratitude and felt an urgent need to pay it forward. My belief in resilience in the human spirit was strengthened. The ethos to support my community – professionally or otherwise, is a central value for me now.

What led you to pursue an MBA at this point and what do you hope to do after graduation? My long-term dream job is to build the world’s leading consulting practice, advising governments and policy-makers to improve learning outcomes in public school systems. I intend to leverage technology to provide state-of-the-art educational materials and frameworks to millions of students with limited learning resources.

Right after my MBA, I envision returning to BCG’s Social Impact practice in the U.S. or joining similar practices with firms such as Dalberg and the Bridgespan Group as a Consultant. I hope to work on structural transformation projects for leading private and public education institutions focused on technology transformation, differentiation strategy, and resource organization.

An MBA right now will be the perfect inflection point to achieve these goals

What other MBA programs did you apply to? Kellogg, Darden, Tuck, CBS, UCLA

What advice would you give to help potential applicants gain admission into Michigan Ross’s MBA program? Michigan Ross’ MBA program has the resources to equip you with skills to achieve whatever your calling may be. The student body is a diverse mix of high achieving and empathetic individuals. Applying to such a b-school, it is easy to lose your unique voice and individuality in a bid to impress.

Ross celebrates students with diverse backgrounds. Please bring your authentic self to the admission committee and they will appreciate you for it. Best of luck and always, Go Blue!!


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