01 Dec 2017
Anita Venkiteswaran (MBA 2012)Topics:
Anita Venkiteswaran (MBA 2012)
Anita Venkiteswaran (MBA 2012), a principal at Focus Financial Partners in New
York City, believes everyone qualified to attend HBS should have that
ability, regardless of where they come from or their financial means.
Anita, who has supported student financial aid since graduating from
HBS, decided on the occasion of her 5th Reunion to establish a fellowship
fund, with a preference given to students from South Asia.
A native of Calcutta and herself a fellowship recipient, Anita says,
“These were the two best years of my life, and I want to help others
benefit professionally and personally as I did.” With a strong belief that
“funding shouldn’t be a factor” in the decision to attend HBS, Anita
points out that it can be prohibitively expensive, especially for international
students. “I want to help people make that leap,” she says.
Easing the immediate burden of paying for an education, Anita says,
allows students to make career choices after graduation that are less
focused on paying back student debt. She adds that bringing international
students into the HBS classroom makes for a richer educational
experience for all students. The exposure to people from different parts
of the world, she notes, is extremely valuable.
Prior to coming to HBS, Anita earned a degree in biotechnology
and biochemical engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology
Kharagpur and then worked in India and the United States. As an
international student, she felt welcomed at HBS: The experience
“broadened my horizons in ways I couldn’t have imagined,” Anita says.
Indian educational institutions, she adds, are relatively homogeneous,
with a pedagogical system that is centered on the top-down model of
professors lecturing students. “At HBS, the educational model facilitated
learning from my peers—the most I have ever learned in my life,”
Anita says. “If, in 15 or 20 years, my fund could impact the lives of
15 or 20 students, I would consider that a huge success.”
Class of MBA 2012, Section A