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 Fall 2020 commencement.
Meet Kirtan Parekh, a fifth-year student graduating in December with a marketing concentration.
Where are you from?
I’m from Suwanee, Georgia.
Who most influenced your decision to pursue business in college?
I had two teachers in high school who taught a business-focused project-based learning course that changed the way I looked at the business world and they are the ones who inspired me to pursue a business degree.
Why did you choose Scheller College of Business?
Scheller was the perfect mesh of innovation and collaboration that I was looking for. It was extremely easy to feel as though I was at home when I stepped foot into Scheller for the first time, and that was instrumental in my decision to choose Scheller. Not only that, but it is hard to argue against having your university be right in the heart of Midtown Atlanta where businesses are booming and innovating like no other. As someone who was really interested in entrepreneurship, I was also drawn to the Atlanta startup culture that Scheller is right at the center of. All of these reasons combined with the people I interacted with made my decision really easy to pick Scheller College of Business as the place to call my home for the next few years.
What concentration did you pursue and why? How has this helped prepare you for your future?
I chose to pursue marketing as my concentration. I have always been a people person who has been passionate about graphic design and creativity. I thought that marketing was the perfect combination of these two passions of mine since it combines both analytical creativity with understanding the way people work and function. I have been fortunate enough to interview with and set myself up with companies both in Atlanta and across the U.S. that allow me to continue to pursue my goals and aspirations.
Where did you intern/co-op during school?
I interned with a financial technology startup in Atlanta called Stackfolio. I learned a LOT about all things marketing through this role since the only other individual on the marketing team left the company a month into my internship. This forced me to learn a lot very quickly and was a huge learning experience for me.
Where will you be working after graduation?
I am currently still in the interview process with multiple companies and don’t have any solidified plans just yet.
Who was your favorite professor (and why)?
My favorite professor was Dr. Jaqueline Garner. She was one of the most personable and inviting professors that I had the opportunity to learn from. You could tell from day one that she cared for each student as if they were the only student in the room. Her teaching style was both collaborative and supportive which is something that I learned very well from. I really think she embodies what it means to be a caring professor.
What was your favorite course (and what was the biggest insight you gained about business from it)?
I would say my favorite course was Aaron Hackett’s Strategic Brand Management course. The biggest takeaway from this class was the concept of 80/20 marketing. I believe Professor Hackett’s course did a wonderful job of creating context and a story around what it means to be a marketer and forced us all to tackle the challenges that come with it from a new perspective.
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 is truly pushing boundaries each and every day with the unique way of thinking that it teaches all of its students. It isn’t so much the black and white of what we learn at Scheller, but more how to think. Every class is structured to allow students to gain a competitive advantage by understanding the business world from a completely different analytical perspective.
What activities were you involved with on or off campus, and did your business education impact those activities in any way?
I was involved heavily with the New Student and Transition Programs through the FASET Orientation Program and the Wreck Camp Extended Orientation. I was also a part of the Georgia Tech Tour Guides. These organizations were really special to me because I could combine my passions for meeting and engaging with people with my love for Georgia Tech and they allowed me to share my stories and experiences with prospective students and their families. Scheller prepared me very well for these roles as they all involved a large amount of public speaking both to large groups as well as small ones. With most of our classes emphasizing public speaking and encouraging students to speak up in class, we learn early on the value of being able to communicate effectively with others.
How did the Scheller College undergraduate career education program assist you with your job efforts? Did you end up working or interning for one of your top choice companies?
I interned with a company that I learned an immense amount from as my first internship. That was something that I really wanted as I wanted a lot of depth in my experience. As far as full-time opportunities go, I was well equipped with the confidence required to apply to organizations effectively and to share my experiences with companies in a way that would set me apart from other candidates.
What is your best piece advice to an applicant hoping to get into Scheller College?
Share your passions freely. The best part about Scheller College is the people, and each individual has passions that they bring to the table and that’s what makes this a special place. I really believe that if you find your true passions and share them with those around you intentionally, you will find a lot more success in the application process.
What is the biggest myth about Scheller College?
I would say the biggest myth is that we are not really a part of the rest of Georgia Tech (especially with our location). But you find out very quickly how integrated we really are in the campus culture and the community. Not only do we get to work closely with students of various majors, but we are consistently finding ourselves bringing ideas to the rest of campus as well.
Fun fact about yourself:
I was once on an Australian kids TV show!
Rock Climbing, drumming, golfing, hockey, graphic design.
If I hadn’t gone to business school, I would be a....
A computer scientist.
What are the top two items on your bucket list?
Skiing in the Alps and visiting every national park in the United States.
In one sentence, how would you like your peers to remember you?
I would like my peers to remember me as the goofy but loving friend that was always up to have deep conversations, laugh for hours, or just be there as a support for others.