By Kate Beach
Sri Naraharasetti, currently a second year residential MBA student at Darden, is originally from Visakhapatnam, India. He received his bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology- Bombay in 2010 and previously worked at ZS Associates in marketing strategy for pharmaceutical and biotech companies. Sri received support from the Annelise L. Tew Fund for International Studies, which allowed him to go on Darden’s China Global Business Experience. During his time at Darden, Sri has been involved with the Consulting Club, Healthcare Club and Darden Follies. Sri took a few minutes to share his reflections on his time at Darden thus far:
Could you tell me a bit about why you chose to come to Darden and how you heard about the school?
- When I was applying to business schools, I reached out to a close friend of mine from IIT for advice on schools to apply to as he had gone through the same process just the previous year. As he was a first year student at Darden at that time, we naturally talked about Darden and the incredibly helpful second year and alumni communities that he had access to. He also mentioned how he entered business school primarily as a place to build a strong network and progress in his career but was genuinely surprised at how much he learned and how great the faculty were. After talking with him, I had no trouble deciding to come to Darden.
What part about living in the U.S. has surprised you the most so far? How have your experiences compared to your expectations?
- Fortunately, coming to Darden wasn’t my first time in the U.S. I had been here before for both work and vacation. However, I had never studied or gone to school in the U.S., especially in a (relatively) small college town like Charlottesville. The orientation week quickly realigned my expectations of student life. I now know that it is possible for students to go out on Thursday night and go for a hike or run on the Friday morning after.
Could you share why you chose to participate in the China Global Business Experience? What did you learn in the program that you wouldn’t have learned any other way?
- I have always been intrigued by China. I have this theory about how business and economics always work on the same underlying principles, but the laws, culture and resources of different countries defined how they function. Being familiar with India and the U.S., China seemed like an important country to study. Being in the country, visiting large steel mills and hearing about the opportunities and barriers from some local business helped me appreciate how China is similar to and different from India and the U.S.
Could you share your involvement with Darden clubs and other extracurricular activities you participate in?
- I have been involved with two career clubs in my second year so that I can give back to the first year students and support them with their recruiting. Through the Consulting Club, I help students learn the tricks and prepare better for the case interviews as the Vice President of Education. I helped the Healthcare Club students find opportunities in the companies and segments that they were interested in. Currently, I am involved with the Darden Follies and plan to use my video editing skills to shoot and cut some really funny videos.