Meet the MBA Class of 2025: Aruj Parajuli, University of Michigan (Ross)

Aruj Parajuli

University of Michigan, Ross School of Business

“Nature explorer turned FinTech enthusiast, catalyzing social change through innovative products and global impact.”

Hometown: Biratnagar, Nepal

Fun Fact About Yourself: I’ve been a tech geek since birth – the superhero of gizmo glitches, tackling PC pandemonium to fridge fiascos. While I may not be a fixer, I’m definitely a handy wizard for gadget salvation.

Undergraduate School and Major: National Institute of Technology, Allahabad, India | Computer Science & Engineering

Most Recent Employer and Job Title: IHF | Head of Business Strategy, Donor Stewardship & Operations

Michigan Ross is best known for experiential learning programming like MAP, Living Business Leadership Experience, and the Leadership Crisis Challenge. What experiential program interests you the most? A difficult choice, as all three programs offer unique and exciting learning experiences. However, I would say the Leadership Crisis Challenge stands out for me. This challenge resonates deeply due to my innate passion for navigating uncharted waters and thriving in the face of adversity. I find immense satisfaction in being the anchor during turbulent times, steering teams through challenges with unwavering resolve. The prospect of testing and honing my leadership skills within a simulated crisis environment excites me. It aligns perfectly with my inclination to lead effectively when it matters most. Opportunities like the Leadership Crisis Challenge do an exceptional job not only in showcasing my abilities but also in further developing my capacity to inspire, guide, and unite teams amid difficulties, akin to C-suite executives.

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? Apart from my peers, a pivotal facet of Michigan Ross’s MBA program that strongly attracted me was its emphasis on the Multidisciplinary Action Projects (MAP) and their unwavering dedication to experiential learning. MAP holds the distinction of being a flagship program at Michigan Ross, and notably, the first business school to pioneer experiential learning in its curriculum. Within MAP, student teams engage with real business challenges faced by companies across the globe. It’s as if the school dared to breathe life into the curriculum, transcending the confines of textbooks. Among the array of offers that came my way, the choice to join Michigan Ross was unequivocally clear. The program’s intensive and hands-on approach, allowing students to apply classroom knowledge to solve intricate business issues, resonated deeply with me. This emphasis on practical engagement seamlessly aligns with my preferred learning style, serving as a conduit to bridge theory and practice effectively.

I have always been the kind of person who finds more joy in learning through action rather than musing over textbooks. Experiential programs like those at Michigan Ross provide me with a license to explore uncharted territories and embrace life’s challenges. This integration of classroom learning with real-life challenges is paramount to me, ensuring that I not only understand business concepts but also master their practical implementation, setting me apart as a capable and agile business leader.

What course, club, or activity excites you the most at Michigan Ross? With a background encompassing technology, social impact, and strategic insight, I am enthusiastic about advancing my journey in Michigan Ross. I look forward to engaging in programs that center on the fusion of business, strategy, and technology, aiming to catalyze positive global transformation.

I considered various avenues, such as Student-Run Investment Funds, I Business+Technology initiatives, Open Road, and Nonprofit Board Fellows to embark upon. Among these, Student-Run Investment Funds resonate with me the most, igniting a heightened sense of excitement. Participating in such real-world initiatives offers the chance to cultivate practical expertise in investment analysis, portfolio management, financial analysis, and decision-making – mirroring the intricacies and demands of the professional investment world focusing on ventures dedicated to improving society.

When you think of the Michigan Ross MBA program, what is the first word that comes to mind? Why? “Humility” perfectly encapsulates Ross, which is renowned for remarkable achievements in business education, while maintaining an approachable and down-to-earth ambiance. My first-hand experience over a few months revealed how Ross nurtures inclusivity, where faculty, students, staff, and alumni are readily approachable and invested in mutual success. This culture fosters collaboration, open dialogue, and a shared sense of growth.

This humility permeates the program’s ethos, valuing experiential learning and practical application over self-aggrandizement. Initiatives like the Student-Run Investment Funds and real-world challenges exemplify the dedication to substance over showmanship. Furthermore, Ross’s humility is evident in its dedication to social impact and responsible leadership. The focus on positive societal contributions reflects a mindset prioritizing the collective good above individual accomplishments.

Describe your biggest accomplishment in your career so far: One of my biggest accomplishments is the creation of a FinTech app designed to facilitate seamless transactions and donations. The app was built on top of both Stripe and Salesforce. It not only enables frictionless financial transactions but also incorporates predictive analytics to anticipate users’ donation frequencies and behavior patterns.

What do you hope to do after graduation (at this point)? After graduation, my aspiration is to step into the role of a product manager within the realms of BigTech or FinTech. This trajectory aligns with my long-term goal of eventually launching my own venture, focused on enhancing financial literacy and social impact through technology.

What advice would you give to help potential applicants gain admission into Michigan Ross’s MBA program? I would advise candidates to extend their focus beyond academic and standardized test accomplishments. Reflect on the impact they’ve generated over the years and how it has contributed to making a difference. It’s important to recognize that you are more than just test scores. I suggest being mindful of your journey and emphasizing those distinct experiences; undoubtedly, everyone has a unique story to share. Aim to spotlight these narratives. Above all, endeavor to connect the dots between your past, present, and future. Illustrate why pursuing an MBA is your path, why it’s timely, and what your ultimate long-term goal entails.

Lastly, I would advise reaching out to current students, participating in admission events, and even considering a visit to Ross to determine if it’s the perfect fit for you. It’s crucial to genuinely convey your enthusiasm for becoming a Wolverine.


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