Friday, October 18, 2013

STUDENT FEATURE: Ruchi Vedawala, MBA '14

Ruchi Vedawala

Supply Chain Management
SCSI Co-President

Ruchi is a second year supply chain management student in the full-time MBA program at RBS.  Ruchi is a self-proclaimed “super cool” girl, but don’t let her lighthearted spirit fool you: she is a fierce competitor on the fast track to the C-Suite.  

What’s your deal? Where were you before you came to RBS? Why are you here now?
My deal is that I wasn’t getting to where I wanted to be as fast as I wanted to get there. I worked at UPS for 2 years before coming to RBS and at first, I was so thrilled that I even got a job, that I didn’t wanna let it go. Six months into the job, I was promoted, and thought, “Awesome, at this rate, I’ll be climbing higher up that corporate ladder in no time.” Not the case. As my time went on at UPS, I realized that I wasn’t going to get the opportunity to move up again for a while. Don’t get me wrong, I loved my time there and was challenged in the work I did, but I knew that I needed to make myself a more competitive candidate I needed to get my MBA.

Where do you see yourself in 15 years? Why?
To be honest, if you asked me this question in the Fall of 2012, I would have never told you that I saw myself in a C-Suite position. To me, it seemed impossible. Much like how most of us want to be celebrities, but that’s likely not gonna happen. Ask me today and I’ll tell you I absolutely see myself there one day. That or running my own company. Joining Rutgers was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made in my life. Being here has given me confidence to know that I actually do have to potential and ability to be in the C-Suite. I don’t have the breadth of experience to be there now, but the exposure I have received at RBS has definitely put me on the path.

What is your favorite thing about being an RBS student?
It makes me feel elite. When people ask me what I do, I really am proud to say that I’m getting my MBA from RBS. Laugh all you will at my cheesiness, but think about all the other interns you worked with this past summer (or will work with this coming summer). What schools did they go to? NYU? Colombia? Duke? The interns at my company did and I was right there next to them at a fraction of the cost.   

How did you land your summer internship? How was it?
Mars interns take over Six Flags
Through the 2012 NSHMBA conference and it was an amazing experience. I went up to the Mars booth in October 2012 and had a fairly decent conversation with a recruiter. Like most of the other companies there, they told me to submit my application online, so I did. I was hoping something would come out of it, but when I didn’t hear anything from them a few weeks after the conference, I just figured I wasn’t going to get an interview. To my surprise, I got a call three months later, right around New Years, asking if I was still interested. Naturally, I was and a couple months after that, I had the offer. The ten weeks I spent at Mars were extremely rigorous and demanding, but I loved every minute of it. I made several lasting relationships, was pushed harder than I had ever been before, and was given unparalleled support and responsibility. I had any resource I needed at my disposal and was given guidance when necessary. That being said, one of the things I loved most about my time there was that I was never given the answer directly. What I mean by that is, even though I was a fairly inexperienced intern, I was never treated that way. I was in complete control of my project, was responsible for coming up with solutions for any barriers I came across, and was responsible for delivering results. At the time, it was very stressful, but looking back now, I’m grateful I was held accountable the way I was because it definitely made me a more strategic thinker, which will help me handle more challenging projects in the future.

What would you do differently if you could repeat your first semester all over again?
Calm down and know that if I don’t lose my drive and determination I will get there. Make some time to have more fun and stop being so stressed out. As soon as we hit orientation week, we were all told how important it is to land a summer internship. The floodgates opened the first week of class and I felt like I was drowning. Naturally, that made me panic because I had no idea what to do. Of course everything is important and I have to make sure I get it all done. Looking back now, I realize that freaking out about all the stuff I had to do was hindering my ability to do anything as well as I could have. As the semester went on, I realized that things aren’t crazy as they seem and that everything will pay off tenfold at the end of my MBA.

What is/was your favorite class?
Strategic Management with Aviad Pe’er. In most classes, participating in discussion is important, but sometimes the comments made tend to be somewhat irrelevant. Pe’er constantly challenged the contributions we made and was quick to tell us when we were wrong and why. This class truly taught me how to think more strategically when reading cases and applying frameworks. Definitely recommend everyone take the class with Pe’er.   

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