Manav Manivannan, B.A., business administration
Class of 2023 graduate Manav Manivannan, B.A., business administration. (Steve Zylius/UCI)

Manav Manivannan believes in the importance of mentorship and human connection in order to create an environment of success. The Irvine native found that environment at UCI after meeting two alumni during high school who encouraged him to pursue his ambitions. While earning a degree in business administration, Manivannan has dedicated himself to giving back to the community through mentorship of his own. He served as a peer academic advisor in The Paul Merage School of Business; he enjoyed both helping students with their academic plans and connecting them with administrative faculty in the way that his mentors had done for him. Manivannan is conducting research on self-efficacy and bridging educational disparities, as well as entrepreneurship and founders. He’s held several leadership positions within student organizations such as the Merage Undergraduate Student Association and Manifest, an entrepreneurship group. When COVID-19 hit, he began a nonprofit called Alum to help high school students with the college application process. Having completed a number of tech internships, including with Intel and FaZe Clan, Manivannan plans to move to Silicon Valley after graduation to pursue a career in technology.

Can you describe a time you felt most proud to be an Anteater?

I felt most proud to be an Anteater during the 2022 UCI Business Conference hosted by the Merage Undergraduate Student Association. As executive vice president of the organization, I had the privilege to help plan and facilitate the event. After I interviewed and selected six students to join my team, they spearheaded the process to recruit, fundraise and host the overall event. More than 250 students got to meet executives from top companies and participate in curated workshops from prominent student organizations. In my opinion, UCI is severely underrated, and this event just showed me how much we can accomplish when we set our minds to achieving something. It was really inspiring to mentor a group of students to host an event that I helped to originate back in 2020.

What are your plans after graduation?

After graduating from UCI, I will be joining Intel’s two-year sales and marketing rotational program. I aim to gain experience in pricing strategy, brand partnerships and business development. SMRP has existed for over 30 years and has many alumni that still work at Intel today. After completing the program, I aim to join the company in a managerial role. 

“In the time I have known Manav, I have observed him use his best natural talents – he is personable; inspires his classmates toward meeting goals; and challenges himself academically, personally and professionally. Manav presents himself with steadfast confidence and generously serves as an advocate for positive change at UCI and in The Paul Merage School of Business. I have no doubt that he will continue to be a leader after he graduates from UCI and continue to lift others in his community as he himself climbs.”

– Justin Javier, associate director of undergraduate programs at The Paul Merage School of Business

Who has been your biggest influence at UCI?

I would say that my biggest influence at UCI has been Justin Javier, associate director of undergraduate programs at The Paul Merage School of Business. I worked with Justin in two distinct ways: first as a peer academic advisor and second as executive vice president of the Merage Undergraduate Student Association. As a peer academic advisor, I worked with Justin to not only answer academic questions but host events geared toward educating our students about how to leverage their academic pursuits for their careers. Justin also serves as the faculty advisor for MUSA and has helped us put on events like the UCI Business Conference and the annual MUSA Mocktail Mixer. Even though Justin has only been at UCI for two years, he has consistently believed in me and has encouraged me to take on more leadership and responsibility at the school. I will definitely miss going to Justin for personal and professional advice or to just talk about sports. I look forward to visiting UCI in the future and seeing what additional impact Justin will have on this school.

What advice would you give to your first-year self?

I would tell my freshman self that rejection is redirection and not to take every failure too seriously. There are certain opportunities that I was able to take advantage of because I had missed out on other opportunities. I think I experienced the most rejection in my first year when it came to joining clubs and interviewing for internships, but it all worked out in the end because I stayed committed to working hard and improving every day. Also, I would tell myself to take more risks and pursue endeavors such as startups because UCI provides an ample amount of entrepreneurial resources.