Alumni Profile: Vipin Verma

Barbara Siegel

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Vipin Verma began his career sailing around the world, visiting 75 different countries as a mercantile marine officer for Cargill International before settling down in the heart of Chicago. After receiving his undergraduate degree in computer science from DePaul University, Vipin was propelled into the world of information technology. He started out as a computer analyst/programmer before diving into IT consulting where he’s remained ever since.

After working in companies, both large and small, he realized his passion lied in smaller, fast-paced environments. This led him to join a start-up as a solutions architect where he quickly advanced to director of consulting solutions. At this time, he also started the leadership MBA program at Lake Forest. He had a full plate but was determined to be successful in both school and work.

“In my time working for the start-up, I was taking the real lessons out of the MBA night classes and applying them the very next day,” said Vipin. “It was surreal. I felt like the classes were tailor-made for my work and particular phase of life. I couldn’t see any difference between work and study – I was just growing exponentially.”

In his first two years with the company, Vipin led a tremendous period of growth – taking the start-up from half a million dollars in revenue to $50 million. Applying the tools and concepts he learned at Lake Forest positively impacted all areas of the business, including marketing, technology and, most importantly, organizational culture. Prior to studying at Lake Forest, organizational culture was something he hadn’t thought much about. After completing the relevant course, Vipin’s outlook on organizational strategy changed drastically.

Vipin said, “A phrase that stuck with me from my instructor was, ‘organizational culture eats organizational strategy for lunch every day.’ So, you have a billion dollar idea and you want to execute it. Sounds good in theory, but if the organizational culture does not support innovation or change, you’re not going to thrive. It’s the most important part of any organization.”

After completing his MBA in 2012, Vipin now applies these principals in his current role with NTT DATA Corporation. He attributes much of that success to what he learned at Lake Forest.

“My choice to attend Lake Forest was not a coincidence. I didn’t want to attend a college operating purely on academic theory. I wanted to learn from my faculty and fellow classmates based on a real-world business setting and I couldn’t be happier that I did.”

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