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Countdown to Commencement: Aashal Dave, Undergraduate

As part of Scheller’s Countdown to Commencement series, we interviewed a few soon-to-be graduates from our Undergraduate, MBA and Ph.D. programs to learn about their backgrounds, why they chose Scheller College, and what they plan to do after Spring 2019 commencement.
Aashal Dave

Aashal Dave

As part of Scheller’s Countdown to Commencement series, we interviewed a few soon-to-be graduates from our Undergraduate, MBA and Ph.D. programs to learn about their backgrounds, why they chose Scheller College, and what they plan to do after Spring 2019 commencement.

Meet Aashal Dave.

Aashal is from Watkinsville, Georgia, and completing his business administration degree with a concentration in Finance and a minor in Engineering and Business through the Denning Technology & Management Program. After graduation, he will be working as an Investment Banking Analyst at Croft & Bender, a boutique Investment Bank in Atlanta.

Describe yourself in 15 words or less: I am a persistent individual with a competitive drive who loves meeting new people.

Fun fact about yourself: I’ve performed improv in front of a full audience at Ferst Theatre for six minutes.

Where did you intern?
I had the privilege of interning with two of my top choice companies; J.P.Morgan Chase & Co. and PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) in New York City. At J.P.Morgan Chase & Co., I was a Private Banking Summer Analyst. I learned the foundations of wealth management for high net worth individuals, the fundamentals of excel modeling, and how the markets interact globally. At PricewaterhouseCoopers as a Management Consulting Summer Analyst, I worked on projects ranging from data analytics, to change management, to understanding how a business operates across all verticals and dimensions. During my time there, I had the opportunity to compete in a case competition with interns across the U.S., travel to-and-from the client site, and network with employees in the New York office.

Why did you choose Scheller College of Business?
I chose Scheller College of Business because of the School’s strategic placement in the heart of Atlanta, and its focus on the intersection of technology and business.

Who was your favorite professor (and why)?
My favorite professor is Dr. Jacqueline Garner because of the energy she brings to class, the dedication and investment that she provides to her students, and her ability to ensure that course materials are relevant to the professional world.

What was your favorite course (and what was the biggest insight you gained about business from it?)
My favorite course was Organizational Behavior. The biggest insight I gained about business from an organizational behavior point-of-view is that one does not need to have an amazing product or idea to have a successful business – one needs to have a solid company culture and surround themselves with dedicated workers. Creating a solid culture and finding excellent coworkers is easier said than done. Both take time to cultivate and find, so learning the science behind organizational behavior was very interesting to me.

As a business student in the heart of Tech Square, how do you think Scheller College embodies the intersection of business and technology?
Scheller College of Business embodies the intersection of business and technology because every business student is required to take an introductory computer science course, and every course at Scheller has a technology aspect incorporated into the syllabus.

Please provide details about your Denning Technology & Management (T&M) experience
Currently, I am on a team with a business student with a marketing concentration, an Industrial Engineer, and a Mechanical Engineer. Collectively, we are working with Shaw Industries in Cartersville, Georgia as part of our Denning T&M Capstone Project. The business issue at hand is that Shaw has a handful of Atlanta- based employees who are facing a commute time of over 90s minutes to Cartersville one-way . Shaw has tasked us with ideating ways to mitigate the lengthy commute time in order to increase retention and attract top-talent within the Greater-Atlanta area. As a result, my team and I have pinpointed a collaborative workspace in Atlanta, as well as a shuttle service system for Atlanta employees to take to Cartersville. The collaborative workspace will serve as a way for Atlanta employees to be connected to the design hub that Atlanta is, as well as limit employees’ lengthy commute times to Cartersville. The shuttle service system will remove the dilemma of employees directly having to drive to Cartersville if they end up having to go to the Cartersville office during the week.

How do you feel you grew as a business student by being part of Denning Technology & Management?
T&M allowed me to grow as a business student because it gave me a holistic perspective of what it means to be a business student. The business world is not limited to banking, accounting, or marketing – the business world requires leaders of engineering companies, technical product managers, leaders who can understand a product and create a market for it, etc. By being part of T&M, I am able to understand all of the steps involved in either a horizontal or vertical supply chain, and I am able to be a leader who can communicate at the executive level, as well as the product design level.

