Gaurav KikaniName: Gaurav Kikani

NU grad year: 2014

Majors: MMSS and Economics

The versatility of an MMSS background is truly global – that is what recent graduate, Gaurav Kikani is finding in Cambodia. Based out of Phnom Penh, Gaurav has been temporarily brought on to the team of the Lucky Iron Fish Project, a social enterprise that was started about two years ago by researchers in Canada. The enterprise seeks to bring a simple and affordable innovation to rural villages in Cambodia where over 44% of the population is afflicted with iron deficiency. As this fledgling enterprise begins to scale-up, Gaurav is tasked with bolstering its supply chain, to ensure that the company’s operations can accommodate a ramp-up in production later this year.

Using his quantitative background to measure and analyze the current supply chain in the context of future profitability and production constraints, Gaurav has realized how applicable the MMSS curriculum truly is, in a variety of contexts. Learning the challenges of running a business in a foreign country, while dealing with the cultural nuances that come with it, Gaurav has truly enjoyed his time in Cambodia.

In the fall of 2014, Gaurav will be joining Bain & Company as an associate consultant.

Ruehr profile imageName: Charlie Ruehr

NU grad year: 2008

Majors: MMSS, Economics and BIP

Charlie started his career in finance working in New York City for UBS in the real estate investment banking group. From UBS, he went to work for a private equity fund, GI Partners. After a few years, he discovered he had a passion for getting businesses off the ground, so instead of returning to school for an MBA he decided to strike out on his own.  His projects include:

  • Blackjack Domination –a book on how to count cards and play Blackjack, now an iPad app. 
  • Pure Mountain Olive Oil – a joint effort with his cousin Zak Cassady-Dorion.  They are currently selling their first franchise.  
  • BeltCraft – Custom men’s belt business with fellow Northwestern graduate, Maureen Wilkie.
  • SuperChips – snack with a super secret recipe, found at Whole Foods and other fine stores.

 WooName: Ben Woo

Grad year: 2006

Majors: MMSS and Economics

Ben began his career with 4 years of marketing strategy at Monitor Group before taking a more creative turn doing similar work at leading ad agency TBWA Chiat Day. He founded the consulting firm QC Strategy in 2012 to bridge the gap between the worlds of strategy consulting and advertising, focusing on fueling creative development and media strategies using both quantitative and qualitative primary research. QC has worked with end clients in industries including Personal Computing, Casual Dining, Tax Prep, Auto Sales, Pet Food, and Cancer Foundations. In his time at Monitor and Chiat, Ben worked in practically every industry in their client base.

ShihReaName: Rae Shih

NU Grad year: 2010

Majors: MMSS and Social Policy

Rae joined Teach For America right after graduation, and worked as a high school math teacher at a charter school in New Orleans. In between her first and second year of TFA, she interned at StudentsFirst, an education reform organization headed by Michelle Rhee, former chancellor of DC Public Schools. After two years of teaching, Rae moved to Sacramento to work at StudentsFirst full-time as a Policy Analyst. Her work focuses on teacher preparation, charter school establishment and accountability, and Common Core State Standards policies. On a daily basis, Rae researches and uses best practices to draft or amend bills that benefit students, families, and teachers in their 18 active states.

Read about more interesting MMSS alumni in the Weinberg Crosscurrents magazine.