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Irene Dong, Georgia Tech Scheller Class of 2021
Irene Dong, Georgia Tech Scheller Class of 2021

Countdown to Commencement: Meet Undergraduate Irene Dong

As part of the Georgia Tech Scheller College of Business Countdown to Commencement series, we interviewed a few soon-to-be graduates from our Undergraduate program to learn about their backgrounds, why they chose Scheller, and what they plan to do after the Spring 2021 commencement.

Meet Irene Dong who is graduating with a concentration in information technology Mmanagement and a certificate in business analytics.

Where are you from?

Woodstock, Georgia.

Where did you attend high school?

Etowah High School.

What is the biggest lesson you gained from studying business?

The biggest lesson I learned is that business is constantly changing. The business school does a great job reflecting that because I see changes made to the courses every semester, and the material for each course is applicable to the business world today.

What advice would you give to a student looking to major in a business-related field?

My biggest piece of advice is to be open-minded. Business has many areas that you can be interested in, so you do not have to aim for a specific field right away. Just as the business world grows, you are also growing, which might change your area of interest later.

As a business student in the heart of Tech Square, how do you think Scheller College embodies the intersection of business and technology?

The Scheller College of Business gives its students the opportunity to apply both business and technological concepts in preparation for the professional world. As technology evolves, the coursework also aligns with the current technologies which make Scheller’s students more competitive than students from other schools. Tech Square is also the home of many innovation and development hubs for large companies and startup incubators.

What was your favorite business course?

Revenue Analytics with Qiuping Yu was my favorite course because I was able to apply what I learned to my own work experience. Her class encouraged me to pursue a career in analytics, and I met the chairman of revenue analytics for lunch!    

Who was your favorite professor?

My favorite professor is Tim Martin because he truly cares about his students and is always available for a chat about anything. He was very understanding of his students’ situations and gave detailed feedback that not only applied to future assignments but to work in the business world. His classes, Operations Strategy and Service Operations Management helped me with one of my projects at my internship, so I have already seen how relevant and applicable his material is in the corporate world. 

What has surprised you most about majoring in business at Scheller College?

I am consistently surprised by how important relationships are in the business world. Scheller College gives its students more than enough opportunities to network with different companies and professionals who are well-experienced in their fields. When I first entered college, I was focused on gaining technical skills and learning business acumen. But what I learned was that communication skills are essential, and you cannot be successful without building relationships throughout your career.

What were some of your extracurricular activities, community work, and leadership roles during college?

I was involved in the Excel Mentorship Program for three years where I was a mentor, coach, and Health & Wellness teaching assistant to the students in the Excel program. I worked as an administrative assistant for the Excel program, and as an operations assistant at the Bill Moore Student Success Center, where I had the opportunity to network with different companies. I was awarded the Mary Ellen and R. Steve Buffington International Study Abroad Scholarship for the Oxford Summer Study Abroad program. I was also on the Dean’s and Faculty’s Honors List every semester.

Which academic, extra-curricular, or personal achievement are you most proud of?

I am most proud of my work as an administrative assistant for the Excel program. The Excel program is a program for students with intellectual and developmental disabilities which started in Scheller College’s Institute of Leadership and Social Impact (ILSI), so I was able to watch the program grow from the very beginning. The number of applicants grows every year, and I got to watch the students grow during the year. Working with the director and the careers, academics, and mentorship teams for the past three years, I knew that my relationship with the Excel program ran deep. After graduating from Scheller College, I will be coming back to see the students walk across the stage every year because their successes impact me as much as my own.

Where have you interned during your college career?

Information technology operations co-op at the Georgia Tech Research Institute and marketing analyst and business/data analyst at PrimeRevenue.

Where will you be working after graduation?

I will be attending graduate school for a master’s degree in analytics after graduation. I have a few offers lined up, and I am still searching for the perfect job, but I am confident that there is an opportunity waiting for me soon!

Looking back over your experience, what is the one thing you’d do differently in business school and why?

I would have been more involved in the business school organizations because I learned that these clubs and organizations were a great way to network and learn more about different areas of business that I could be interested in.

Which classmate do you most admire?

The classmate I admire the most is Vaishu Merugu, who is one of the most intelligent and caring people I know at Georgia Tech. I was always amazed by her work ethic and influence on others around her, making friends with every individual in the room. From the moment we met during freshmen year, I knew that we were going to have an everlasting friendship. She inspires me to work harder in my academic coursework and professional life. Sometimes I have the feeling that she believes in me more than I believe in myself. She shows her dedication through her work and relationships with her coworkers at NCR and Tutti, her startup. I cannot wait to see how she makes a greater impact on others when she starts working at McMaster-Carr.

Who would you most want to thank for your success?

I would like to thank my family for always being there for me and giving me a push in the right direction. Without them, I would not have been able to get through four years at Georgia Tech. My mom influenced me to major in business and reminded me that my health was the top priority over everything else. She constantly texted me to make sure I ate my meals and took breaks from work and school. My dad gave me my quantitative background. He taught me mathematics and science, but the most important lesson that he taught me was to care for others. And my brother – he was my emotional support. He taught me it was okay to cry when things go wrong. I cannot thank them enough for all that they have done to make me who I am today.

What are the top two items on your professional bucket list?

I want to eventually travel and work in another country, and I want to write a book about my professional life.

Fun fact about yourself:

I love to travel! I have visited 10 countries so far.

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