2024 Best & Brightest MBA: Shubham Singhal, UC-Berkeley (Haas)

Shubham Singhal

University of California-Berkeley, Haas School of Business

“A deep thinker who is constantly learning, improving, and doesn’t need precedent to do something.”

Hometown: Rajasthan, India

Fun fact about yourself: I once ran a podcast covering India’s booming tech ecosystem—–it was named Tech Buzz India!

Undergraduate School and Degree: IIT Bombay: Bachelor and Master of Technology in Electrical Engineering.

Where was the last place you worked before enrolling in business school? Senior Growth Manager at Rupeek, a series-E fintech startup providing loans against gold as collateral.

Where did you intern during the summer of 2023? Venmo (PayPal) in New York.

Where will you be working after graduation? Undecided.

Community Work and Leadership Roles in Business School:

  • Co-president, Asia Business Club
  • Organizer, Haas Fintech Conference
  • International Student Representative
  • Second-year peer advisor
  • Co-lead, India trek

Which academic or extracurricular achievement are you most proud of during business school? My proudest achievement is organizing the Asia Business Conference after seven long years of no activity at Haas. This was my vision when I became the co-president of Asia Business Club, so achieving it means a lot to me.

The conference saw participation from more than 15 speakers and over 150 attendees, giving students a platform to understand Asia’s business potential and engage with inspiring leaders from more than six Asian countries. Leading a diverse team of MBA students with different priorities taught me practical leadership lessons. When the conference ended, I felt so close to my friends. I feel lucky to have been a part of this journey.

What achievement are you most proud of in your professional career? I am most proud of transforming Rupeek’s Growth team, enabling the fintech startup’s growth from $8 million to $350 million in less than three years and reducing stigma against taking gold loans in India. When I joined the company, I had no idea what growth meant as a function. Using first principles thinking, I led initiatives across sales, marketing, and product, created a culture of data-led decision making, and built business processes that helped the company scale dramatically and remain intact even to this day.

Why did you choose this business school? I came to Berkeley Haas for two reasons: its collaborative and tight-knit student community and proximity to the Bay Area’s innovation and entrepreneurial ecosystem. During my B-school research, students and alumni from Berkeley stood out for prompt responses and candidness in their conversations. It felt very easy to talk to them, and that’s what I wanted in my business school experience.

Who was your favorite MBA professor?  It would be Professor Gustavo Manso, who teaches a Corporate Finance elective at Haas. He is amazing at teaching finance in a very bite-sized manner. One of the things I loved about this class was how he connected theory to practice. At the start of every class, he talks about recent market events and connects them to topics of the course, making the entire experience delightful.

What was your favorite course as an MBA? Conflict Lab, a seven-week interactive course on how to manage conflicts and difficult conversations in real life. The course equipped me with tools to effectively engage in conflicting situations and allowed me to practice those tools via 1:1 role plays and feedback with my classmates. The class was super applicable and helpful—I saw a shift in my approach to dealing with conflicts within a month!

What was your favorite MBA event or tradition at your business school? One of my favorite traditions at Haas is Haasemite, the annual camping trip to Yosemite National Park. This was my first exposure to national parks in the United States and an opportunity to camp and hike with 250 people from my class. I was truly amazed by the grandeur and beautiful landscape of Yosemite. I cherish the fun times of both years in Haasemite.

Looking back over your MBA experience, what is the one thing you’d do differently and why? Reflecting on my MBA experience, one thing I’d do differently is focus more on building deeper relationships rather than spreading myself too thin across numerous activities. The value of a few strong, meaningful connections can often provide richer learning and more prompt support.

What is the biggest myth about your school? Haas has a reputation for being an all-tech school, where everyone in class wants to work in the tech sector after their MBA. However, reality is different. In fact, much of the class is not interested in technology, but a wide range of industries and functions. I have a considerable number of classmates targeting careers from consulting and investment banking to sustainability and mobility. I am constantly surprised by the varied interests of my classmates.

What did you love most about your business school’s town? I love Berkeley’s quiet and beautiful college town vibe. I also love that San Francisco is only 45 minutes away, which gives an unbeatable opportunity to attend coveted tech meetups and conferences. Not to mention, it has close proximity to nature, trails, and beaches.

Which MBA classmate do you most admire? Very difficult question to answer! If I must pick one, I will say Aman Jain, who was my roommate in my second year. Aman is a great human being, super helpful, and a highly responsible person. His sheer dedication made Haas’ first India trek possible. He personally followed up with more than 35 people and did everything to ensure flawless experience before and during the trek. Once he picks up a project or an initiative, he just crushes it!

What are the top two items on your professional bucket list? First, I want to build a company that helps children in remote India realize big dreams. The second is to become one of TIME’s 100 most influential people in the world.

What made Shubham such an invaluable addition to the Class of 2024?

“I had Shubham in Strategy in Spring B in 2023, so the stretch of the semester starting in March when many first-year MBA students are thinking about the summer ahead. Shubham hit the ground running at Berkeley Haas and understood time management—by then he had become co-president of the Asia Business Club, which put on the student-led 17th Asia Business Conference that April, all while juggling studies and internship searches. I am delighted to see Shubham receive this well-deserved recognition.”

Jon Metzler
Continuing Lecturer, Business & Public Policy Group
Haas School of Business, University of California, Berkeley


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