Student Spotlight: Suraj Mehra Justin Short

Suraj Mehra is originally from Chandrapur, a small town in India, where he grew up before leaving to pursue his undergraduate education. While working toward a degree in electronics engineering at the Nagpur University in India, he received numerous accolades for being a meritorious student. Apart from earning academic success, he was involved in several extra-curricular activities that helped him hone his leadership skills. For example, he was unanimously elected to be secretary of the Student Representative Council during his junior year. He also served as a secretary of his electronics class during his sophomore year. Throughout this time, he worked part-time as a supply chain analyst at Rajdhani Footwear Wholesale Distributors, where he gained valuable business experience and an interest in the field of supply chain management. He was awarded a gold medal when he graduated in 2005 for consistently ranking in the top one percent among 2,000 students.

Upon graduation, Mehra began his professional career as a software engineer at L&T Infotech, a reputed Indian software company. For two years, he was a software consultant to Travelers Insurance Company. He soon decided to pursue a graduate degree that would benefit his professional development and allow him to gain international exposure. After extensive research, he chose the University of Tennessee to pursue his master of computer engineering degree. During his time in the program, he worked as a graduate assistant in the technical services group. However, he also had an opportunity to make friends with many members of the College of Business Administration’s full-time MBA class.

“By interacting with the MBA students and observing the development of their managerial and leadership skills, I became highly impressed with the MBA program at UT,” said Mehra. “My business background coupled with the UT MBA program’s reputation influenced my decision to pursue my MBA at UT.”

He continued: “My personal goal from the UT MBA program is to equip myself professionally and gain a competitive edge in business fields. The highly structured UT MBA course curriculum presented me with an opportunity to gain hands-on experience in management by participating in academic groups that teach management skills.”

Mehra’s dedication to the program, coupled with his admirable 4.0 grade point average, earned him a supply chain internship at Motorola Inc. in Chicago, Illinois, during the program’s summer term. 

Motorola was so impressed with Mehra during his three-month internship that the company offered him a full-time position, which he will begin after his December 2010 graduation.

“I definitely feel that being a part of the UT MBA program played a substantial role in polishing my managerial skills and abilities, and it helped me attain a full-time position in a Fortune-100 company,” said Mehra.

According to Amy Cathey, executive director of UT’s full-time MBA program, the respect is mutual. “Suraj is a wonderful addition to the MBA Class of 2010,” said Cathey. “His energy and enthusiasm are contagious, and we wish him much success in his career.”

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