Student puts global outlook to use

by Alissa Kasawdish, Contributor

Pallavi Shreedhar has only gained more business experience since earning her bachelor’s degree in industrial engineering at the Jagadguru Sri Shivarathreeshwara Academy Of Technical Education in India.

The engineering graduate student moved to California in 2013. She is now pursuing a Master of Business Administration at San Diego State.

Shreedhar always had a zest for supply chain management, and she exemplified her eagerness toward the field during a 10-week internship at Gap, Inc. last year in San Francisco.

There she worked in a group setting across different functions within the company.

“Our project was to build brand promotion strategies online for Gap, Inc. and to predict what kind of sales we can expect given a particular season or date,” she said.

She also worked in product management with hopes of gaining hands-on experience in that area, as well.

Shreedhar got to be a part of a special event within the Executive Leadership Series where she received insight from top-tier business people, including the brand presidents of Old Navy and Gap, Inc.

One of the things she learned from Gap, Inc. managers is that team building is not only based on skill.

“A big part of what I see in a lot of companies today is they are looking for people who come to work with a good attitude,” she said. “You should also have that spirit, intellectual curiosity and that drive and passion for what you do.”

Gap, Inc. offered her a full-time job, which she is considering as a future career. She is also considering a career with Tesla because of her experience working for Volvo for five years in India.

She has been able to learn new perspectives during her career by working with many cross-functional and cross-cultural teams in Europe, Sweden, France, Thailand and more.

Shreedhar is also taking advantage of the supportive professors and programs at SDSU.

She joined the Aztec Mentor Program last year to receive professional guidance about working in the U.S., and she discovered how important networking is as she made new friends and connections.

One professor that Shreedhar has worked closely with at SDSU is assistant professor of management John Francis. He supports Shreedhar in her business endeavors.

“I think one of the reasons she did so well at Gap, Inc. is not only the use of her intellect, but how she has leveraged the involvement she has had with the consulting program into a unique differentiator,” Francis said.

Additionally, Shreedhar works on campus at The Aztec Consulting Center where she provides consulting services for small business owners in San Diego. Francis hired her in fall 2014 as a graduate assistant.

She has successfully worked with six different teams and clients since working for the campus program, such as La Costa Gourmet, Lithyem Industries, Inc., and Reliant Parking.

Shreedhar thinks of this position as a way to take baby steps toward reaching her career goal of building and managing teams. She values what she is learning during her time at SDSU.

“There is a lot you can bring to the table, but it is a different thing when you get to learn from other people,” Shreedhar said.

Shreedhar also uses her cultural diversity as another learning experience.

“At the end of the day, we are all the same,” she said. “It doesn’t matter where we come from. We all have a different background and culture, but we all have similar goals and dreams and I think that really helps to connect people.”