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Real Humans of the Michigan Ross MBA Class of 2024

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michigan mba classLasya Gulibhi, Michigan Ross MBA Class of 2024

Age: 27
Hometown: Bangalore, India
Undergraduate Institution and Major: University of Warwick, UK. I majored in Economics
Pre-MBA Work Experience (years, industry): Six years. Education/Non-profit/Social Impact.

Why did you make the decision to attend business school? Why now?
My long-term vision for my career is to create impact for people at scale, using technology. When I was working with non-profits in a venture philanthropy role, we constantly grappled with the question of how to reach more users and scale our impact – essentially go from working in a few schools and reaching hundreds of children to millions – and the answer was always technology. And so, I decided to apply to business schools to build a career in technology. 

Why did you choose Michigan Ross? What factors figured most prominently into your decision of where to attend?
When I was researching schools, Ross stood out to me for two reasons: One, the resources available specifically for people with non-tech backgrounds to break into roles in technology, and two, the culture at the business school, which is focused on community building, collaboration, learning, and ownership. The latter was most important for me because one, I thrive and enjoy myself in supportive, inclusive, and collaborative environments. And two, I was going to be leaving my home country and facing a challenging transition, and I saw myself being able to build a new community at Ross. 

What do you think is your most valuable or differentiating contribution to the Class of 2024?
I think I’ve had a fairly non-traditional journey to business school, having been a teacher and then working with nonprofits and in sustainable development. I believe this has given me a unique perspective, and I am excited to share that with my classmates. 

Tell us a fun fact about yourself that didn’t get included on your application:
I am absolutely obsessed with “Avatar: The Last Airbender” show! I watch it at least twice a year, and I always feel so uplifted and encouraged and motivated after. In fact, my first purchase when I got to the U.S. was an Appa (one of the show’s characters) stuffed toy. 

Post-MBA career interests:
Strategy and product roles in technology. 

Advice for Current Prospective Applicants:
–What is one thing you would absolutely do again as part of your application process?
I did not treat the MBA application as just that – I also used it as an opportunity to reflect on the last five years, take stock of my career so far, and define my vision for my career. I would absolutely do this again, and it is a necessity, especially in today’s job market. The MBA application, for me, helped build the skill of identifying where I want to go in my career, and articulating that into achievable goals. This is something I will continue to do and refine over the course of my lifetime. 

–What is one thing you would change or do differently?
I think I would pace things differently. Last year, I had an epiphany in October that this was the year I was going to apply to business school, and then rushed through the GRE and applications in three months. It was very stressful, so I would maybe start a month or two earlier. 

–What is one part you would have skipped if you could—and what helped you get through it?
I think a very normal, but difficult part of the process is self-doubt. The more I spoke to people currently in business schools, the more I felt inadequate. What helped was having a strong support system of family and friends who kept me grounded and pushed me to focus on my unique story, and what made me stand out. 

What is your initial impression of the Michigan Ross students/culture/community?
It has been really amazing! I’d heard amazing things about the school spirit and the larger U-M community, but only once you get here do you realize how powerful and infectious it is. I met a few U-M alumni on my flight, and we instantly connected. I came away from that conversation with a long list of Ann Arbor restaurant recommendations! 

What is one thing you have learned about Michigan Ross that has surprised you?
I am surprised by how application-oriented the academics are! The entire experience has been intentionally designed to prepare you for success in your career. The faculty truly understands the needs of business school students, and translates that into the syllabus and the class experience. 

What is one thing you are most anxious about in your first year?
I am really anxious about time management! There is so much to do, and I really hope I find a balance between recruitment, academics and social life soon. I am also concerned about falling victim to FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out) and overloading my calendar and compromising on my R&R time. 

What is one thing you are most excited about in your first year?
Honestly, I’m most excited about the academics! I love being in a classroom, and I am truly at home in a learning environment. And in addition to a fantastic core curriculum, Ross has a large variety of electives to pick from. 

Has the COVID-19 pandemic affected your personal application or admissions process in any way? If so, how?
The pandemic was very challenging to my mental health. I had originally planned to apply in the 2020 application cycle, but decided to prioritize my recovery and push applications to the next year. 

Christina Griffith
Christina Griffith is a writer and editor based in Philadelphia. She specializes in covering education, science, and history, and has experience in research and interviews, magazine content, and web content writing.