Scholar Showcase: Pramod Inguva (Class of 2018)
Having never lived outside of India, Pramod Inguva (Class of 2018) desired to widen his worldview. He wanted to expose himself to different cultures, languages and experiences and decided that pursuing his MBA outside of his home country would provide the perfect opportunity to do just that.
Pramod worked as an Investment Analyst for Matrix Alpha Analytics after earning his bachelor’s degree in technology from IIT Madras in 2012. In his search for business schools, Pramod explains, “I gravitated to U.S. schools because the U.S. is the financial capital of the world and I knew I wanted to ultimately live and work here. I was concerned about moving to a new country—I knew that I would have to fit in culturally, do well academically, and recruit for a job—but I was ready to take that on.”
Pramod received a Darden merit scholarship, and while the scholarship factored into his decision to attend Darden, he explained, “There were many reasons why I chose Darden over the other admissions offers I received. Darden is well known for investment banking (the route I wanted to pursue) and is highly ranked for its overall educational experience. Moreover, I wanted to be a part of a small, tight-knit community, and diversity of classmates was important to me. Although situated in a small town in central Virginia, Darden truly is a global community.”
Pramod made a seamless transition between life in India and life in the U.S., in part due to the Darden South Asia Society (DSAS), which he joined as a first year and now serves as VP of Finance in his second year. “I joined to meet new people and to feel more at home. I feel particularly connected to DSAS and feel fulfilled when we showcase our culture to the Darden community. As a club, we really try to teach South Asian culture and to add cultural significance to each event. We started doing more groundwork this year so that the community would see DSAS as inclusive to all students, not just those of South Asian heritage. We have about ten members who have no previous connection at all to South Asia.”
Pramod believes that Darden’s emphasis on student-centric learning through the case study method benefits students substantially. “When people share in the classroom, it’s coming from experience. Observing people from all over the world and hearing their thoughts and stories teaches us a lot about the world, and feeling welcomed and encouraged to share from your experiences is a great feeling. These were all new learning experiences for me.” He is grateful to Darden faculty for understanding the challenges faced by international students in an American university, as well as to the Career Development Center for their support given to international students throughout the recruiting process. “Recruiting presents its own set of unique challenges for international students in the U.S.,” Pramod explained. “Darden has a very strong and active alumni base that is incredibly supportive to current Darden students during recruiting. For a relatively small business school, that is very important.”
To add to his global experience at Darden, Pramod participated in a Global Topics Course to Normandy as a first year student. The course focused on leadership lessons from WWII. “Once I moved to the U.S., I realized it is an entirely different experience to learn about something through experiencing it as opposed to learning from listening to someone talk about it. Hanging out in social situations is a significant part of global learning—I learned as much, if not more, through living here as I did in the classroom. The same applies to Darden Worldwide Courses: although I love learning about history, I chose to do the Normandy DWC more for the firsthand learning experience than the content. On the course, I learned so much more than I had expected by interacting with people and visiting battle sites. These courses offer amazing learning experiences that every student should have. The DWC scholarship fund offers great support, especially for those with financial constraints.”
Pramod interned at Credit Suisse in the M&A investment banking division over the summer, and he will be returning to Credit Suisse in New York City as a full time associate after graduation. “My training at Darden was instrumental in getting an offer from Credit Suisse,” Pramod said. “As a client-facing position, this role is about both doing good work and being good with people. The interactions I have had, the nuances I’ve picked up and the things I’ve learned here at Darden are all very evident in how I see myself now compared to how I used to be. I am grateful for my Darden experience and am excited to return to New York after I graduate.”