With two years to go before he completes his dual undergraduate degree in business at the Ross School and computer science at the College of Engineering, Ben Rathi, BBA/CS ’17, is considering numerous career paths after graduation. “I may go directly into management consulting, hire on at a big technology company I admire or join a high-growth, technology-based start-up company,” Rathi says. “In five or six years, I’d like to return to school for an MBA and eventually work on early-stage start-ups, preferably one of my own, in the health-care analytics sector.” The beauty of Rathi’s entrepreneurship education at the Zell Lurie Institute and Ross is that it has prepared him to pursue and succeed at any of these career options.
Initially, the Detroit native entered the University of Michigan as a pre-med student. He soon switched to business and computer science after deciding that information technology offered greater potential than traditional medicine for alleviating the glaring inefficiencies in the health-care system. As a sophomore, Rathi founded Blueprints For Pangaea, a global health-development nonprofit organization, which has since transferred $1 million of excess medical supplies from local U.S. hospitals to struggling hospitals in Ghana. During the year, he worked with numerous start-up companies through consulting engagements with the Ross-based Nexecon Consulting Group to gain a deeper understanding of how businesses grow and operate. In summer 2014, Rathi put his entrepreneurial skills into practice through a Zell Lurie-sponsored Marcel Gani internship at ArborMetrix, a venture-backed, health-care analytics start-up in Ann Arbor. That fall, coaching from the Institute’s staff enabled Rathi and his team to refine their business model for Blueprints For Pangaea and win the $15,000 top prize in the Social Impact Track at the 2015 Michigan Business Challenge. Rathi also was named the BBA Social Entrepreneur of the Year at Ross and received the $1,500 Weiser Family Social Entrepreneurship Leadership Award.
“Through the Zell Lurie Institute, I gained both the knowledge and confidence to pursue my entrepreneurial dreams,” he says. “The Zell Lurie community’s encouragement and training have fundamentally altered my personal and professional goals for the better.”