Nicholas Dao - “Fundraise, fundraise, fundraise.”

March 18, 2019

In the nineteenth episode of Designing An MBA, Nick Dao talks about the entrepreneurial venture that brought him to pursue deeper business knowledge, volunteering during the Camp Fire, what it's like being one of the youngest people in the class, and how Davis has changed since his childhood. He's looking for investors... and summer interns!

Andrew Light - “Photographs don’t lie but liars photograph”

March 8, 2019

In the eighteenth episode of Designing An MBA, Andrew Light talks about everything from the way learning photography influences his business mind today, being married to someone working in Silicon Valley, what it's like being the only out LGBT person in his class, and why he, sometimes hesitantly, frequently shares his opinion in class. Almost twenty episodes in, and every story continues to be unique!

Shwetha Chandrashekar - “I don’t think it’s about working hard, it’s about working smart”

March 5, 2019

In the seventeenth episode of Designing An MBA, Shwetha Chandrashekar weaves a narrative of the major life change and personal growth that can be part of the MBA experience, and how to face down the unique challenges that confront international students and women-in-leadership. She also reveals her not-so-secret crush on McKinsey and presents a detailed analysis as to why she is half Phoebe, half Monica from Friends.

Eric “Chenmu” Sun - “It’s never harmful for you to get more knowledgable”

February 20, 2019

In the sixteenth episode of Designing An MBA, Eric "Chenmu" Sun hilariously tells us of his dislike of gangster pandas but also gets into some wonderful stuff about seeking to understand yourself and to grow yourself by your personal and professional choices. He details his fascinating experience working for Apple and reveals his favorite experience at the Graduate School of Management so far. Spoiler alert: it was our recent Lunar New Year Party.

Adam Tanner - “I can hold the baby and comfort her and still do our strategy reading”

February 4, 2019

In the fifteenth episode of Designing An MBA, we meet coast guard officer and new dad Adam Tanner, two unique perspectives from which he tells fascinating stories. I'll leave it to you to decide which one sounds more challenging! He not only talks about how family changes your perspective on the MBA, but how the MBA changes your perspective on family.

Gautham Gali - “Be comfortable being uncomfortable”

January 28, 2019

In the fourteenth episode of Designing An MBA, we continue our string of Indian students with my "little brother" Gautham Gali, who has a great laugh, an open heart, and may have grown more in his four months at the UC Davis Graduate School of Management then anyone else in my class. Did you know that in that period he has taken guitar, salsa, "popping" dance lessons, enrolled and competed in chess club, starting working out and playing racquetball, and participated in intramural sports like soccer, football, and volleyball, almost all of those experiences for the first time?

Avi Pahi - “You need to be will fed in order to feed others”

January 13, 2019

In the thirteenth episode of Designing An MBA, we check in with what will undoubtedly be my most personal and open interview subject, Avilash Pahi, who bravely shared major life transitions he recently went through just a few weeks ago. He is funny, stylish, a little foul-mouthed, a consummate salesman, and, most importantly extremely intelligent and empathetic. Enjoy.

Ishita Ghai - “It is about taking the best of every person you see”

January 7, 2019

In the twelfth episode of Designing An MBA, we open 2019 with perhaps the most ambitious and tireless student in UC Davis Graduate School of Management, Ishita Ghai, catching her at the perfect moment, just returning from her recent wedding in her home country of India! With a unique mix of deep social consciousness, self-awareness, and drive, she truly embodies the "beginner's mind" goal of these interviews and provides an intimate peek into the questions being tackled by an international MBA student.

Gazi Apa - “Life is going to be easier for them, the next generation”

December 26, 2018

In the eleventh episode of Designing An MBA, we close out 2018 with an interview with new father, Gazi Apa (though the interview was recorded before his healthy child was born!) The lone resident of Turkey in our program, he brings vividly to life the struggles and the rewards of traveling to America for an MBA, and details his incredible journey that spanned four years of trying to become a student a UC Davis. An affable guy with a sneaky sense of humor, I can't wait to talk to Gazi in a year from now as he grows more comfortable in his new home.

JP Mulligan-Hawkins - “I wouldn’t be here if I wasn’t trying to learn and broaden my horizons”

December 15, 2018

In the tenth episode of Designing An MBA, we interview JP Mulligan-Hawkins, a small town kid from Napa Valley returning home. He discusses that and a wide range of other topics, from the part-time internship he landed in his very first week at school, the UC Davis Graduate School of Management marathon three-week orientation, having a classmate for a roommate, preparing for interviews, and much much more.