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Originally from India, the educational experiences Venkat Raman had before coming to Chicago Booth were more traditional. Very early on at Booth, he realized that he would have the flexibility to gain hands-on experience both in and out of the classroom. This freedom to explore allowed him to be curious, teaching him how to use data and develop a strong analytical framework to mitigate risk while solving complex business problems.

Leadership at Booth

When I think about the type of leader I want to be, I know I want to run the course with the people around me, include myself as part of the community, and make decisions that are collaborative rather than unilateral. That’s why I was so attracted to leadership positions at Booth. I’m on the Graduate Business Council and I’m a co-chair of the Management Consulting Group. Both these roles involve decision-making that directly affects all members, and you can’t make those decisions unilaterally. You need to think about what’s working best for them, take the collaborative feedback around you, and then employ it in the best way possible. I feel like the leadership I’ve practiced really resonates with me in terms of the type of leader I want to be even once I leave Booth.

Favorite Class

My favorite class was Platform Competition with Austan Goolsbee. The class deals with the strategy and economics of platform industries; industries that connect buyers and sellers with the platform in the middle.This was my favorite class because of how relevant it is in today’s world. With things like the app store, social networks, and market places all rising in prominence, the platform industry is something that’s very important in today’s decision-making. CEOs are constantly thinking what are the economics behind it, and what non-economic factors should influence all the decisions around it. I also loved this class because of Professor Goolsbee’s teaching style. He was previously the chairman of President Obama’s Councilor of Economic Advisors, and a stand-up comedian. He was hilarious, and watching the convergence of those two unique backgrounds in the classroom was amazing.

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