2018 Best & Brightest: Karan Mahendroo
, University of Texas (McCombs)

Karan Mahendroo

University of Texas (McCombs)

When I die, my tombstone won’t say RIP, it’ll say VIP.”

Fun fact about yourself: I attended the GRAMMY Awards last year

Hometown: Plano, Texas

High School: Plano East Senior High

Major: Business Honors, Marketing

Minor: Spanish

Favorite Business Course: Marketing for Entrepreneurs

Extracurricular Activities, Community Work and Leadership Roles During College:


  • Smart Social Summit – Austin, Texas
    • My team hosted 1600+ of the smartest minds in social from around the country 
for a 3-day Summit including Michelle Obama as our keynote speaker and over 307 leading social companies in attendance
  • Out For Undergrad (O4U) Conference – New York, New York
    • 1 of 300 students chosen from over 120 universities to connect and collaborate with the country’s top 45 companies innovating in business in a series of LGBTQ- focused events
  • American City Business Journals at SXSW – Austin, Texas

Interviewed the most influential international CEOs, entrepreneurs, and corporate influencers speaking at SXSW Interactive Week to create a new video series published in 43 U.S. cities for the American City Business Journals

  • The Arabian Travel Market – Dubai, United Arab Emirates
    • Represented Narrative Edge at the world’s largest travel market in Dubai meeting with internationally recognized ministers and CEOs from over 150 countries focusing on sales, partnerships, and business development
  • 2 Seasons of New York Fashion Week – New York, New York: February 2015 and September 2015

Managed digital, social media, celebrity and influencer relations, and overall show logistics for two consecutive seasons of New York Fashion Week working on two brands: BCBGMAXAZRIA and Herve Leger


  • Austin Connect – President, Austin TX Fall 2014 – Present: Collaborate with the top CEOs, entrepreneurs, and corporate influencers in 
Austin to organize special events for students
  • Business Honors Program Recruiting – Head Recruiting Liaison, Austin TX Fall 2015 – 
Present: Market several aspects of the Business Honors Program to prospective 
students/parents to encourage them to apply

Where have you interned during your college career?


Spredfast Digital Marketing; Austin, TX August 2017 – Present

  • Spredfast is an enterprise social media software company helping brands such as Target, Airbnb, Pepsico, Burberry, & ESPN
  • Optimize KPIs and digital initiatives for the Social Summit with Michelle Obama, SXSW Interactive, and year-round campaigns
  • Analyzed/executed paid social endeavors, creative storyboarding for new projects, and assisting in Spredfast lead generation

Gxxd Millennial Co-Founder; Austin, TX July 2017 – Present

  • Co-Founder of Gxxd Millennial, a creative agency and millennial-focused editorial partnering with thought leaders in Austin
  • Consult our international clients on a variety of creative projects, campaigns, and innovative digital strategy

The Richards Group Digital Strategist; Dallas, TX June – August 2017

  • Collaborated on a variety of large clients including Abercrombie & Fitch, MetroPCS, Wingstop, AAA, Dr. Pepper, Snapple, etc. to do creative strategy, social media, design innovative campaigns, social listening, and a variety of digital services.

Chloédigital Creative Consultant; London, England / Dallas, TX May – July 2017

  • Creative digital strategy, campaign assistance, and events management for this London-based influencer consulting agency. The

GRAMMYs / The Recording Academy GU Texas Chapter Representative; Austin, TX August 2016 – May 2017

  • Collaborate with industry professionals, celebrities, and major artists to organize events for students to learn/network
  • Direct a statewide team of 15 ambassadors to manage membership and create opportunities for GRAMMY U members

The Chief Outsiders Marketing Consulting Analyst; Austin, TX October – December 2016

  • Work under a variety of CMOs (from companies such as Johnson & Johnson, IBM, Verizon, Microsoft, Frito Lay, Kellogg’s, 3M, Barclays, AT&T, etc.) to consult small to mid-sized companies from 40+ industries

