Our Stories

Learning to Tackle New Challenges

Banker moves back to U.S. and into consulting

Vinod Ramakrishnan
Manager, EY

Vanderbilt MBA 2015

From his home in Chennai, India, Vinod Ramakrishnan came to Bloomington, Indiana, for his degree in Finance, then began a banking career in Dubai. “It was a phenomenal job right out of undergrad,” he says. “I worked with managers to cover corporate and institutional clients from Israel to Azerbaijan and from Oman to South Africa.”

It got even better: Vinod jumped to Goldman Sachs in India, where was among the first employees in the firm’s Anti-Money Laundering team and worked with clients around the world.

But, as he shifted from place to place, Vinod’s ambitions shifted as well. He reckoned that earning an MBA in the U.S. would make it easier to switch careers, if he chose, and he chose Vanderbilt for its “sterling reputation among business schools, good job placements, down-to-earth Southern charm, excellent location and faculty accessibility.”

Every time he attended a company presentation or info session at Vanderbilt, Vinod says, it seemed that his career goals changed. “I came to realize,” he says, “that I wanted a functional role that would allow me to leverage my MBA on a daily basis, yet enable me to stay flexible across any industry I chose.” After much consultation with Owen’s CMC team, which “gave me an understanding of what paths would be good for me,” Vinod focused on consulting.

For the self-reliant Vinod, a classical singer who has performed everywhere from churches and temples to the Indian Consulate in Kuwait, one of the most important lessons he learned was to rely on others. “Through Owen, I learned that asking for help is never a bad thing, and that I am able to tackle challenges even if I fear failure,” he says. “Owen has provided me with the skill set that allowed me to back myself every single time.”