Regional Director, India and South East Asia, Tuck School of Business
Tuck is a place where you can go with a dream, and the school will pull together all of its resources to make that dream happen for you.
Incoming Tuck students aim to make the most of their two years in Hanover, but few go about it quite like Sudershan “Suds” Tirumala T’10. Within 48 hours of being admitted, Tirumala had connected with three or four alumni to ask about their experiences and solicit advice. In the six months that followed, he spoke to 200 more.
“Business school will throw a lot of things at you,” so many told him. “If you don’t carefully think it through, you will get pulled in too many directions and dilute your experience. Go in knowing what you want, and stay true to that.”
It was advice Tirumala took to heart. As a student, he got involved in many activities at Tuck while focusing on a career in venture capital and private equity in emerging markets. After graduation, he moved to Mumbai to work at an early-growth-stage private-equity fund investing in India, and was quickly promoted to principal/vice president. Even though Tirumala was in his native country, had made successful investments, and was doing the work his Tuck education had prepared him for, he also missed the community that had become such an integral part of his life over the last two years.
So he got to work. Under the auspices of Tuck Alumni Services, Tirumala started the Tuck Club of India. He organized mixers for alumni in India, co-sponsored events with graduates of other top U.S. business schools, and held events that coincided with visits of Tuck faculty members to India.
Through this, however, Tirumala realized that Tuck was not as well known in the region as other top business schools, and he felt a lot could be done to raise awareness of the unique strengths of the Tuck MBA program.
Discussions with Tuck administrators on this topic led to the school creating an official role for him as key countries representative for Tuck in India and Southeast Asia. Tirumala seized every opportunity to promote Tuck at admissions receptions and on panels for prospective applicants. He also advocated for Tuck in online forums frequented by MBA program applicants in India.
“Tuck is a place where you can go with a dream, and the school will pull together all of its resources to make that dream happen for you,” Tirumala says. “The kind of friendships I have made, not only with my own classmates, but with the vast number of alumni I have reached out to over the years, the advice I’ve gotten from the Tuck administration—it was such an enriching experience. I don’t think it would have been possible at any other place.”
Since assuming his role, Tirumala has led, organized, and coordinated numerous events to build a following of prospective applicants for Tuck. When marketing professor Praveen Kopalle was visiting the Indian city of Hyderabad for a conference, Tirumala invited him to teach a mock class to more than 50 prospective applicants in Mumbai. “It made a huge impact to help them understand the kind of thought leaders who teach at Tuck,” he adds.
When Vijay Govindarajan, the Coxe Distinguished Professor of Management, came to India to teach an executive education course, Tirumala helped organize a talk for the strategy professor at the Indian Institute of Technology Bombay. Govindarajan delivered his lecture on reverse innovation to a packed 400-seat auditorium that included IIT students, business executives, prospective Tuck applicants, admitted students, and alumni.
Tirumala’s efforts have not gone unnoticed, and Tuck has expanded the scope of his responsibilities. Earlier this spring, Tirumala began his new role as associate director of admissions and regional director, India and Southeast Asia.
“I feel privileged to have the opportunity to showcase Tuck in a way that puts the school front and center to the best applicants in the region,” he says. “I had an amazing experience at Tuck and I’m excited to be in a position to share my enthusiasm and passion for the school.”
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