As part of our Countdown to Commencement series, we interviewed a few soon-to-be graduates from our undergraduate and MBA programs to learn about their backgrounds, why they chose Scheller College, and what they plan to do after Fall 2018 Commencement.
Meet Rishi Patel:
Rishi is completing his undergraduate Business Administration degree with a concentration in Finance. He’s also a participant in the Denning Technology and Management (T&M) Program. After graduation, he’ll be heading North to work for PricewaterhouseCoopers in Boston.
Describe yourself in 15 words or less:
I am a huge sports fan who loves exploring Atlanta and socializing with friends.
Where did you intern/co-op and when? What projects did you work on during your internship?
I interned at Edwards Interiors Aerospace the summer of 2016, and my role at the company was to serve as an analyst and determine profit margins on parts they were selling. I then interned at SunTrust Bank in the summer of 2017, and some of my projects included internal remediation for the Treasury and Payment Solutions sector. Lastly, I interned at PricewaterhouseCoopers in the summer of 2018 in their Advisory practice, and I worked on two carve-out deals valued at $2.6 billion and $3.25 billion, respectively.
Why did you choose Scheller College of Business?
I came into Georgia Tech as an undecided engineering major. Once I came to campus, I visited Scheller once or twice and studied the curriculum available in the College. After those few interactions with Scheller, I was sold on the major and the College as a whole and I haven’t looked back since.
Who was your favorite professor and why?
My favorite professor has been Professor Buchanan, because he wasn’t afraid to tell his students the realities of any given situation. He also has served as a mentor in my career development and that has been a pivotal role for how I have made some of my professional choices.
What was your favorite course and what was the biggest insight you gained about business from it?
My favorite course was the investments course taught by professor Weagley. Professor Weagley is a phenomenal teacher who worked hard to gauge his classroom to ensure we understood the concepts and material well before moving on. His dedication to the students made often tough material much easier to comprehend. The biggest insight I gained regarding business in his class was the operations of the stock market as well as a few different techniques for trading strategies.
As a business student in the heart of Tech Square, how do you think Scheller College embodies the intersection of business and technology?
Scheller is always crowded with not only business majors, but also with business professionals from around Tech Square and engineers from across campus. This dynamic forces students to be involved in projects and conversations with students from different disciplines of study.
What is the biggest myth about Scheller College?
The biggest myth about the Scheller is that the classes are a cakewalk. You definitely need to put in adequate time and diligence into your classes if you want to come out of the class with your desired grades.
Who most influenced your decision to pursue business in college?
One of my biggest influences for pursuing business in college were my academic advisors as well as my pre-med advisor. I wanted to pursue medicine when I first came into college, and having spoken to these resources, I thought business and medicine provided the best long-term value.
How did the extracurricular offerings at Scheller College help you during your time here?
The networking sessions in the Scheller Atrium helped me become aware of and secure my internship at SunTrust Bank.
What activities were you involved with on or off campus, and did your business education impact those activities in any way?
On campus I was involved as a PL in Fitten Dorm, a TL for Dean Stein’s GT 1000 class, Social Chairman for IFC, and lastly, I served as president of my Greek fraternity. My business education helped me interact with each group in the most appropriate manner. In business, you learn to adapt to the room that you are in, and I believe this is one of the most valuable skills you learn.
Did you participate in research? If yes, please elaborate.
I participated in research with Professor Swider in his human resources role. We worked on the Boomerang Effect and studied player effectiveness in the NBA when players left their current team and then returned. Our methodology was to study the effect for NBA players since statistics allowed for quantitative research and then extrapolate this methodology for employees in a workforce.
T&M students, please provide details about your project?
I worked for Siemens Mobility. Our team was tasked with created a value-addition calculator for the Siemens Mobility team as they were struggling to price their digital services.
What was the biggest lesson you learned while taking part in T&M?
Getting to experience hands-on work in the mechanical engineering classes I took was an awesome experience. One of the biggest lessons I learned was how to better manage multiple projects at the same time.
How do you feel a program like T&M will prepare you for life after graduation?
The T & M program has better prepared me with networking, resume building and other professional development aspects.
Did being part of T&M play a role in what you’ve decided to do after graduation?
The T & M advisors played a huge role as serving as a backboard for all of my ideas. Talking with John Stanford about the differences in my career thoughts helped me untangle what I was interested in doing.
“If I hadn’t gone to business school, I would be…”
If I hadn’t gone to business school, I would be trying my hand at industrial engineering or potentially biomedical engineering.
What are the top two items on your bucket list?
To see the Aurora Borealis and to go to Wimbledon.
My hobbies include playing and watching sports with friends, exploring different venues across Atlanta, and traveling.
In one sentence, how would you like your peers to remember you?
I would like my peers to remember me as being a caring person who tried to have an impact in the organizations I was involved in.
What is your best piece advice to an applicant hoping to get into Scheller College?
Scheller has so much to offer to its students from a personal growth as well as a professional growth standpoint, and you are doing yourself a disservice if you don’t work to take advantage of that.