Meet the MBA Class of 2024: Raam Charran, University of Michigan (Ross)

Raam Charran  

University of Michigan, Ross School of Business

“Curious, mission driven and passionate individual focused on improving the livelihood of people.”

Hometown: Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India

Fun Fact About Yourself: I’m obsessed with collecting currency notes and coins – my current collection spans over 75 countries across the globe

Undergraduate School and Major: BITS Pilani Goa Campus, Double major – Electronics & Instrumentation Engineering + Economics

Most Recent Employer and Job Title: One Acre Fund – Senior Program Associate, Field Operations / Pre-MBA Internship at FinTech Startup (Prospa) as a Founder Associate

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? As someone intending to change career paths in the short-term, I was attracted by Michigan Ross’s strong focus on experiential learnings through the MAP program with a variety of interesting opportunities across different industries and functions.

What has been your first impression of the Ross MBA students and alumni you’ve met so far. Tell us your best Ross story so far. Engaged and helpful – I’ve been amazed by the willingness of current students and alumni to help you out with anything, however small or insignificant it may seem. Just a few weeks after receiving my admit to Ross, I was able to have in depth conversations with three alumni and current students about different topics ranging from recruiting to club activities.

What course, club, or activity excites you the most at Michigan Ross? Business + Design Club – I’m keen to explore how a design led approach to problem solving can maximize value to customers.

Student investment funds – I’m excited to evaluate and partner with emerging startups in different industries to better understand how technology is being used to solve critical problems.

When you think of the Michigan Ross MBA program, what is the first word that comes to mind? Why? Go Blue! Even before setting foot on campus, I’ve been fortunate enough to witness a strong sense of community within the Ross ecosystem.

Describe your biggest accomplishment in your career so far: After working in investment banking for three years, I felt a strong desire to work on initiatives to improve the life of the common person. I trusted my instincts and joined One Acre Fund, a social enterprise working on marketed-oriented solutions to improve the lives of smallholder farmers in East Africa. Despite changing industry, function and geography, I settled in quickly and I was able to leave my mark on a variety of different projects all of which improved the lives of farmers and significantly enhanced the impact created by the organization. Leading core-activities for a 500-member field team, I was also able to significantly hone and develop my leadership and management skills.

What is one thing you have recently read, watched, or listened to that you would highly recommend to prospective MBAs? Why? Business Beyond Usual – This is a terrific podcast that provides so much valuable information on MBA student life. While it’s focused on Ross MBA students, I believe it provides useful insights for all prospective MBA students.

What led you to pursue an MBA at this point and what do you hope to do after graduation? After working in investment banking and social impact, I realized the importance of gaining critical technology adjacent skills to scale market-oriented solutions, especially for problems faced by consumers at the base of the pyramid. So, I decided to pursue an MBA to transition to a career in the technology industry.

What other MBA programs did you apply to? Wharton, Kenan-Flagler, Yale, Darden

What advice would you give to help potential applicants gain admission into Michigan Ross’s MBA program? Have a clear rationale for why you want to pursue an MBA and understand how a Ross MBA can uniquely benefit you. Invest time speaking with students and alumni who share similar background and career aspirations.

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