Vanderbilt MBA 2010
Director, Site Optimization at Shutterfly
Manan Singh loves bungee jumping, paragliding and parasailing. "There's no match for the adrenaline rush you get," he says. Maybe his appreciation for nontraditional sports, like his attraction to diversity, stems from his upbringing in New Delhi, which, he says, "taught me that to connect with people you don't necessarily have to be similar. All you need is to be open-minded and genuinely interested."
At Hewitt Associates, where he was a systems analyst, Manan led a number of diverse teams. Most recently, he managed five analysts, split between India and Atlanta, to ensure work continuity and 24-hour access for clients such as Coca-Cola, Wachovia and The Home Depot.
As Hewitt's Indian business mushroomed from 20 employees to 1,500, Manan realized that he needed to expand his business knowledge to make more informed decisions and lead bigger teams. He chose Vanderbilt in part for its unusual diversity.
Within three months of arriving, he was consulting with an energy company in Nashville, making recommendations directly to the CEO, and conducting research with Professor Larry LeBlanc on the future role of IT in operations management. This knowledge helped him land an internship in the Silicon Valley with his dream company, gaming giant Electronic Arts. "I was expecting a great experience," he says. "But I didn't expect it to be this great!"