June 4, 2020

Sumathi Thiyagarajan: Sr. Director of Operations at Marquette University

What do you do?

I'm the Senior Director of Operations, Office of Economic Engagement, at Marquette University.

If you could share a meal with any 4 individuals, living or dead, who would they be?

I'd share a meal with Oprah, Michelle Obama, my grandmother and my close friend, Monica.

What was your first job?

First job ever: Cashier at McDonald’s… First real job: ZS Associates which is a global healthcare consulting firm.

What career advice would you give to your younger self?

There is no one path to success!

What book or podcast are you listening to right now?

I’ve been loving “Conan Needs A Friend!"

What skill would you like to master?

Healthy cooking without recipes!

What’s the best way to start the day?


What's your biggest pet peeve?

People who give directions with “east”, “west”, “north” and “south.”

What do you regret not doing in the last year?

Running a race in Milwaukee.

What could you give a 40-minute presentation on with absolutely no preparation?

Twin sleep schedules.

What was the last show you binge-watched?

Working my way through “The Last Dance." I grew up in Chicago during the MJ-era. I’m actually trying really hard not to binge-watch it because I want to draw it out as much as possible!

Favorite spot in Milwaukee?

Too many to chose from! But I love anywhere along the lake.

When will you know you've "made it"?

When I’ve accomplished enough to do TedTalk !

What's your favorite board or card game?

I enjoy Settlers of Catan, but have been killing it at UNO during this pandemic!

What’s the best and worst piece of advice you’ve ever received?

Best advice: Trust your gut. Worst advice: You can’t have it all.

How are you handling COVID and how has it affected you?

Overall, I’ve been doing ok, but I can’t say that I’ve enjoyed it much. I miss people. I miss community. I miss travel with my family.

Say hello to Sumathi virtually at: sumathi.thiyagarajan@marquette.edu !

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