G.S. Suri, BBA ’16
A native of the Grand Rapids area, G.S. was accepted into some Ivy League schools, but U-M was always the clear choice. “Michigan really provides you with a well-rounded experience no other school can give you,” he says. “As a turban-wearing Sikh American, Michigan is the only university I can think of that has an outward stance as well as a historical track record of being one of the most inclusive universities over the past 100 years. So the choice to come to Michigan was pretty easy for me.”
After exploring a number of options, he decided to major in international studies — and then saw how a dual degree in business would be a perfect fit. “I realized that a lot of problems related to international studies revolve around the money,” he says. “It almost seemed like a natural marriage. I have been able to understand complex geopolitical problems through finance. I have been able to make connections and give insights in internships due to my international studies background and my liberal arts foundation that I think other students in the same environment would never have been able to make.”
Sophomore year, G.S. studied in Peru with Professor John Branch. “It was one of my first experiences where I was able use Spanish in a business and professional environment, and my professor really pushed me beyond what I thought were my limits,” he says. He also gained further experience studying abroad in Costa Rica and Argentina.
Two summer internships provided further unique experiences: at an investment bank in London, and then as an analyst for Citigroup on Wall Street, involved in the restructuring of Puerto Rico’s economy. The London job came about when he cold-emailed a Ross BBA graduate who is CEO of the bank. The unexpected response was, “Thank you for your email; I would love to meet with you.” G.S. recalls, “I’m shocked, because I wasn’t expecting that in a million years. (We had) a conversation about Michigan, learning about his career path after college, and learning about how in 20 years he took a position that people don’t get until 40 years into their career because of the skills he gained at Ross. Within that 15-minute conversation, he gave me a job. That wouldn't happen anywhere other than Michigan. I strongly believe that.”
On campus, G.S. has been active in lots of co-curricular activities, including the Maize & Blue Endowment Fund; Global Investment Club; TAMID Israel Investment Group; and the Ross Leaders Academy, through which he’s helping with an urban gardening project in Detroit. “We’re helping them to create a marketing strategy to increase their demographic base of consumers,” he says. “We helped them build a store. There is a full property now developed and two other properties that they’re developing. And we’re helping them create a sustainable base of financing. That’s an unparalleled opportunity I've gotten through the business school.”
After graduation, G.S. took an unusual path for a business school graduate: the Peace Corps, volunteering in Morocco. He thought it would be an ideal way to broaden and deepen his already impressive experience.
“I looked at the Peace Corps website and they had opportunities in every space. It wasn’t just building houses; it was microfinance and community development, and it was partnering in strategic work with the World Bank in terms of financing small businesses that have the potential to become large-scale enterprises. On top of that, we’re taught by some of the best language teachers in the world.
“The business school prepares you to sing, swim, fly, jump, hike, in any direction and get to the top of the mountain at the end of the day. That’s what I think is so cool about this place, because at med school, they teach you to be a doctor; at law school, they teach you to be a lawyer; at social work school, they teach you to be a social worker. At Michigan Ross, they teach you to be whatever you want to be in the world. I don’t think there are a lot of institutions with that culture.”