Meet The NYU Stern EMBA Class Of 2021

Ramesh Vaddi

NYU Stern Executive MBA Program

Location: New York

Describe yourself in 15 words or less: Business leader who challenges convention, continuously learns, and aspires to make a positive community impact

Hometown: Boston, MA

Fun Fact About Yourself: I am known for my Halloween “avatars” over the years, the last one being the “Accounting Nerd” after joining the EMBA program. 

Undergraduate School and Major: OEC, Utkal University, Bachelor’s in computer science engineering

Current Employer and Job Title: Cognizant, Director/Business Partner, North America

Describe your biggest accomplishment in your career so far: In 2017, I won the “Customer Service Excellence Award” at the North America Global Annual Planning Summit.  This was awarded to me for developing innovative solutions to improve visibility into the supply chain systems that resulted in a significant reduction of downtime for one of my leading retail clients. However, to me, the true accomplishment was when my client’s Senior Director of Supply Chain Systems singled me out and recognized me for all my contributions in the “2018 Transformation Summit in NY.” This summit was attended by the C-Suite team of all our clients across the industries.

Aside from your classmates and location, what was the key part of the MBA programming that led you to choose this business school – and why was it so important to you? NYU Stern was the first business school to launch the FinTech specialization in its traditional two-year and part-time MBA programs. That caught my attention right away as I was in the process of making my decision. As an EMBA student, I have the opportunity to access elective courses in Fintech both in the EMBA curriculum and the Langone Part-time MBA program. This coursework provides a unique platform to hone technology skills while really strengthening the finance foundation, which is especially applicable to me with my interest areas in Information Technology, Product Development & Management, and Social Entrepreneurship.

What led you to pursue an MBA at this point in your career? I was at the “inflection point” in my career, where I had to bring in a formal and structured approach to improve my general management skills while focusing on a specialization that aligned with my long-term career objectives. Based on innovative solutions and making an impact in the corporate world for my customers, I wanted to do something big that would make a positive impact to the everyday lives in the community.

What has been your biggest difficulty in incorporating MBA studies into your professional and personal responsibilities? In my role as a business partner, I travel a lot (three-to-four days every week across North America) for business development and client meetings.   follow a very strict calendar-based schedule for my school, professional and personal commitments, with clearly marked study hours during weekdays and weekends. I also make it a point to spend quality time with my wife and boys on Sundays, which rewinds and charges me up for the coming week.

What do you enjoy most about business school so far?  My cohort and the professors. The learning experience from the professors has been top-notch.  My favorite class is “Professional Responsibility” with Professor Bruce Buchanan, especially the one where he had invited a guest speaker who is a former CEO of a leading healthcare services company in North America.

In my cohort, we have folks from 19 different countries. The bonding we have built within the first few months is just phenomenal. There is so much learning from the diverse backgrounds that each one of us comes from, and we also have respect and are culturally aligned… and yes, we do have lots of fun together (Golf outing, Halloween party, holiday brunch).

What percentage of your program cost is being paid by your employer? I have only time sponsorship from my employer. I am taking care of the program cost by myself with a very well-established process and wonderful financial aid support from NYU Stern.

What is the top item on your career bucket list? The long-term plan would be to start a company, a social enterprise that will not only generate revenues but will solve real-world problems.

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