Damanbir Singh: Featured MBA Advisor

Can you please tell us about your academic and professional background?

My name is Damanbir Singh and I am currently finishing my MBA classes at University of San Francisco. Originally from India (Punjab), I came to the US in 2007 to pursue a Masters in International Management from Portland State University, after completing my Bachelors of Commerce in India. As per my work experience, I have worked in my family business (dairy farming) in India as well as in the US (franchisee for Arco-AMPM retail sites) as an entrepreneur. I also had an interesting opportunity to work with a tech startup in the Bay area. During my studies at USF, I also worked as a part-time TA and as Junior Budget Analyst at University of San Francisco’s Office of Planning and Budgeting. In a nutshell, I would say that I have had some really interesting work opportunities ranging from being an entrepreneur to being an analyst.

Why did you decide to join Centro as an MBA Advisor?

My journey with Centro Community Partners has been quite amazing. I had an opportunity to listen to Arturo Noriega when he had come to USF as a panelist. Afterwards, I met with Arturo and Naldo Peliks when they came to the USF to introduce Centro Community Partners. The work that they do got me really interested. I thought that it was a great opportunity for me to give something back to the community and serve low-income entrepreneurs. Also, I am a strong believer in karma and I do believe that if I do something good, it will come back to me.  I knew that it would be a great opportunity for me for my professional development as well. A lot of people don’t know about is how well connected Naldo and Arturo are. They are always available to introduce you to their network if looking for work/job. I am glad I made the decision to work with Centro Community Partners.

Which businesses / entrepreneurs did you advise?

During my association with Centro, I served three clients as part of two different projects run by Centro. I helped Eden Ayurveda (along with my team member Sephora) owned by Eden, an Ayurvedic practitioner based in Oakland. In another project run by Centro in Fruitvale, I served Cleo (owner of Los Hermanos Meat and Produce Market) and Socorro Martinez (owner of La Torta Loca). I would like to say that it was a great experience. Learning in class and learning by actually doing work like I did at Centro really brought out the best in me. I think the best part of serving these entrepreneurs was to experience how thankful they all were for my work with them. Today as I look back to see them run their business and implement the changes that we collaborated about, I feel I was able to change a few lives. The feeling — well, its hard to put words to describe it.

How has Centro impacted your career trajectory?

After working with Centro, I feel I am more confident as a person. I have started exploring career options that I wasn’t exploring before. I am more open to opportunities that come my way.  As per career trajectory, I am open to working for non-profits and social impact organizations. As of now, I am finishing my MBA classes and applying for jobs along the way.