What was the biggest lesson you learned while taking part in Denning Technology & Management?
T&M has taught me to be a student who learns through asking questions, rather than a student who is expected to know everything before a lesson. This is crucial because in the professional world, one has to be comfortable with asking uncomfortable questions, since no day is the same, and no task is the same. If one falls into the habit of always doing tasks the same way, or thinking that they know everything, they will not be successful – they will not have a diverse approach. The true path to learning is by being humble and asking questions, because there is always the chance that a question can spark a new idea and perspective.

How do you feel a program like Denning Technology & Management prepared you for life after graduation?
T&M prepared me for life after graduation because it has given me a group of nearly 60 people who are now a part of my network (in addition to its alumni network), and it has changed my approach to how I solve complex and simple problems. T&M provides Georgia Tech students with the unique opportunity to work closely with 60 other students with different backgrounds, cultures, majors, and interests. Having this group of go-to individuals makes me feel even more confident in entering the professional world upon graduation. In regards to problem solving, T&M has given me the opportunity to solve problems outside of my major. This has shown me that it is important to approach a problem with different viewpoints, and that there is never a “one-size fits all” solution.

Did being part of Denning Technology & Management play a role in what you’ve decided to do after graduation?
While T&M did not directly play a role in pushing me to pursue Investment Banking after graduation, it showed me that I excel when on interdisciplinary teams, that it is important to work on global problems, and that it is crucial to pursue a career in which you will grow both personally and professionally. T&M truly sets its students up for success after college because it pushes its students to pursue meaningful work, rather than pursue a career for money or title.

What is the biggest myth about Scheller College? (And how was it the same or different than what you experienced?)
Myth: Scheller College of Business is just another business school and has average job placements in comparison to the other colleges on Georgia Tech’s campus. Quite the contrary - Scheller College of Business is one of the only colleges on Georgia Tech’s campus that has two dedicated corporate relations/career development staff members. Additionally, Scheller students have one of the highest, if not the highest, job placement on campus. Scheller students are able to pick up internships, co-ops, and full-time positions with any consulting firm, bulge bracket and boutique banks, startups, big name technology firms, manufacturing companies, and so many more.

Did you travel abroad during your time at Scheller? What were some of your key takeaways from the experience?
During my time at Scheller, I had the privilege of studying abroad twice: once through the Georgia Tech Lorraine program based in France, and once through the Denning Technology & Management program offered in China. During the summer after my freshman year, I studied abroad in Lorraine, Metz, France for roughly ten weeks at Georgia Tech Lorraine. A few key takeaways from my experience include the lasting relationships that I built while traveling with friends, learning how to navigate continental Europe with limited proficiency in the many European languages, paragliding in Interlaken, Switzerland, and seeing the differences in lifestyles between Europeans and Americans. During my third-year, I had the opportunity to go to Hong Kong and Shenzhen, China through the Denning Technology & Management program over spring break. The biggest takeaway from this trip was what it is like to conduct business internationally, specifically in Southeast Asia, under China’s intense economic and political system.

What activities were you involved with on or off campus, and did your business education impact those activities in any way?
On campus, I’ve been involved as a Marketing Intern for the Georgia Tech Athletic Association, a Resident Advisor, a GT1000 TL teaching leader? twice, a student of the Denning Technology & Management program, a Scheller Ambassador, and numerous directorship positions including the Vice Presidency of Finance for my Co-Ed Professional Business Fraternity, Alpha Kappa Psi. My business education specifically aided me during my time as Vice President of Finance for Alpha Kappa Psi. Learning the fundamentals of organizational behavior, accounting, and management of human capital was instrumental in running an organization with over 70 participants. I am sincerely thankful for my business education which provided me with a strong leadership backbone that I could directly apply to Alpha Kappa Psi.

What is your best piece advice to an applicant hoping to get into Scheller College?
The degree that you will get from Scheller College of Business is unlike any other business degree – be prepared to work extremely hard and to take classes within and outside of your major.

“If I hadn’t gone to business school, I would be… (Complete sentence)
If I hadn’t gone to business school, I would be studying political science and attempting to pursue Law School.

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