Los Angeles Tourism and Convention Board Creative Consultant; Los Angeles, CA July – August 2016

  • Developed influencer marketing strategy, managed celebrity partnerships, and created largest influencer database in use
  • Managed social media and digital marketing presence, created/curated content, and developed online strategy
  • Coordinated partnerships and projects with large partners (the NFL, The Grammys, major hotels/museums/events in LA)

Narrative Edge Creative Director; Austin, TX January 2015 – May 2016

  • Represented NE at high-profile, international events (notably in Dubai), managed sales, and sold several media packages
  • Storyboarded, developed, and distributed international media campaigns, global rebranding campaigns (notably video)
  • Executed all creative/branding, ran all client relations, facilitated all creative projects, managed design/production team

BCBG Max Azria Group, LLC Creative Services/Social Media Intern; Los Angeles, CA February – September 2015

  • Systematized the social media system, managed over 15 social platforms for multiple brands within their brand portfolio
  • Represented the company at high-profile, international events such as two seasons of New York Fashion Week
  • Created/curated creative projects to publish to 1.5 million+ audience, aided in organically growing online following by 200,000+

Who is your favorite professor? My best professors were Leigh McAlister and Sekou Bermiss.

What did you enjoy most about your business school? Networking with some of the most talented and genius people I’ve ever met in my life.

What advice would you give to a student looking to major in a business-related field? Remember that “business” is the broadest field in the world and will touch every industry on the planet (from banking to fashion). So, don’t pigeon-hole yourself in the “traditional” business roles early on in your educational career. Spend time getting real-world experience and tasting differing industries to find out what you like and then apply your business skillset to that industry.

“If I didn’t major in business, I would be majoring in or studying… Music.”

What has surprised you most about majoring in business? That business skills are relevant, useful, and important in absolutely every industry on the planet.

Who most influenced your decision to pursue business in college? I began pursuing business in college because I didn’t know what I wanted to study and business “sounded like a good idea.” However, throughout business school I came to realize that “business” influences every industry on the planet from fashion and music to banking and real estate.

Which academic, extracurricular or personal achievement are you most proud of? Getting to attend the GRAMMY Awards and sit feet away from artists I’ve admired for years.

If you were a dean for a day, what one thing would you change about the business school? Increasing the school’s focus on “esoteric” ways to implement business – focus more on entrepreneurship and business leaders in “non-traditional business industries.”

Which classmate do you most admire? Cyndi Huang – she’s the epitome of the intersection where “creative meets business” while she manages tons of partnerships for her fashion blog or works as a consultant for one of the biggest firms in the country.

Who would you most want to thank for your success? The boss I had during my first internship, Cuit Gonzalez, who showed me what “real world experiences” mean.

Who most influenced your decision to pursue business in college? I began pursuing business in college because I didn’t know what I wanted to study and business “sounded like a good idea.” However, throughout business school I came to realize that “business” influences every industry on the planet from fashion and music to banking and real estate.

What would your theme song be? “Feeling Myself” by Nicki Minaj

What are the top two items on your bucket list?

(1) Having my work impact over 1 million people
(2) Being known as “the next Kris Jenner”

Favorite book: The Da Vinci Code

Favorite movie: The Devil Wears Prada

Favorite vacation spot: Provence, France

What are your hobbies? I love pop culture, social media, traveling, the color red, and anything with a Starbucks logo on it.

What made Karan such an invaluable addition to the Class of 2018?

“Karan is as capable as any of the honors students with numbers, but he is so much more.  He has a gut level understandings branding—have you noticed his glasses?  He is the pied piper of social media (Smart Social Summit, SXSW, New York Fashion Week) and generous with his time and energy (O4U, Business Honors Program Recruiting).  Most of all, Karan is very vividly himself—an example for his classmates who may be overly concerned with “fitting in”.

Leigh McAlister
Professor, Marketing



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