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Amanda will begin with Georgia Pacific as an associate brand manager after graduation.
Amanda will begin with Georgia Pacific as an associate brand manager after graduation.


Countdown to Commencement – Amanda Palaski

As part of our Countdown to Commencement series, we spent some time with a few full-time MBA soon-to-be graduates to learn about their backgrounds, why they chose Scheller College for their MBA program, and what they plan to do with their degrees after May 5.

Meet Amanda Palaski. Amanda is from Armada, Michigan and earned her bachelor’s degree in biology from Georgia Tech. She describes herself as a “passionate, ambitious person who loves helping others and is trying to make a difference”. She has played the violin for 15 years. Amanda worked at the Ark Animal Hospital as a veterinary technician before pursuing her MBA. She interned at Georgia Pacific during the summer of 2016 and will return to Georgia Pacific as an associate brand manager after graduation.

Which academic or extracurricular achievement are you most proud of during business school?
I am most proud of my work as a peer coach. I love helping others achieve their goals and I think this position has allowed me to form what I hope will be life-long relationships with my mentees, who have taught me every bit as much as I have taught them. The opportunity to connect to these individuals, and to see what drives them to learn and push themselves further, has been incredible. I feel honored when they come to me with questions and we work through whatever issues they may be having. Watching each one of them succeed has been enriching and inspiring.

What achievement are you most proud of in your professional career?
I am most proud of my work as a board fellow for Zoo Atlanta. In undergrad, I had dreams of being a veterinarian at Zoo Atlanta. I volunteered with their veterinary department and I volunteered as a zookeeper in the hoofstock section (Giraffes, zebras, bongos, rhinos, and more!). Eventually, I discovered my talents in business, but my passion for Zoo Atlanta never ended. My ultimate goal is to become the CEO of Zoo Atlanta. I reached out to their current CEO, Raymond King, to ask all about his position and his journey to becoming CEO. He was incredibly supportive and so helpful in me planning my next career steps. So, when the opportunity presented itself to become a Board Fellow through Net Impact and work on a business related project in a non-profit context, I immediately contacted Raymond to ask about Zoo Atlanta. He welcomed me onboard to help with a strategic plan that has given me such incredible insight into how the Zoo is run. It has further strengthened my passion for Zoo Atlanta and my long-term goals, and I am so proud to be a part of such a wonderful team.

Who was your favorite MBA professor?
My favorite professor was Dr. Christina Shalley. She not only taught my favorite course, Negotiation and Conflict, but took an active interest in helping me through some difficult career decisions.

Why did you choose this business school?
I attended Georgia Tech as an undergraduate student. 

So I knew that not only was I going to receive a world-class education at a great value, but also I was going to be a part of a community that truly cared about the success of each member. There was no other choice for me.

What did you enjoy most about business school in general?
Getting to know a multitude of people from a variety of backgrounds. I loved the diverse perspectives that led people to different ways of problem solving. There is so much value in understanding people with different ideas and experiences, so for me that was the most enjoyable aspect of business school.

What was the most surprising thing about business school for you?
I think I have been most surprised about the amount of personal growth I have experienced. I knew I would learn new skills and talents by attending business school, but what I did not anticipate was how much I would learn about myself and what I am capable of. I have developed more confidence in myself and learned more about what I want my life to be, all by learning from those around me and experiencing their wisdom and support. I never imagined that I would feel as confident and comfortable as I do today and I have my family and classmates to thank for that.

What is your best piece of advice to an applicant hoping to get into Scheller’s MBA program?
Be yourself. Your experiences, your knowledge, and your passion are enough, and given the right tools and hard work, you can accomplish more than you had previously thought possible.

“I knew I wanted to go to business school when”
… I decided I wanted to make a large impact with my life.

“If I hadn’t gone to business school, I would be”
… a veterinarian at Zoo Atlanta.

What is your ultimate long-term professional goal?
I am working towards becoming the CEO of Zoo Atlanta.

Who would you most want to thank for your success?
My family has always been the most important aspect of my life. They have pushed me to do everything that I wanted to and have supported me every step of the way. My parents have sacrificed so much for me to be successful. My little sisters have always looked up to me and have lifted me up when I could not do it on my own. I owe my family for everything I have accomplished. My successes are not mine alone.

In one sentence, how would you like your peers to remember you?
I want to be remembered as someone who worked hard, enjoyed life, and did everything I could to help others.

CONTACTS

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Susan Ambrosetti
Director of Marketing & Communications