Surresh Rao

T-Mobile Inc., Senior Manager, App. Support, Digital Transformation and Development

Tell us a little bit about yourself and your professional background.

I am highly invested in the success of the teams I lead and in my organization as a whole. Recently, I have been working to lead initiatives and influence leadership teams in building strategy and developing execution roadmaps.

What made you decide to choose the Harvard Business Analytics Program? How do you feel this program is different from other, similar programs?

I wanted a program that would provide me with both the technical acumen and leadership and strategic mindset to lead large digital transformation initiatives. Harvard, by offering a joint program from the Schools of Engineering and Business, provided the right combination. Most other analytics programs were focused primarily on the data science and technical rigor of analytics with little to no concentration on the business strategy and leadership aspects.

How has what you’ve learned in the program impacted the work you are currently doing?

As with most, my current organization has embarked upon a digital transformation journey over the last couple of years. What I have learned in the program has been directly applicable in understanding the broader strategy of the organization and building the skills and ability to respond quickly to the customer in a highly competitive market.

What has been your greatest takeaway from the program?

The excellent and wide range of Harvard case studies covered in the program have been extremely helpful in understanding the risks any organization would face when adapting to changing market needs.

What has been your experience collaborating with classmates in an online environment?

The collaborative experience has been highly rewarding in getting to know a diverse group of individuals who bring rich experience in their fields and their industries. I couldn’t be more thankful to Harvard for such an experience.

What was the most valuable thing you took away from the immersion? Is there a moment, activity or connection you made that stands out to you?

The initial connections that we had made with each other over the first term were significant.

Although all of us were a bit removed from our undergrad days, during the immersion it truly felt as though we were all transported back there, staying up till 4 AM and sharing our rich experiences with each other.

What was it like meeting and connecting with your classmates in person? Did you make any professional connections?

Every member of the group is now a professional connection that I can reach out to. It was also great to make personal connections during the immersion; they will truly carry on well beyond the program.