CDS Fellows Spotlight: Manasa Buddharaju T’24

June 10th, 2024


Visakhapatnam, India

What did you do prior to Tuck?

I worked as a Data Scientist at PayPal for two years, and before that worked as a Product Analyst at Ola.

What made you want to be part of the CDS fellows program?

The community. Being a part of the tech community, both broadly and as part of the selective CDS Fellows program, helped me stay on top of the advancements in the industry, follow trends and have a space where opinions could be shared and there was a lot to be learnt from each other. My cohort of CDS Fellows has become more than just colleagues in the center and have turned into some of my favorite people at Tuck.

What other activities were you involved in at Tuck?

I’ve enjoyed being a part of the Technology Club, Mental Health & Wellness Initiative, South Asia Business Association, and Book Club.

What has been the biggest growth moment at Tuck, where you stepped out of your comfort zone? What did you learn from that experience?

My summer internship at Headlamp. Working in an unstructured role in a super early stage startup and under reserved resources was new to me. The industry and vertical – and more importantly, the ecosystem – was all new to me and was extremely uncomfortable at the beginning when I was still adjusting, but as I started reflecting on my learnings from classes before and after the internship, it began to all make sense.

What CDS learning opportunities or experiences have you learned the most from your time at Tuck?

The Digital Drops Ins and the Fireside Chats with guest speakers!

What class at Tuck pushed your thinking the most?

Ecosystem Strategy with Professor Ron Adner.

What books are you reading, podcasts are you listening to, or shows are you watching?

Following up on my recent trip to Iceland, I’m reading a book called ‘Touch’ by Olaf Olafsson. ‘Acquired’ will forever be my favorite podcast but right now I’m listening to a podcast (suggested by another CDS fellow) on ‘science behind the right playlists in restaurants’ – which was interestingly, something my fellow’s research project touched upon!

What advice do you have for Tuck students interested in tech- and digitally-focused career pathways?

Don’t hesitate to ask for help – from centers, from other students, from alumni. The opportunities these conversations open for you are limitless. Don’t judge your strengths and skills against people around you. The diversity of experiences are perceived differently for different positions and roles in the industry so find how you can maximize your value.


Trending Digital Business Topics