As dean of the Kate Tiedemann College of Business (KTCOB) at USFSP, Sridhar Sundaram acts as an institutional bridge between the university and the Tampa Bay business community. Under Sundaram's tenure, KTCOB has transitioned to a new home at the stunning, state-of-the-art Lynn Pippenger Hall, where Sundaram's team has built an atmosphere of experiential learning without regional parallel. Experiences like the Merrill Lynch Wealth Management Center and Consumer Insight Lab turn real-world data into learning experiences for finance and marketing students. Through partnerships with local businesses and start-ups, Sundaram is actively working to bridge the skills gap and plug students into the local job market - driving St. Pete's economic development along the way.
Years in St. Pete
Organizations involved in
St. Pete Chamber of Commerce, St. Pete Economic Development Corporation, Innovation District. Mostly organizations pertaining to economic development.
What gets you out of bed every day?
The excitement about what we can do and what we can build around that not only impacts my college but also the community we live in.
Why St. Pete?
I came from Michigan about two years ago, and I was really looking for a community where I could be integrated in and work towards the development of the community, along with what we can for the educational talent in the area. The community was very involved in my selection process, and just seeing that, I knew this could be a place where I could make a difference.
What is one habit that you keep?
I play tennis, I regularly and religiously play, so that I can get anything I have in my system out; I can start the next day with a refreshed mind.
Who are some people that influence you?
Along the way I’ve had some great mentors that have really been key to who I am today, but beyond that I’m always looking at people of principal value. Abraham Lincoln is one of my favorite people. His ability to bring people from across different party lines and move toward a very specific mission. I think those are the people I’m really influenced by.
What is one piece of insight - a book, methodology, practice - that you would share with our readers?
As I look at a complete business graduate, we talk about aptitude, but we also talk about attitude. A very successful person is a good balance between aptitude and attitude, and I think grit really brings it all together.
What is one thing you wish you knew about your work 3 years ago?
You get consumed into the work, and I’m somebody who, when I throw myself into a project, I’m 110 percent behind it. It’s finding that right balance between family life and work.
I knew it was going to take me about three years to bring the college to what I call a steady state. And now, in our third year, to really create a platform to bring us to the next level.