Vijay Raghunathan

I’ve been waiting for you! Take a seat.

I see people. Amazing people (like you), who sometimes fail to recognize their own exceptional qualities! And I want to help you show the world how amazing you are.

Let’s cut to the chase. You went to Stanford. Why MBA coaching? Are you any good at it?

Believe it or not, I’m not good at most things. I am average at 90% of the things that I’ve done in my life. I was average at school, average at playing music, average at ping pong, average in debates, average in theatre, and definitely below average in stocking up the fridge. For the longest time, I felt Starbucks-espresso average! Until one day I realized I had the wrong metrics.

So where do I excel? Relationships. Through many life adventures, I have made a gazillion friends who are still my friends. Why? B’cos I invest in them. In turn, these friends have contributed to my personal happiness and professional success across various stages of my life.

The one thing I know for sure is that I owe everything great in my life to building and sustaining meaningful relationships. Being a better-than-average coach means genuinely caring about others, and that I have in spades.

Alright, serial relationship-builder.
How is that going to help me get into my dream business school?

  • Bottom line: You need a coach who connects with you and takes the time to get to know the real you.
  • Every successful MBA essay I’ve ever seen contains a story that touches on relationships, which I happen to know a thing or two about.
  • And every interview that you do is a micro-relationship-building exercise. You want the interviewer to remember you as the person who connected with them and their alma mater (or company) over something memorable. I can teach you how it's done!
  • Most importantly, you can rest assured that I am going to care as much about your success as you will! That’s what friendship means.

You sound like a serious person. Do you even have a fun side, Vi-Che?

I once took a six-month sabbatical and traveled solo in Latin America. (Think The Motorcycle Diaries, without the motorcycle.) I volunteered at a coffee farm in Guatemala, conducted a language exchange with a musician in Cuba, glacier-walked in Patagonia, cooked with classmates in Chile, and bartended in Argentina. I slept in 42 beds in 7 countries, learned Spanish, and made valuable connections for life. I would trade my left thumb for another experience like that.

Also, I was the assistant stage manager at Theater Rhino, the longest-running LGBTQ theater in San Francisco. I love the stage, love to build cool things with cool people, and love to laugh. Work with me, and you’ll see.

What’s it like to work with you?

I’m that guy you want to call at 3 a.m. for tacos and some advice. If there’s one word my friends and family would use to describe me, it’s dependable. I’m here to help you, and whatever it takes, I get the job done. Another of my superpowers is that I can turn on my calm mode when the world comes crumbling down. Inevitably in the business school application process, panic creeps in. And that’s when you’ll be glad you chose to work with me! I’ll be there to relieve some of the pressure and help you cross that bridge.

What do you do in your free time?

What free time? LOL. I founded a social impact start-up in Latin America two years ago that helps nonprofits adopt technology and data to further their cause. Nothing frustrates me more than inequity in any form. I want to fix it. And I’m playing my part by investing in the social sector and working in collaboration with the public and private sectors. My startup finds amazing social entrepreneurs and digitally upskills them to boost their funding and maximize their impact. Read more right here.

Nobody except me cares about these 7 fun facts (a.k.a. 7 meaningless fun facts about me)

  • I once got a ride on a tow truck en route to a first date, as I was running very late.
  • I watched The Godfather 25 times and Breaking Bad 4 times (empirebuilder alert).
  • I got turned down for a picture request with Roger Federer’s dad.
  • I once spent 20 minutes looking for unsalted roasted pecan halves for a homeless person. We found ‘em, and he was overjoyed. I suspect this kind of thing only happens in San Francisco.    
  • I own the domain space Whatashittyidea.com. If you have shitty ideas, send them to me, and maybe I will post them.
  • I am a southpaw-phile – a person who is fond of and greatly admires left-handed people.
  • I watched a guy break into my car and steal my computer at 4 a.m. but was too lazy to act and I also figured he probably needed it more than I did. 😉

Show me your credentials!

Ah right, of course! I will do this Tarantino-style in chapters reversed.

Chapter 2

  • Stanford GSB, MSx (Master of Science in Management): One year program. Stanford gave me more awesome international friends, and it also made me friends with self-awareness – another card up my sleeve. And of course, those business skills weren’t too bad to learn, either. 😉
  • Propel, COO & Co-Founder: If you think you know what you’re going to do post-MBA before you apply, I can’t wait to tell you MY story. Ha! I blame the changes completely on Stanford.
  • Board Member at Project Redwood: A Stanford alumni-run nonprofit that empowers social entrepreneurs to alleviate global poverty.
  • Breakthrough Energy Ventures: I dipped my beak into the investing world through the #1 fund for Climate Tech. Claim to fame: Worked on two successful Series A investments.

Chapter 1

  • Texas A&M University, Master of Science in Chemical Engineering: How many Aggies does it take to change a light bulb? 1 to do it, 1 to yell about it, and 3 more to make it a tradition. If you know, you know.
  • Det Norske Veritas: 14 years of Risk Management Consulting experience. I worked with some of the hardest clients from Texas to Saudi Arabia via Norway. I made sure the Oil and Gas companies behaved. It was my job to make sure they didn’t make a mess with gas leaks, spills, fires, or explosions. I cared about our climate and environment even before it became the cool topic it is today (should I say “hot topic”?).
  • Mentored Texas A&M graduates on career progression for five years. Serving as the Steering Committee member for my alumni center, I was able to guide students toward jobs that suited their strengths.

I want to work with you, but all of this sounds too good to be true...

Well, there’s only one way to find out! Press aqui to schedule a call with me, and we can exchange stories!

If I were a kitchen utensil, I’d be…

A lemon squeezer. You need me at every good party!

Top StrengthsFinder® Strengths:

  1. Developer
  2. Positivity
  3. Empathy
  4. Consistency
  5. Adaptability

In case you’re not familiar, here’s the MO of people with my top Strength, Developer:

People with Developer talents enjoy the journey of reaching their goals because they see how their strengths flourish along the way, while others focus on results. When meeting people, they’re almost always thinking “How can I help this person realize his/her strengths?” The Developer wants them to experience success and will challenge them to help them grow. It can be easy to overlook small improvements but the Developer sees it as a glimpse of excellence, affirms and celebrates it. This makes the people around them empowered to better themselves.

In other words, get ready to grow to the max if we work together!

Myers-Briggs Type

INFP. I can’t tell a dark story without a happy ending!

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