Q&A with Padmaja Vrudhula, TMMBA alumna

Padmaja VrudhulaPadmaja Vrudhula (TMMBA 2014), director of transformation services at VMware, shares her experiences in the UW Foster School’s Technology Management MBA program.

Why did you choose the Technology Management MBA program at the Foster School?
There were two primary reasons for my choice: it was an MBA program specializing in technology management (with the opportunity to specialize in entrepreneurship) and I could work while earning the degree.

How has the TMMBA experience impacted your career since graduation?
Although I am still at the same company, I have had three promotions. The main outcome of the program for me was the ability to tie management decisions to a financial analysis model. Further, I was able to use some of the entrepreneurship concepts to better understand my past experiences at two start-up companies, and create a new offering at my existing company.

What key skills and/or mindset did you acquire during the TMMBA program?
The ability to look at cost-benefit analysis from a financial perspective rather than a “gut-feel.”

How has the TMMBA and Foster alumni networks impacted your career/career path?
As part of the network, I have had the opportunity to speak to potential students and alumni about the impact of the program. I have also been able to mentor a few of them, which has been tremendously rewarding.

Are there any other benefits from the TMMBA experience that you would like to mention?
One aspect of this program that I found to be very interesting is the ability to network with our local VCs. The focus on entrepreneurship in the program was great. Having worked at start-ups as well as large companies, the ability to interact with the VCs and receive the one-on-one feedback was invaluable. I took a lot of that information, including reading term sheets and what VCs look for, to better understand my past experiences and use it in the future.

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