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Erica Barker, Georgia Tech Scheller Class of 2021
Erica Barker, Georgia Tech Scheller Class of 2021

Countdown to Commencement: Meet Undergraduate Erica Barker

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 Erica Barker, who is graduating with a concentration in Accounting.

Where are you from? 

Norcross, Georgia.

Where did you attend high school?  

Norcross High School.

What is the biggest lesson you gained from studying business?

The most significant lesson I have learned from my business education is that everything in business is connected; action in one area of a company impacts every other function. I have learned that business decisions should be made carefully and considerately by discussing the wider implications of individual decisions to support a company’s overall strategy and goals.

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

I would advise a prospective business major to subscribe to a business newsletter and to read business news regularly. By reading about current events in the business world, students can pinpoint industries and jobs that interest them, apply their knowledge to real-world business situations, and learn more about business in general. If a student is considering a major in a business-related field, the current news for that field and for the opportunities available in it can be an invaluable resource.

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

I think Scheller incorporates and prioritizes technology and its impacts on business in every course offered. By coupling discussions of technology’s influence in business with tactile experience, Scheller professors encourage students to not only learn about technology, but to apply it in simulations, cases, and exercises that emulate real business situations. Scheller students learn the fundamental components of technology’s role in business and are prepared to enter the workforce with an understanding of and a capability to leverage technology to generate change in various business environments.

What was your favorite business course?

MGT 3662 – Management in the Healthcare Sector with Bill Todd.

Who is your favorite professor?

Debby Turner! Her dedication to her students and enthusiasm for teaching has made class enjoyable and has developed my knowledge of accounting and its role in business. She is supportive and communicative, and her love for accounting and care for her students make attending class a positive experience each day, even in a virtual environment.

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

I was surprised by the expansive and well-rounded curriculum. Scheller introduces its students to every facet of business, from finance, information technology, to human resources. Studying business here has exposed me to a variety of business subjects, and it has allowed me to identify the conceptual areas I am most interested and passionate about now. As a business major at Scheller, I have developed a foundational knowledge of business practices while concentrating my education in the area that most fascinates me. This structure is different from many other business schools, but I think it has better prepared me to enter the workforce and pursue a cross-functional career.

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

I was a campus tour guide, Emerging Leaders member and advisor, Society of Women in Business member, Honorary Accounting Organization member, and vice president of finance for Alpha Gamma Delta.

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

I was honored to be selected for the Jennifer R. and Charles B. Rewis Award for Student Excellence in Accounting this year, and I am most proud of this achievement because it represents the time and energy I have dedicated to developing my business and accounting education.

Where have you interned during your college career?

Data analyst intern at PSA North America, Inc., advisory and assurance intern, Cox Enterprises, and assurance intern at PriceWaterhouseCooper.

Where will you be working after graduation?

PriceWaterhouseCoopers as an assurance associate.

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

I would better network with the students in Scheller by joining more organizations in the college and meeting more peers in class. I think the business students in Scheller are so ambitious and inspiring, and if I had the opportunity go through business school again, I would dedicate more time to meeting more students and learning about their experiences and goals.

Which classmate do you most admire?

I most admire Ellie Ristau, who graduated in May 2020. Her knack for accounting, unwavering kindness, and authenticity have had an inspirational effect on me and have encouraged me to be a better student, a better professional, and a better person. From working together on group projects to talking after class, I have always been impressed with Ellie’s work ethic and talent, and I admire her greatly.

Who would you most want to thank for your success?

I want to thank my mom for my success because she has instilled in me the values of hard work, resilience, and confidence. She has been my career role model throughout my life by effortlessly balancing family and work and by continuously striving to drive beneficial change in every organization at which she has worked. She has provided me with the encouragement, advisement, and support that has motivated me to pursue every opportunity to learn and to reach my goals.

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

I want to be the CEO of a Fortune 500 Company, and I want to give a TED Talk.

What is a fun fact about yourself?

I was a seat filler at the 2020 NFL Honors Award Show!

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