A self-described "hustler and relentless entrepreneur," Vijay Raghaven knows the value of both hard work and persistence. He also strives to continually make a life for himself that is rewarding both personally and professionally.
The native Bostonian—now living in Portland, Oregon—graduated from the University of Oregon's MBA program in 2011. To this day, he continues to apply the ideas and skills acquired from the Lundquist Center for Entrepreneurship in every aspect of his life.
“I can’t avoid being an entrepreneur,” he admits, noting that his entrepreneurship is a labor of love as much as anything.
“It’s not always a good thing, but I wouldn’t change anything,” he said. “Being an entrepreneur has provided me with so many amazing experiences.”
When Raghaven moved to the West Coast, he was looking for a fresh start. After graduating with a degree in finance from the University of Maryland and a brief career in public affairs, he began looking at different schools and MBA programs. The Oregon MBA turned out to be the perfect mix of academics, engagement, and personal fit.
“I think when you’re looking at MBA programs, cost and value are the two most important things,” Raghaven explained. “That’s partly what brought me to the University of Oregon. I felt like I could get so much value from being educated here without paying an Ivy League price.”
Vijay served on the student advisory board at the Lundquist Center for Entrepreneurship during his time in the Oregon MBA program. It was there that he learned the value of real-world experiences provided to him by the Lundquist Center. He also learned the value of the interactions and networking opportunities he had, as well as the value of hard work and personal drive.
“The thought exercise experiment and really having to dive right into new venture planning was so cool,” Raghaven said.
He believes it was this emersion into entrepreneurship that served as the most beneficial to his career postgraduation—more so than anything that could be taught in a classroom alone.
Raghaven is now the general manager of the upcoming Portland Caviar location. Caviar provides food delivery services from consumer’s favorite restaurants in cities across the United States. In this position, he is using skills learned at the Lundquist Center through the Oregon MBA to open the company’s newest location.
“Portland has a really cool business community,” he noted. “I think students would get a lot of value from getting exposure to it and I think I can help make that happen.”
As an alumnus, Raghaven hopes to provide advice to current students in an effort to give back to the center that provided so much for him.
“I got a lot of value out of the guest speakers,” he explained, “I could still relate to them, but at the same time, they were able to show me what I had to look forward to and what I should look out for.”
The Lundquist Center for Entrepreneurship opens so many doors for its students and gives them resources to an amazing network of successful alumni. Students should be sure to look out for Raghaven as he returns to Lillis to give advice on what he has learned being an entrepreneur.
As for his best piece of advice?
“You have to love the hustle,” said Raghaven. “Don’t let a job just be a job.”
Story written by Allen Hall Public Relations on behalf of the Lundquist Center for Entrepreneurship.