2022 MBA To Watch: Satwik Beernelly, Michigan State (Broad)

Satwik Beernelly

Eli Broad College of Business, Michigan State University              

“A creative, analytical, and courageous thinker who isn’t afraid to take think outside the box.”

Hometown: Hyderabad, Telangana, India

Fun fact about yourself: Solving puzzles especially sudoku is my favorite pass time.

Undergraduate School and Degree:

B.E Tons -Electronics and Communication Engineering, BITS Pilani, India

PG Diploma – Cyberlaw, Nalsar Institute, India

Where was the last place you worked before enrolling in business school? I worked as an operations and Finance head for my Family Business – KS Retail (Grocery retail chain) in India

Where did you intern during the summer of 2021? I interned with ‘the Wonderful Company’ in LA, California

Where will you be working after graduation? I will be joining Amazon as a Sr. Program Manager after graduation.

Community Work and Leadership Roles in Business School:

President- MBA Finance Association

Research Assistant – Axia Institute (MSU)

Which academic or extracurricular achievement are you most proud of during business school? MSU has given me so many memories to cherish. When I look back, winning Broad vs Broad, winning the Internal Case Competition, and placing second at the Big 10 Case Competition stand out. The Big 10 Case competition has always been significant since the rivalry stems from sports. Therefore, achieving the best finish in the last ten years is an accomplishment I cherish. Also, offering financial reviews for students has always been a pleasure for me. I find it extremely rewarding to be able to assist students from non-finance backgrounds in understanding the basics of the finance course.

What achievement are you most proud of in your professional career? My most proud accomplishment is that I have been able to make an impact on many artisans’ lives. I founded First Kraft in 2016 with a friend to bring Indian handicrafts back to the limelight. The most rewarding aspect of my job has been partnering with rural artisans and making a positive difference in their lives.

Why did you choose this business school? Being the global leader in the Supply chain program had an impact on my decision to choose MSU, but the main reason I chose this school was its focus on DEI (Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion) and the welcoming environment of the program. The year 2020 was not easy for most of us. It was even harder for international students. Embassies were closed and flights were restricted. As a student like me, I found the program office to be more flexible and inclusive than I expected, allowing me to join late and be flexible with assignments while traveling. As far as I am concerned, understanding its inclusivity was sufficient for me, and after that, I made a very one-sided decision.

Who was your favorite MBA professor? It is an extremely difficult task. MBA students at MSU have access to great professors; however, Prof Hadlock has had the biggest impact. The energy and passion he brings to class is so contagious. Sometimes, I hardly notice how fast the time passes.

What was your favorite MBA event or tradition at your business school? The MBA Charity Auction/Gala at the end of each semester is my favorite tradition. Several items or services are auctioned off to benefit a non-profit organization. Having come from a non-profit background, I appreciate such events a lot, since they show how much the program cares about giving back to the community.

Looking back over your MBA experience, what is the one thing you’d do differently and why? Gaining a better understanding of and involvement in the sports culture at MSU. Coming from India, college sport was completely new to me, and the virtual environment made it even more challenging. I missed the opportunity to get involved with MSU sports in the first year, and I would have immersed myself more in the sports culture of Michigan State if I had to do it again.

What is the biggest myth about your school? One of the biggest myths about Michigan State is that it is only a supply chain school. Although the supply chain program is excellent, other programs such as Finance and HR are equally good. I absolutely loved my finance classes. They were taught by some of the best professors in the country. I attended MSU for supply chain and learned Finance, but now I would not hesitate to recommend MSU for other concentrations.

What surprised you the most about business school? The thing that surprised me most about Michigan State was the level of inclusivity and the effort put forth by the program office. Michigan State is one of the top business schools, and yet it exceeded my expectations of inclusion and acceptance. My experience here is better for it.

When it comes to effort, the program office goes above and beyond to deliver the experience we want. Despite all difficulties, I have no doubt that the MBA program office has done everything possible to provide the best experience possible.

This is an experience that I am proud to share with many of my friends from other MBA programs, and I am privileged to be a part of the Michigan State MBA program.

What is one thing you did during the application process that gave you an edge at the school you chose? I believe the diversity and the experience I possess gave me an edge at the school. My background includes working as a software engineer, running an NGO, founding a company, and managing a family business. The richness of the experience and diverse background may have provided the edge in the application process.

Which MBA classmate do you most admire? Choosing one MBA classmate is extremely difficult, but if I had to choose one, I would choose Carlee Stanton. When I first arrived in the US, everything looked great, but the culture was very different from the place I grew up in. The first year of being virtual didn’t help much, but Carlee always made time to guide me through the process. Her first response was to understand and offer as much help as she could without asking. Her guidance was a beacon to me during the entire cultural adjustment process. Her willingness to help always impressed me, and I really admire all the effort she has put in.

Who most influenced your decision to pursue business in college? Karthik, my best friend, was the one who influenced me the most to pursue my dream. I was a little content with what was going on in my life and didn’t have any desire to pursue business abroad. But he believed I belonged here and pushed me relentlessly. He talked to me almost every day, so I started to consider applying. Now that I am two years into the program, I only wish I had started sooner.

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

My goal is to be regarded as an expert in the field of supply chain and logistics and I intend to achieve this by staying informed, networking, and being relentlessly inquisitive.

Inspire others to achieve greatness by leading by example

How has the pandemic changed your view of a career? A proverb from Africa strikes me a lot these days: “If you want to walk fast, walk alone, but if you want to walk long, walk together”. Career has always been my primary focus and friends, family and health always took a back seat but the pandemic has changed that and highlighted the importance of sustainable work life balance.. I now balance my life with career, friends, family, and health, and find that this balance enriches my life – including my career goals

What made Satwik such an invaluable addition to the Class of 2022?

“Satwik’s technical acumen and professional presence are without peer in his class. I saw this firsthand at our most recent study abroad experience in Siracusa, Italy. Wherever the conversation, and whatever the topic, Satwik asked insightful, detailed questions, to get to the heart of a discussion, then worked to help provide further understanding to the group. Amazingly, he did this without a shred of ego; he simply wanted to be part of a transformative experience. I saw him do this time and time again during our journey (which resulted in at least one company in Italy asking to hire him), and I was amazed each time at his ability to simplify a complex topic and offer an insightful perspective that contributed to class discussion. His approach enabled other students to participate even more deeply in the experience, something I was very thankful for as we work to bring study abroad back to its rightful place amongst the signature educational opportunities in the MBA program. I left study abroad thinking, “I’d love to have that person on my professional team.” Amazon is getting a superior talent that has the personality to engage and empower others. I am excited to see his future develop!”

Wayne Hutchison, Ph.D.
Managing Director, Full-Time MBA 


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