2023 Best & Brightest Business Major: Sarina Upadhye, University of Minnesota (Carlson)

Sarina Upadhye

University of Minnesota, Carlson School of Management

“A driven leader who is dedicated to making small changes in the world.”

Fun fact about yourself: I am a certified scuba diver!

Hometown: Hinsdale, IL

High School: Hinsdale Central High School

Major: Supply Chain and Operations Management

Minor: Business Law, Business of Healthcare

Favorite Business Course: My favorite course at the Carlson School has been Service Management with Bob Azman. The class is dedicated to designing processes and systems in order to manage customers or products most efficiently. We learned so much about the psychology of design layouts and how to increase customer experience.

Extracurricular Activities, Community Work, and Leadership Roles During College:

  • Delta Sigma Pi (Senior Guide, President, Vice President of Pledge Education, Pledge Education Assistant, Data Chair, Data Team)
  • Peer Career Coach at the Undergraduate Business Career Center
  • Carlson Crew Leader
  • Minnesota Junoon (Performer and Finance Director)

Where have you interned during your college career?

  • Amazon, LLC—Area Manager Intern at a Fulfillment Center in Monee, IL
  • McDonald’s Corporation—Global Strategic Sourcing Services Intern in Chicago

Where will you be working after graduation? McDonald’s Corporation, Supply Chain Analyst

Who is your favorite business professor? My favorite business professor is Pinar Karaca-Mandic, a Finance professor who teaches most of my Business of Healthcare (MILI) classes. I love coming to class and getting to learn about Pinar’s research in the healthcare industry and various topics within medical technology and pharmaceuticals. Pinar cares about her students’ learning and always asks probing questions getting us to dig deeper.

What is the biggest lesson you gained from studying business? The biggest lesson I have gained from studying business is how important it is to ask questions and use the resources that are provided to you. Working at the career center for our business school has shown me how important it is to ask for resources when you need them, it’s always OK to ask for help!

What advice would you give to a student looking to major in a business-related field? My biggest recommendation to students is to look at every major with an open mind. You never know which subject is going to click or what you will be interested in. Try out a lot of different classes in different business-related subjects and decide what is the best fit for you.

What has surprised you most about majoring in business? The thing that surprised me the most about majoring in business is how interconnected every subject is. I liked that concepts I learned in one class could then be transferred into background information for other classes. My classes included everything from math to historical topics which I enjoyed engaging with.

Looking back over your experience, what is the one thing you’d do differently in business school and why? One thing that I would have done differently is to take more classes in data analytics and spent more time understanding the intersection of data and supply chain. Most of my classes required some understanding of analytics. In a data-driven world, I wish I had taken more official classes to learn these topics.

What business leader do you admire most? A business leader that I have followed for some time is Rooshy Roy, the CEO and founder of Aavrani. I first learned about Rooshy’s career path while listening to a podcast and was inspired by her story of going into investment banking and then creating her own business focused on South Asian skincare. As a woman of color, it’s great to see her business thriving and her being recognized for finding a niche in the massive beauty industry.

Which academic, extracurricular, or personal achievement are you most proud of? A personal achievement that I am most proud of is my Visharad, or Kathak dance graduation. I have been dancing since I was 3 years old and I started a form of classical Indian dance, Kathak, when I was in middle school. My Visharad was the culmination of years of dance classes coming to fruition in the form of a three-hour long performance with my two partners. The 18 months I spent training for my Visharad taught me about patience, dedication, and perseverance and I would give anything to go back to that experience.

Which classmate do you most admire? I admire my classmate, Maitri Ajmera. Although she is a grade below me, I admire all that she has done for both our business school, as the Carlson Student Body President, and our business fraternity, Delta Sigma Pi. She handles every situation with grace and is an advocate for so many people.

Who would you most want to thank for your success? I most want to thank my parents for always “having my back” and being so supportive of every decision I have made. Their continuous support is what has kept me going on the toughest days. They are the first people I call with happy news or bad news, or when I learn something ‘crazy’ in class I have just got to share it with them.

What are the top two items on your professional bucket list?

  1. Work and live in another country for at least a year
  2. Work for a non-profit

What are your hobbies? I love to bake, sing, and dance which are all stuff I hope to do more of after graduation!

What made Sarina such an invaluable addition to the Class of 2023?  

“One of the first things that stood out to me when I met Sarina was her desire to create positive change within the Carlson School of Management and her drive to serve others in the community. Throughout her time at the Carlson School, Sarina has served her community through her leadership as a Carlson Crew Leader (a peer mentor to incoming students), serving in multiple leadership roles with her business fraternity, Delta Sigma Pi (including as president), and giving back to her peers as a peer career coach with the Undergraduate Program.

In these opportunities, Sarina has put the needs of the student body at the front of her mind. Within Delta Sigma Pi, she has advocated for additional support for students from diverse backgrounds to feel a sense of belonging and community within the Carlson School and through alumni connections. As a peer career coach, Sarina advocated for programming supporting students in navigating DEI within their search process. She served on a panel event where she discussed how she navigated her identity, inclusion, and search for the right fit at a company. Sarina has shared her story to countless individuals to help them navigate their decision making in the world of work. When thinking about her contributions to the Class of 2023, this is just the tip of the iceberg! Sarina is the definition of invaluable and she will continue to brighten the lives of those she interacts with going forward.”

Shontel Smith
Career Coach


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