Meet the MBA Class of 2024: Ashwin Chandrasekhar, Dartmouth College (Tuck)

Ashwin Chandrasekhar

Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth College

“A tech-for-good champion, solving end-user problems with a commitment to social impact.”

Hometown: Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India

Fun Fact About Yourself: I host a podcast for conversations around positive masculinity and feminist allyship.

Undergraduate School and Major: St. Xavier’s College, Economics

Most Recent Employer and Job Title: Global Alliance for Mass Entrepreneurship (GAME), Vice President

What has been your first impression of the Tuck MBA students and alumni you’ve met so far. Tell us your best Tuck story so far. I noticed that the class of 2023 has incredible camaraderie. On one of our orientation calls with them, they seemed to know each other quite intimately (e.g., who is the master networker, the chef, the academic etc.). I remember texting my study group that it would be exciting to have the same kind of bond by the end of our tenure here.

Aside from your classmates, what was the key part of Dartmouth Tuck’s MBA programming that led you to choose this business school and why was it so important to you? Tuck has one of the best career services teams among top business schools. As an international student with student debt, there’s always anxiety around getting a job I like and visa sponsorship. The fact that Tuck has top-rated student-to-career advisor ratios allows the MBA Program to support me with personalized attention to navigate the job market.

I also think the fact of being a small tight-knit community is very conducive to building strong relationships. We become each other’s learning environment.

What course, club or activity excites you the most at Dartmouth Tuck? As someone who wants to transition from social impact to technology-led social transformation, I am particularly excited about working with the Center for Digital Strategies and the Tuck Technology Club to build informed perspectives on the evolution of tech trends.

While I was working in India, I was struck by the social impact of the fintech revolution, so I want to pursue that journey at Tuck both intellectually and professionally. To this end, I am also excited to work with the burgeoning Tuck FinTech Club.

What excites you the most about coming to live in Hanover? What is the one activity you can’t wait to do? I love the expansive walking routes and the endless view of the mountains. Especially in the fall, it’s a beautiful place to walk around and take in. I can’t wait to walk by the small businesses, hiking trails, and vintage buildings across Hanover with my fiancé!

Describe your biggest accomplishment in your career so far: I led a group of organizations (i.e., a think tank, a regulatory tech firm, and PwC as implementation partners) that achieved 10 significant improvements to small business legislation in the state of Punjab in India. We reduced the time taken to start a business and cut down the regulatory costs to run a business in the state. These changes impacted 500,000 business owners.

I raised $1 million from Omidyar Network for this 24-month endeavor to help small businesses. We had a unique model and, through patience and perseverance, were able to deliver transformation within government, which is incredibly hard!

What is one thing you have recently read, watched, or listened to that you would highly recommend to prospective MBAs? Why? Clayton Christensen has had a huge influence on me regarding both innovation and economic prosperity. I cannot wait to recommend The Innovator’s Dilemma to my fellow MBA classmates. Several of us will be recruited by legacy organizations and Christensen helps explain why large companies struggle to innovate. Another, more personal book, is What the Heck Do I Do with My Life by Ravi Venkatesan, my former boss. He was the former chairman of Microsoft India and pivoted to a career in social impact with a portfolio approach to his life. He builds a great case on why many of us will have to take a “portfolio” approach to our careers in the future.

What led you to pursue an MBA at this point and what do you hope to do after graduation? I want to make products for small businesses, and low-to-middle-income customers. An MBA provides the right space conducive to skill building and filling knowledge gaps. Tuck has a vibrant, intimate, and welcoming tech community, especially for people with non-tech backgrounds.

What other MBA programs did you apply to? Harvard Business School, Indian School of Business

What advice would you give to help potential applicants gain admission into Dartmouth Tuck’s MBA program? One of the first things you do when you come to Tuck is a “river of life” exercise where you share profound life experiences with a fellow classmate. Tuck is looking for people who can be authentic and vulnerable in articulating all aspects of life.


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