Ananth Sai Reddy Eragam

Nationality: Indian
Age: 30
Job: Founder and portfolio manager of an equity portfolio management firm
Previous degree: Bachelor in civil engineering from Manipal University, India

1. Why did you choose RSM for your MBA?

“I felt like I was hitting a ceiling in terms of how far my knowledge and skills could take me. When I ran my company, I was learning from my own experiences and failures. I wanted to break through my barrier and learn from smarter minds. At RSM, I get this from the experience and knowledge of the professors, my colleagues, and the extensive and helpful alumni network. I also chose RSM specifically because of the school's sustainability credentials. RSM’s mission to foster business leaders to become a force for positive change aligns closely with my goals.”

2. How would you describe your RSM MBA experience so far?

“It’s been challenging to work in a virtual setting because of Covid-19. But there are upsides too. I have been able to reach out to alumni, industry professionals, and professors more easily because they have the time available. I’ve also been able to participate in several international competitions that would not have been possible without the virtual format. And, I believe that our cohort has a special bond because we are navigating these difficult times together. We will come out stronger as a result of this unique shared experience.”

3. How do you feel about living in Rotterdam?

“I love the vibe of the city! Rotterdam has everything a big city should have, but it’s relatively small compared to the megacities of India I am used to and very livable. The Dutch lifestyle of biking everywhere is another pleasure of living here; you can get to places faster by bike than you can by the tram or the metro. With things coming to life after the pandemic, it’s great to experience the city’s culture, diversity and funky architecture.”

4. What has been the most challenging part of the MBA?

“The soft skills aspect of the RSM MBA has been the most challenging for me. Working in teams with people from diverse professional and educational backgrounds, different approaches to work, and varied mannerisms has been a tough but enriching experience. Learning how to work efficiently in these multicultural teams is more challenging than the course content itself. As for the hard skills, the course ‘Economic environment of business’ was probably the most challenging one. We had to focus on a real-world problem: the macro-economic issues of Italy and India. It took a lot of effort to put it all together, which was a great learning experience with a steep learning curve.”

5. In what way has the Personal Leadership Development programme (PLD) affected you?

“This has, to my surprise, been the most enriching course. I was sceptical at first, but PLD is turning out to be the most valuable take-away from the programme. It is uncomfortable, because it involves a lot of self-reflection to discover who you truly are and what it takes to get you where you want to be. The learnings from this course will stick with me long after my MBA.”

6. If you had to choose one Sustainable Development Goal, which one would you choose?

“I believe that it is absolutely imperative, after Covid-19, that we build back better in a more inclusive, sustainable manner. To that end, SDG 8 (Promoting decent work and economic growth) resonates most deeply with me. One in five countries have declining or stagnant per capita incomes and in a post-pandemic world, we are going to see even more poverty and inequality. We must address this urgently. It is my goal, through the MBA, to help tackle these issues and through my work, promote economic growth in a sustainable way.”

7. Has your MBA journey changed your outlook on what your career will be like after doing an MBA?

“The RSM MBA has placed me in close proximity to like-minded people who are passionate about promoting sustainability in business. It gives me hope that future leaders are on the right track towards building a better, more equitable future for the next generations. I am now very optimistic that this is not just a pipe dream but with the effort and will, can be made a reality. Being exposed to these individuals has been enriching.”

8. What advice could you give to people who are considering doing an MBA?

“Think about why you want to do an MBA. Be honest with yourself and give yourself time to go through that process properly. The MBA can be a ticket to getting a job, but it can also be much more – a year of personal  and professional growth. If you decide to go for it, show up with the right attitude and an open mind. Absorb new learnings and experiences, get out of your comfort zone, and enjoy the process! Also, before making your decision, don’t be afraid to reach out to current students and past MBA graduates, and get their perspectives. Reach out, get their perspectives and equate them with your own goals to understand if you’re going in the right direction.”