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Real Humans of McKinsey & Company: Dushyanth Nutulapati, Michigan Ross MBA ’21, Associate

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From Ann Arbor, Michigan, to Dallas, Texas, Dushyanth Nutulapati walks us through his journey from MBA student at Michigan Ross to associate at McKinsey & Co. in this edition of Real Humans: Alumni. Read on to learn more about Dushyanth’s fascinating story and his advice to current MBA students.

Dushyanth Nutulapati, Michigan Ross MBA ’21, Associate at McKinsey & Co.

Age: 30
Hometown: Hyderabad, India
Undergraduate Institution and Major: Indian Institute of Technology Bombay (IIT-B), Electrical Engineering (B.Tech and M.Tech)
Graduate Business School, Graduation Year and Concentration (if applicable): Ross School of Business, 2021, Marketing and Data Analytics
Pre-MBA Work Experience (years, industry): 5 years, Financial Services, Consulting and Advanced Analytics
Post-MBA Work Experience (years, industry): 7 months, Management & Strategy Consulting

Why did you choose to attend business school?
My biggest motivation for attending business school was to understand the strategic complexities of capturing the B2B SaaS and PaaS industries. India’s B2B space was still quite fragmented, and to be a future business leader in that space, I needed to have a deeper understanding of other facets of business such as product/platform operating models and financial models to fill in the gaps within my skillset.

Why Ross? What factors figured most prominently into your decision of where to attend?
Academically, I always thrived in a practical, hands-on learning environment and Ross has always believed in this school of thought, with its flagship experiential program MAP (Multidisciplinary Action Projects). Through MAP and other team-based activities, I wanted to work with diverse peers from across the globe and learn from their practical experiences. Another significant factor was Ross’ emphasis on developing future leaders through its strong leadership curriculum. Programs such as the “Leadership Crisis Challenge” and “Business+Impact Challenge” that are part of the Sanger Leadership Center excited me and gave me a path to appreciate the challenges faced by current leaders in the global environment.

What about your MBA experience prepared you for your current career?
My post-MBA career goal was to work within strategy consulting firms and get exposure to the global industries and corporate functions, especially having worked only in India. And, Ross gave me the required impetus to thrive in a team-based environment such as consulting, by allowing me to work with diverse teams almost daily during my MBA journey. Additionally, the principles of diversity, equity and inclusion are deeply rooted within the values of our school and that immensely helped me learn how to be vocally inclusive within team-based environments.

What was your internship during business school? How did that inform your post-MBA career choice?
I interned as a consultant with Visa consulting and analytics (VCA), a professional services arm of Visa Inc. We developed go-to-market strategies for banks and financial institutions to expand and grow their financial product portfolios, leveraging Visa Inc’s data and analytics repositories. I enjoyed working in such a fast-paced environment alongside reputed senior leaders and developing data-backed strategic recommendations. Therefore, I decided to continue in this space post-MBA and was beyond excited to secure an offer from McKinsey to start my career within strategy consulting.

Why did you choose your current company? What factors figured most prominently into your decision of where to work?
Coming from an analytics consulting background, I wanted to transition into strategy consulting and gain rapid exposure into the technology, media, and telecom industries. McKinsey & Company for me was the premier strategy consulting firm and it has always been my desire to be part of them professionally and learn from some of the most talented and experienced practitioners. Additionally, the firm’s emphasis on creating an inclusive and collaborative work culture particularly stood out for me as opposed to other firms in this space.

How has COVID impacted your industry/career plans?
When COVID hit the world, it was a situation of panic for all of us and even more so for international students, who came here to pursue their career goals, sacrificing many things. I remember, we were all so anxious whether our internships would continue as planned and whether this would impact full-time recruiting. However, I must admit, it was remarkable to see how rapidly we transitioned our entire MBA program to virtual, leveraging technologies like Zoom. Our school was a constant source of support and ensured a smooth virtual recruiting process by closely working with companies. Overall, though I missed the in-person experience, my career goals weren’t significantly impacted, thanks to everyone’s support and spirit to re-invent ways of working during the pandemic.

Advice to current MBA students:
–One thing you would absolutely do again as part of the job search?
Identify your target companies early! It forms the base for your entire job-search timelines. Understanding your personal and professional goals and aligning that with companies you want to be part of helps with being focused during the job search.

–One thing you would change or do differently?
As an international student, I would have liked to know more about the cultural nuances of networking in the U.S. job search process, which was completely new for me. I would suggest students to take some mock drills and get comfortable with the networking process. Make sure to leverage your career development offices like we had at Ross who were always willing to lend us the required support.

–Were there any surprises regarding your current employer’s recruiting process?
There were no major surprises as McKinsey has always been transparent and clear throughout the job search timeline, by making themselves available to answer any questions we had. I would say leverage all the support they provide and enjoy the additional perks of knowing cool people.

–What piece of advice do you wish you had been given during your MBA?
I wish I had been told to spend time understanding myself and my goals clearly. Think about your personal stories, the what’s and the why’s. You need to know your north star, as there will be a plethora of things you will keep experiencing, during your MBA journey and time will be a very scarce resource, especially in the first few months. But at the end of the day, don’t take things too seriously and make sure you enjoy the journey, as everything works out.

Alexandra Markovich
Alexandra (Alex) Markovich was born and raised in Miami, Florida. She attended Florida State University (FSU), where she obtained a Bachelor’s Degree in English. After her time at FSU, she has continued to pursue learning more about the writing industry by enrolling herself in editing certificate programs provided by Poynter Institute and the University of Chicago. In her spare time, you can find Alex working out her local gym, perusing local book stores, taking her dogs to the local dog park, and soaking up the Miami sun!