What do you get when you put together four curious souls who seek to understand how entrepreneurs across America are creating impact in their communities? Why, it’s team MPower, of course! Meet Brooke, Chloe, Fernando, and Gautam, four MBAs at the University of Michigan, who are excited about business as a vehicle to foster positive change. With backgrounds in Finance, Technology, Strategy, and Social Impact, team MPower is eager to explore America in a way they never have before, while learning from the people leading the small businesses that are the dynamic engines of growth and opportunity powering America.
Brooke Burton Prior to coming to business school, Brooke spent time working in the education industry. She was a Teach for America Corps member and spent three years teaching high school special education on the South Side of Chicago. Later, she worked at an educational technology start up where she helped establish internal process improvements and launch new products. She has a degree in Sociology from Vanderbilt University and is interested in how business and technology can create more connected communities. She is passionate about diversity and inclusion in the technology industry and hopes to launch a career in Product Management after business school. She is an avid consumer of arts and culture and loves to spend her free time seeing live music, theater, or dance. She is excited to be a part of the Open Road @ Ross team to learn from passionate entrepreneurs and her teammates and to better understand the business challenges that small businesses face on a daily basis.
Chloe Hull Chloe was born and raised in the San Francisco Bay Area and attended UC Davis for undergrad where she studied Managerial Economics. Following graduation, Chloe worked at PwC in the Management Consulting practice, where she worked with clients throughout the technology industry. Working with clients in the Silicon Valley, Chloe was inspired to pursue a career in product management post-Ross. She feels passionately about diversity and inclusion and holds several leadership roles within the LGBTQ+ community. She is excited to bring her curiosity and passion for diversity to the Open Road @ Ross experience to learn from and support hard-working business owners and entrepreneurs. Outside of work, Chloe loves binging on podcasts, reading mystery novels, and exploring the outdoors.
Fernando Palhares Born and raised in Brazil, Fernando worked, studied and lived at other six countries before coming to the United States to get his dual MBA/MS degree at the University of Michigan. Besides learning more about the different meanings of “America” for diverse communities, Fernando hopes to bring to Open Road @ Ross his pragmatism acquired as a management consultant at the Boston Consulting Group. Fernando also has experience as an Operations Supervisor for a Latin American tech company and he wants to use his time at Michigan to pivot into the food and agriculture space, finding solutions to food security and climate change around the planet. He has a degree in Naval Architecture and Marine Engineering from the University of Sao Paulo, and when not running from class to class, Fernando likes to run, swim and bike, collect different beer styles on Untapped, go on camping trips, and read about world politics and economy.
Gautam Kandlikar Gautam is a true itinerant. Over the last seven years, he has worked with hospitals and healthcare providers throughout the US implement and adopt software to capture medical data. His work has helped providers improve how they care for their patients. Starting as an engineer at Epic who loved to dive deep into code, he has since worked in a startup and at Deloitte consulting, paving the digital infrastructure that will power the healthcare delivery of tomorrow. Working with mission-driven people inspires Gautam, and he is excited to work with hard-working entrepreneurs making an impact on communities across the US.
Gautam pursued a Bachelors in Biochemistry and Economics at the University of Minnesota, and is enjoying his foray back into the cold winters at the University of Michigan. Gautam is a long-distance runner, and is super excited to run the 2019 Chicago Marathon with his Ross classmates. When he is not running or recovering from it, Gautam enjoys cooking Indian food, reading non-fiction, and solving Rubik’s cubes.