Questrom 2013 | Director, Marketing & Research - Search Inc
Vishaal always knew that he wanted to work in business, but also that he had always been passionate about performing arts. He pursued those interests while in college, participating in Stage Troupe and BU on Broadway and earning a minor in CFA. After graduating he landed a job with a small start-up company, which allowed him to balance his work with his passions. Today, Vishaal is the Director of Marketing and Research for Search Inc. and is also a working actor
Vishaal Reddy is a recent Questrom School of Business graduate (Questrom’13) who has managed to tie his passions with his business background. He always knew that he wanted to work in business, but he had also had a passion for the performing arts since he was a kid: singing, playing piano, acting, anything that allowed him to perform. Vishaal knew that he wanted to pursue performing arts after graduation, but he also wanted a practical degree to support him. That is how he ended up in the Questrom School of Business (Questrom) after transferring from the College of Arts and Sciences (CAS). In order to hold his interests close to his studies, he decided to add a theater minor and continue his passion for the arts.
During his time at BU, Vishaal was involved in many different things. He participated in Stage Troupe and BU on Broadway. He was involved with the Community Service Center, taking on a Coordinator role for an Alternative Spring Break trip and also holding a position as a First-Year Student Outreach Project (FYSOP) Staff Leader for three years. Within Questrom, Vishaal was a member of Delta Sigma Pi (DSP) and eventually became president.
By senior year, Vishaal had decided upon a double concentration in law and entrepreneurship. Originally he had planned on studying operations, as he is very detail-oriented and was interested in strategic planning and marketing. Yet the more he thought about performance, the more entrepreneurship appealed to him. It was not until junior year that he realized these subjects were more important to him than he’d considered previously. After Core, Vishaal discovered that he enjoyed the “smaller company feel” of entrepreneurship, as well as its potential for more flexibility.
During his senior year, Vishaal began looking into acting programs that would give him more experience. He looked into programs in New York and Los Angeles and, at the last second, ended up getting into the Atlantic Theater Company, which is partnered with NYU Tisch. In the conservatory program, he took classes four nights a week. The classes were geared towards people that needed to work during the day, which suited his needs quite well. There were eighteen people in the class and they all became really close during the year-long program. Their classes involved analyzing script, learning technique, performing, and instruction in voice, movement, and improve.
Meanwhile, Vishaal continued to search for jobs. He had been interviewing and telling the employers up front that he wanted flexibility so that he could continue pursuing acting. During his time taking classes, Vishaal found a job for a small start-up: a new software company with just four employees. The company was founded on the concept that, when it comes to businesses’ account reconciliation statements, organizations typically use Excel. Yet this can get overwhelming and scattered. The company is currently working to create an automated system to centralize these documents, and it is seeing growth after only about a year.
The company affords him great flexibility to pursue his interests outside of work. The lack of a corporate environment and strict structure allows him to go to classes at night or leave work for auditions, which is what he loves to do.
Looking back on his time in Questrom, Vishaal remarks that he loved the program and the people, felt a community within DSP, and appreciated the competitive environment that pushed him to do well. At the same time, that competition could be a bit of a distraction. He knew that he was not going to do finance or accounting and did not know a lot of people with his same interests. He felt that Questrom was geared toward a certain type of student and there wasn’t a lot of clear room for others who were interested in topics such as entrepreneurship or law. Students with these interests and these ways of thinking are not introduced in-depth to their subject areas of interest until senior year.
Vishaal says he would not have done anything differently and was very happy with his time at Boston University. Yet he encourages students to try new things and get out of their comfort zones. He knows a lot of people who hate their corporate, having pursued them solely because they thought it was the “right thing to do.” That being said, he knows many people who love their corporate jobs. “It’s all about what excites you,” he said emphatically, stressing the importance of not comparing yourself to your peers. “You can be afraid,” he says. “I’m terrified of doing this. It’s not easy to perform, you’re told ‘no’ a lot, and it’s tough. But if you really want to do something, just don’t let it bother you.”