2017 Best & Brightest: Angad Singh Padda, U.C. Berkeley (Haas)

Angad Singh Padda

U.C. Berkeley – Haas School of Business

“An ambitious 23-year old who acts like a 5-year old, and has 56 different colored turbans.”

Fun fact about yourself: I’m a self-taught single digit handicap golfer who once played 5 consecutive rounds of 18 holes straight from 4.00 a.m. to 8.00 pm!

Hometown: Chandigarh, Punjab

High School: SSIS – Chandigarh

Major: Business Administration

Favorite Business Courses: Organizational Behavior and Leadership, Business Ethics, Macroeconomic Analysis in Business Decisions, Introduction to Financial Accounting.

Extracurricular Activities, Community Work and Leadership Roles During College:

      • Jack Kent Cooke National Undergraduate Scholar – $120,000 Award
      • Beta Gamma Sigma Honors – Top 10% of the Haas Class of 2017
      • All-America National Impromptu Speaking Runner-Up
      • Statewide Executive Director of Membership – California Phi Beta Lambda
      • Vice-President of Professional Development – Undergraduate Finance Association
      • UC Berkeley Leadership Award Recipient
      • Haas Undergraduate Course Instructor – The Art of Storytelling and Public Speaking
      • Haas Undergraduate Course Instructor – Communicating with Confidence and Charisma
      • Haas Undergraduate Course Instructor – Introduction to Leveraged Buyouts
      • Golden Key Honor Society – Top 15% of entire U.C Berkeley Class of 2017
      • 1st Place – CAPBL Mergers & Acquisitions Case Study
      • 1st Place – CAPBL Financial Services Case Study
      • 1st Place – CAPBL Business Management Case Study

Where have you interned during your college career?: Recently, I interned as an Investment Banking Summer Analyst at J.P. Morgan in San Francisco. Prior to that, I interned as an Energy/Real Estate Corporate Finance Intern at OSD Coke Pvt. Ltd. in Mumbai, and as a Golf Instructor at The First Tee of America in Concord.

Describe your dream Job: My dream job is to be the founder and dean of a prestigious university in Punjab (India) that is focused towards eliminating the socio-economic disparity in rural villages by providing free educational opportunities to underprivileged youth. Seventy percent of young adults in my home state are battling drug addiction and I aim to go back one day and persevere until I can make a difference in their lives.

What is the biggest lesson you gained from studying business? Two days before my investment banking internship ended, I worked 24 hours straight on a project even though I wasn’t instructed to do so. I pushed myself hard because I wanted to help my senior associate/mentor who had been working long hours over several days. I learned a significant lesson that night with three Red Bulls in my body – business requires grit. You’ve got to love what you do, always have your team’s back, and put in the sweat and hours with a genuine everlasting smile on your face.

Where would you like to work after graduation?  I’m fortunate to have the opportunity to work as an investment banking analyst at J.P. Morgan on the healthcare team once I graduate. Helping biotech and pharma companies with M&A, and raising capital to produce life-changing medications and devices is something I would love to do.

What are your long-term professional goals? Working in finance, strategy, and business development positions to build a robust network and an expertise in various business functions/roles. The end goal has always been and will always be to return to Punjab and dedicate myself 24/7 toward non-profit education and healthcare endeavors.

“I knew I wanted to major in business when…during a round of golf, the chief editor of a national Indian newspaper told me – “Kid you belong in a boardroom and not a hospital” (I was planning to be a cardiologist during high school).”

“If I didn’t major in business, I would be…a professional golfer on the PGA Tour. I always dreamt of being a turbaned version of Tiger Woods or Rory McIlroy!”

“Before I entered business school, I wish I had known…that even simple, grounded, and nice people can do well in business school. I always thought that one would have to be an aggressive shark, but the truth is that one can do well by being “real” and helping others whenever they are in need. If I had known that earlier, I would have been confident from day one instead of feeling like an underdog.”

What was the happiest moment of your life? When I was on the phone with my mother and father and, I opened the Berkeley Haas admissions email and read it out loud. It was a moment filled with tears and joy because it wasn’t only my success– it was success for my entire family. My parents and sisters always supported me, even when I made the seemingly ludicrous decision to pursue business school over medical school. It was a big moment because I had done justice to the faith and perpetual support of my family.

