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Denning T&M Program Profile: Rehman Pirani
Denning T&M Program Profile: Rehman Pirani

Profile: Rehman Pirani

Rehman Pirani moved to the U.S. at the age of 6 when his family was presented the opportunity by winning a green card lottery in Pakistan. His parents owned a dry fruits and nuts store, which at the time did not require a college education. So, when it was time for Pirani to apply, he was the first in the family to navigate the process.

"It was a little challenging, and I was kind of on my own, but everyone is in a sense," he said.

Pirani, who went to high school in Johns Creek, was torn between Georgia Tech and the University of Georgia, but he made up his mind at an event for Dean’s Scholars at the Scheller College of Business.

"That event and the people I met there were the main reason I came to Tech," he said. He also wanted a technical minor, which he found in the Denning Technology and Management Program.

Pirani himself became one of those Tech students whom prospective students meet when they visit campus. He got further involved in the business community as an ambassador for the Scheller College of Business and through Alpha Kappa Psi, a co-ed business fraternity. This year he also served as president of Scheller’s Student Development Board.

Seeing prospective students not only enroll, but then sometimes even join the organizations that have meant so much to him, has been one of Pirani’s favorite things about college.

"The cycle is fun - seeing everyone who came in at once and watching where they go and end up," he said. "It’s also cool to see how much the College of Business has changed." (The former College of Management had just taken on its new name when Pirani enrolled in 2012.)

Before choosing business at Georgia Tech, Pirani thought he wanted to be an architect. An internship in high school told him that might not be the best career for him, though. It would be the first of several career experiences that led him to find what he wanted to do.

"It was a little challenging, and I was kind of on my own, but everyone is in a sense," he said.

At times, Pirani pursued entrepreneurial endeavors. During his sophomore year, he launched a mobile development startup that created iPhone apps for those who did not have the tools to do so themselves. One client was a faculty member at Florida International University — Pirani’s company helped her convert her e-books into interactive iPhone apps that her students could then use to supplement lectures.

He later participated in Ideas to SERVE, where his team, SmileBright, won first place in 2015. They conceived a 3-D printed prototype for a toothbrush called SmileBuddy for people with developmental disabilities.

"That was the best team I’ve ever worked with," he said. "We were all different majors and skill sets, yet we worked so well together."

Ultimately, Pirani decided he wanted to work at a company where he would have strong mentors. This spring, he’ll start a full-time job in San Francisco with Workday, where he also did an internship. After four and a half years, he’s ready to go from student to alumnus, and his family is ready to celebrate with him.

"They’re excited - my mom bought an American dress for the ceremony, which she doesn’t do very often," he said. "My parents have worked so hard to make it easy on me. Being able to graduate debt-free with a good job and career path is all thanks to them. They’ve always been there to support me and would tell me, 'just keep working hard.'"

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Writer:  Kristen Bailey
Photographer:  Rob Felt
Digital Designer:  Melanie Goux