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Vikram mansharamani on stage with Bob Brandwood
Dr. Vikram Mansharamani: A Generalist's Journey
Adele Starrs

Even at 16 years old, Vikram Mansharamani '92 stood out. The intrepid Blair junior possessed a wide-ranging curiosity that led him to pursue a variety of interests and activities, and in the spring of 1991, Vikram decided it was time to follow his passion for investing. So he wrote to founder of The Vanguard Group, fellow Blair alum Jack Bogle ’47, asking about available internships. Mr. Bogle graciously connected Vikram with Mitch Jennings Jr. ’63, a fellow Blair alum and executive at Bear Stearns, and from there, Vikram’s journey took flight.

Vikram showed up at 245 Park Avenue in Manhattan that summer and found that his talents and the connections he made would soon lead him from moving boxes in the stock room to the bustling equity trading floor of Wall Street. In a few years, the gifted student would find his way to Yale University, where he earned his bachelor’s degree, and, later, to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where he earned two master’s degrees and a PhD.

Today, Vikram has carved a niche for himself at the forefront of multiple industries, embracing his role as a “generalist.” An entrepreneur, economist and scholar, he was a lecturer at the Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences and writes a weekly column (available at The bestselling author of titles like Boombustology: Spotting Financial Bubbles Before They Burst, Vikram’s insights have appeared in Bloomberg, Fortune, Forbes and others. Notably, has twice named Dr. Mansharamani their #1 top voice on the topics of money, finance and global economics. Worth magazine listed him as one of the 100 Most Powerful People in Global Finance. And In 2022, he ventured into politics, becoming a candidate for one of New Hampshire’s seats in the United States Senate.

Last week, Vikram returned to Blair, sharing his journey from a working-class immigrant household to becoming a student at Blair, and ultimately, a leading voice in American business, government, academia and journalism.

During School Meeting on March 4, Vikram joined English teacher Bob Brandwood, who coached Vikram in swimming at Blair, to share his insights about the importance of curiosity, broad-minded thinking and the benefits of being a generalist. “You will all face pressure to specialize–to get narrow and to develop an expertise–because that will be seen as the basis to differentiate yourself.” The benefit of rethinking that framework, Vikram noted, is that “Specialists don’t see the full context of their decisions,” drawing an analogy to the limitations of having only one tool in a toolbox. “You see the world differently when you look through different lenses,” he advised, encouraging students to gather multiple tools. “We need to keep experts on tap, not on top. Integrating multiple insights–that will emerge to be your true competitive advantage.”

Throughout the day, Vikram engaged in more in-depth discussions with classes and left students with a piece of advice that resonated: “Blair is an amazing place to explore and get to know your peers and faculty…where one can do eclectic, fun things and not feel guilty about it. That’s a luxury. Use that curiosity to its full advantage here at Blair.” Vikram generously provided Blair students and faculty with copies of his book The Making of a Generalist: An Independent Thinker Finds Unconventional Success in an Uncertain World, in which he expands upon the message shared in the all-school assembly.

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