Which academic, extracurricular or personal achievement are you most proud of? Winning second place in the National All-America Impromptu Speaking Competition was a watershed moment for me. I come across as a foreigner because of my appearance, and my accent. English is not my first language, and doing well in that competition was a huge confidence booster. I realized that one can be a strong and effective orator regardless of appearance, nationality or speaking style.

What animal would you choose to represent your professional brand? A lion, not just because of my beard, but because my middle name “Singh” actually means Lion! Plus, lions are fiercely loyal and supportive of each other – traits I strongly admire.

Who would you most want to thank for your success? My mother. I’ve never seen a more selfless and hardworking person in my life. She would be up at 5 a.m. every day and work non-stop the entire day to make sure her children had everything they could possibly need. She raised me and my sisters in a phenomenal manner with a focus on honesty and diligence, and she is the backbone of our family.

What would you like your business school peers to say about you after you graduate from this program? Angad was a simple and nice guy whom you could always count on to have your back in tough times. The dude was also stylish and had a turban and scarf of every single color imaginable!

Favorite book: Old Path White Clouds: Walking in the Footsteps of the Buddha

Favorite movie: Greatest Game Ever Played, the story of Francis Ouimet winning the golf U.S. Open in 1913

Favorite musical performer: Drake. His songs are straight-up fire

Favorite vacation spot: Any place in the world with sunshine, good company, and an 18-hole golf course

What are your hobbies? Golfing, oratory, socializing, reading, and writing

What made Angad such an invaluable addition to the Class of 2017?

“Angad Singh Padda is in the top 1% of students that I have taught at the Haas School of Business, UC Berkeley in the past 24 years. What makes him so special beyond his keen intellect, astounding work ethic, dazzling interpersonal skills and sharp analytical ability is his genuine passion for helping people.

One of our values at the Haas School of Business, is “Beyond Yourself.” Angad epitomizes this by his willingness to go out of the way to help his fellow classmates and others in the community. He empowers people by helping them understand and accept themselves which then gives them strength to find their authentic voice. Nothing brings him more happiness than being there for anyone who needs a hand or just someone to listen, irrespective of time or day. He always makes himself available to others and never sees this as a sacrifice but as a way to give back to his community.

He loves to teach and has created an immensely popular course on “Confidence and Charisma” for which I am the faculty advisor. He received the highest evaluations I have ever seen for a student led course and the comments consistently stated how he helped change students’ lives for the better. For Angad, real happiness lies in making others happy. Angad lights up a room when he walks in with his beaming smile and positive, personal greeting to all he encounters. He is a remarkable public speaker and has won speech competitions at the national and statewide level. He often receives standing ovations yet is the must humble person I know. When he was recruiting, he secured over a dozen internship offers from top investment banks and corporations, which serves as a testimony to his business acumen and people skills.

Angad immediately captured my attention by making significant contributions to class discussions and talking with me afterwards about the applications of concepts. Angad’s sharp intellect is a perfect complement to his dazzling interpersonal skills and selflessness. It is unusual to have someone so academically gifted also be kind, generous, patient, articulate, and considerate. Angad has an amazing growth mindset. He sees opportunities to continue to develop himself and constantly seeks improvement feedback so that he can contribute to the best of his abilities.

Peers revere him and are inspired by his kindness, generosity, work ethic, and commitment. He is affable, patient, articulate and extremely conscientious and is mature beyond his years. Other students seek him out as a friend, counselor or confidant. I have never had a student like Angad who exemplifies in all parts of his life, such a strong commitment to making the world a kinder, friendlier and overall better place. In classroom exercises and discussions, he clearly demonstrated that he is an highly effective team leader as well as team member. He knows how to listen well to others, communicate his ideas clearly, integrate team members’ ideas into a workable plan, delegate duties appropriately, and motivate others on his team.

Angad has strong integrity of character, is highly intelligent, a hard worker who holds himself to the highest standards, a team leader and well as contributing team member. He has the desire and ability to be a great leader and someone who makes a difference to others. He brings out the best in all around him.”

Holly Schroth, Ph.D.
Senior Lecturer, Management of Organizations
Haas School of Business
U.C. Berkeley


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