School News

Three Michigan Ross MBAs Awarded Spots on ‘Best & Brightest’ List for 2021

By Alexa Tran

Neha Tadichetty, MBA ’21;  Clinton Bourbonais, MBA, ’21; and Jonathan Rodriguez, MBA ’21, were named to Poets&Quants’ Best & Brightest MBAs from the Class of 2021, which celebrates MBAs who are “the embodiments of excellence and the voices of their schools.”

The Ross School of Business was only one of a handful of schools with three students named to this year’s list, which is in its seventh year. This is the second year three Michigan Ross students were featured on the annual list.

To compile this year’s Best & Brightest list, Poets&Quants sent invitations to 73 MBA programs globally to seek nominations, and evaluated the nominees in three categories — extracurricular involvement, personal excellence, and the insightfulness of the responses. 

According to P&Q, the Best & Brightest are described as those who “in the midst of the uncertainty, seized the day and persevered.”

The Michigan Ross students featured on this list have certainly persevered through the challenges that they were faced with throughout the course of their academic careers. They embody the spirit of “leaders and the best.” 

Neha Tadichetty

Prior to coming to Michigan Ross, Tadichetty -— who has a bachelor’s of technology degree in engineering physics — was a product growth manager for the Indian market at Facebook.

One reason Tadichetty decided to attend Ross was her engagement with the school in India. She told P&Q, “I found the team activity that Ross conducted in India really helpful, as it gave an additional touch point with the school as well as an insight into the much talked about team culture which promoted collective ambition.” 

In addition, Tadichetty found the approachability of Michigan Ross alumni attractive. She shared that Ross alumni were eager to help her throughout the entire application process, explaining that “these strangers whom she barely knew were rooting for her success” and that she felt like she “had found a home away from home.”

During her time in business school, Tadichetty was able to grow both personally and professionally. 

I am most proud of the fact that over the course of my last two years at Ross, I have transitioned from someone who was absolutely risk-averse and stuck to her comfort zone to someone who is confident enough to step up and take on bigger responsibilities

Neha Tadichetty, MBA ’21

Attending Ross also allowed her to take the leap and pursued her interest in entrepreneurship. 

“The plethora of opportunities available at Ross, the action-based learning that is ingrained in our curriculum, and the extremely inspiring stories of my classmates gave me the push that I very much needed to do something I always wanted to do: being an entrepreneur,” she said.

Tadichetty’s impact at Michigan Ross has not gone unnoticed.

“Neha represents the best and brightest of Ross MBA students that I have had the pleasure to teach over my considerable time here. She combines intellectual curiosity, high energy, leadership skills, and compassion for others,” said Puneet Manchanda, professor of marketing.  “A major driver of Neha’s actions is her drive to make this world a better place for others. Keenly sensitive, she is adept at finding ‘gaps,’ both professional and personal, and coming up with solutions to help others.” 

After graduation, she will be working at Boston Consulting Group in Austin, Texas.

Read more about Neha Tadichetty

Clinton Bourbonais

Bourbonais was a neuroscientist developing therapeutics for ALS before he started his MBA at Michigan Ross. During business school, he was able to combine his interest in healthcare and venture capital through the many opportunities available to students.

In fact, Bourbonais said the school’s commitment to action-based learning and entrepreneurial offerings in the biotech space were major factors in his decision to attend Ross.  

“When deciding between business schools, the possibility to get hands-on experience in the biotechnology startup and entrepreneurial ecosystem in Ann Arbor was a strong selling point for Ross,” he told P&Q. “There is a budding biotech ecosystem in Ann Arbor and having access to the innovative technologies spinning out of the Office of Tech Transfer has been an amazing experience. Moreover, the student led venture fund, Zell Lurie Commercialization Fund, has given me relevant experience in the venture capital sector.”

He shared that what surprised him most about business school was the personal impact and individual growth that happens in such a short amount of time.

I came to business school hoping to grow and learn as much as possible. What happened was so much more. My perspective on the world has been completely altered. My ability to understand ambiguous and complex problems, digest those problems, and formulate solutions is a direct result of my Ross experience.

Clinton Bourbonais, MBA ’21

Bourbonais' ability as a problem-solver and leader stood out to Mike Johnson, entrepreneur-in-residence and lecturer at Michigan Ross, who told P&Q:

“I’ve seen him work to solve all kinds of problems — from logistical challenges as a GSI to improving diagnostics for Alzheimer’s disease in my healthcare course. He is a person of deep intellectual curiosity — constantly learning and asking questions. He is a person who motivates others and helps bring a team together. He’s going to make a big difference in healthcare.” 

After graduation, Bourbonais will be working at Sanofi Ventures.

Read more about Clinton Bourbonais

Jonathan Rodriguez

Before attending Michigan Ross, Rodriguez was a senior specialist at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. As an undergrad, Rodriguez majored in theology and said it was his curiosity and thirst for knowledge that eventually led him to Ross, which he chose for the culture and diversity of the Ross community.

“Ross culture is committed to diversity, equity, and inclusion. Ross consistently boasts one of the largest Consortium classes and DEI is championed throughout student organizations,” he told P&Q.

The Ross culture is extremely collaborative and welcoming. Perhaps because students move from all over the world to idyllic Ann Arbor, Rossers are always looking to make new and lasting friendships and extend a helping hand however possible.

Jonathan Rodriguez, MBA ’21

In addition, Rodriguez said that the school’s strong culture of interdisciplinary learning and ability to pursue a dual degree with one of the many top graduate programs at the University of Michigan were extremely appealing. While obtaining his MBA, Rodriguez earned a dual degree at the Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy. 

Rodriquez said that his proudest moment during business school was the work that he and his team members have done in the International Investment Fund, which is a fund that invests and supports small- and medium-sized enterprises in emerging markets.

“IIF has grown from a couple of students to a fully-fledged fund with 30 members. We’ve partnered with local entrepreneurs in India to conduct more than ten investment screenings, four deep-dive due diligence projects, and seven capacity building projects in an effort to support small and medium-sized businesses, the backbone of emerging economies,” he said. 

A myth that Rodriguez would like to dispel is that moving to the “college town” of Ann Arbor will disconnect students from opportunities in large cities.

“The Michigan Ross brand consistently attracts the world’s best employers across a host of industries and students take jobs all over the globe (Go Blue, Go Anywhere!),” he said

After graduation, Rodriguez will be working at Boston Consulting Group in Seattle. 

Read more about Jonathan Rodriguez

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Puneet Manchanda
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