Sruti Bharat graduated from UC Berkeley in 2012 with an undergraduate degree in IEOR along with a double minor in English and Energy Resources. She currently works as a manager of Venture Programs at All Raise. Sruti grew up in Oakland, eventually moving to Pleasanton with her family.
Sruti heavily cherished her time at Berkeley, with fond memories in regards to developing amazing friendships and exploring completely different experiences. The heightened perspective that Berkeley provided her helped her feel much more awakened and connected to the rest of the world, especially during the time of Occupy Wallstreet and other impactful movements.
Upon graduating from Berkeley in the recessionary economy of 2012, Sruti applied through the Cal Career Center and landed her first job as an Operations Engineer at OSIsoft. Throughout her first job, Sruti found herself engaging with and working across different departments such as product, marketing, and engineering. She was particularly invested into program management and improving large-scale processes in the company, eventually starting the first strategy management team at OSIsoft. Specifically, she notes finding Professor Goldberg’s IEOR 115 to be especially relevant and being “shocked at how much SQL came in handy.”
After 4 years at OSIsoft, Sruti wanted to try something different. Her experience at OSIsoft made it clear that she enjoyed working on business operations and strategy, and through interviews and extensive research she realized that pursuing an MBA would “open up doors” into new opportunities.
At the Kellogg School of Management, Sruti would go on to found FutureMap, a nonprofit dedicated towards coaching first-generation college students in regards to career development and transitioning to the workplace. Sruti found the experience of landing her first job very stressful, especially without having a coach or someone to look to for advice. She realized that this frustrating experience must only be compounded for first generation students who are the first in their family to get a degree and are much less likely to have people to turn to regarding personalized career development guidance.
Initially, FutureMap started out with 20 different coachees. By April of 2019, FutureMap was officially a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization that had helped over 300 first generation students and hosted 20 internships. One especially poignant story involves a first generation student who called Sruti after getting laid off, asking what he should do next. Sruti coached him by encouraging him to network and hone in on specifically what jobs he was looking for. A year after successfully finding and accepting an offer from a startup, Sruti notes with particular satisfaction that the student reached out to her and mentioned that he was now hiring, and wanted to hire someone from FutureMap. These types of positive experiences from working on FutureMap have allowed her to discover her passion for equity, justice, and equal opportunity. This passion continues to motivate her in her current role at AllRaise, where she works with women and nonbinary investors to help achieve gender parity in tech.
Reflecting upon her business school experience, she identifies that there are two main reasons to pursue an MBA. The first reason is to be able to “layer on IEOR” and learn the “big picture thinking” that characterizes successful business leadership, noting that something she was missing was being able to “think from a leader’s perspective [and think] about all the parts of a business holistically”. The second reason is to develop an extensive network. In fact, Sruti believes that she was able to found FutureMap largely because in her first month of starting the nonprofit, she made over “40 connections in a month to nonprofit organizations across the US” in asking them to consider partnering with FutureMap.
For current Berkeley students, Sruti offers one central piece of advice in regards to finding one’s own path. “There is something to dreaming bigger. At the end of the day, you will find the greatest sense of purpose if something you do will help other people in some way.”