“Ask an Alum”- Industrial Design student to Business Analysis Manager

Suveer Sharma graduated from University of Washington- Seattle in 2009 with a degree in Industrial Design. While at UW, Suveer was involved in fraternity and sorority life as the president of his fraternity. After graduating from UW, Suveer joined the Teach for America corps and served as a math teacher. This led to him pursing his Master of Education at U Penn. His educational adventure continued when he decided to pursue his MBA at University of California- Irvine. Suveer is now a Business Analysis Manager at Starbucks. Feel Free to email Suveer to connect about his journey, career, or any other questions at suveerss@gmail.com.

We asked Suveer some questions about his career journey, and what advice he would give help launch his fellow huskies to success! Here is what Suveer has to say:

Why did you choose to pursue a career in your field?

I’ve always been a numbers guy and always felt like there were ways to solve problems with numbers, so teaching math and now working in finance was a natural fit for me.

How is your current career the same or different than what you thought it would be when you began college?

My freshman year I took a business class (macro econ) and hated it. I also took an art class and loved it, so I decided to pursue design. What I didn’t realize was that there was so much more to business than just that one econ class (duh!). While I enjoyed my design classes, it wasn’t what I was expecting it to be in the long term. When Teach For America reached out, teaching math was a natural fit for my love of numbers. That led to the rediscovery of interest in business/finance, which is where I am now (happily!).

What is something you wish you knew about finding a career while you were an undergrad?

Meet and talk with as many people in the fields you’re interested in as possible. Making connections is just as valuable as the education you get from you classes, if not more. They drill this into your head in business school, but I didn’t hear it enough during undergrad.

What advice do you have for current students looking at stepping into your career path?

Connect with professionals! Network network network, and then network some more!

What are top skills your industry is looking for in new hires?

Being able to analyze data/information and translate it into meaningful insights is important, but the soft skills are just as important. Being able to present recommendations and communicate your findings in a clear and concise way is a very valuable skill to leadership.

What aspects of the culture at your company or place of work do you appreciate?

Starbucks cares about their employees like no other company I’ve worked for. That’s a very underrated part of searching for a good company to work for, especially when you have kids.

Share an experience where you failed during your professional journey. How were you able to come back from that experience? What did you learn from that experience?

It sounds crazy, but in teaching there is some form of failure almost every day; I don’t think there was a single day where 100% of my students aced my lesson plan. But that’s why teaching and being a TFA corps member was so valuable to my professional growth. It taught me how to bounce back every day, how to lead others, how to adjust and be self critical, and how to communicate effectively to a variety of audiences.

What activities do you enjoy outside of your career?

We just welcomed our first kiddo back in March 2018, so it’s been fun hanging out with him and watching him grow. Other than that, I enjoy Husky and Seahawks football, as well as being active outside/in the gym.

More about Teach for America:

Are you interested in challenging yourself in an impact-driven career? Putting your talents to work to disrupt inequity and create opportunity? Joining a powerful network of more than 60,000 leaders from all backgrounds and sectors?

By joining Teach For America, you will become part of a network of leaders shaping the political, economic, and social future of our country. Check out some of the inspiring ways our alumni are leading across engineering, education, business, policy, law, medicine, and more. How will you lead? Apply to the 2019 corps today.

If you’d like to learn more, fill out this survey to meet with the Teach For America Recruitment Director, Katey Thomson.


By Izzy Wroblewski
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