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 Sarah Boger, a fifth-year student graduating in December with a finance concentration.
Where are you from?
I was born in Japan but grew up in Johns Creek, Georgia.
Who most influenced your decision to pursue business in college?
My dad influenced me the most. He is a CPA and would often tell me that I could always pivot my career because every industry needs accountants and financial analysts. At the time, I wasn’t quite sure what I wanted to do for a career, so this seemed like the logical choice. Now, I am certain it was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made.
Why did you choose Scheller College of Business?
I actually left school after my freshman year to figure out what I wanted to do. I started off as a biomedical engineering major, but obviously that changed. At the time, I was at the cusp of a decision, yet unable to reach a final decision on what major to choose. Now, after completing my finance degree, I can say there were times it was challenging, but the community I found at Scheller helped me find meaning in my work. It has certainly been one of the best decisions I’ve made.
What concentration did you pursue and why? How has this helped prepare you for your future?
I am a finance concentration and I attribute my current success to all of the mentors, friends, peers, and professors I’ve met through Scheller. It’s amazing to see how driven and curious our finance students are and how passionate and dedicated our professors are. If you put in the effort, you will get back just as much, if not more.
Where did you intern/co-op during school?
I interned under the CFO at Audi/Lamborghini in Tokyo for six months, and since June 2020, I have been interning with the Investment Grade Fixed Income Team at Invesco Atlanta.
Where will you be working after graduation?
I’m excited to say I will be working as a portfolio analyst at Invesco!
Who was your favorite professor (and why)?
During 2016, politics invaded almost every platform – TV, radio, social media. Since then, no one can deny the ubiquitous political bias and polarization that is present in America today. It is also why I hated reading or watching the news. If I was to make an important decision, the academic in me needed the supporting data; or at the very least, no one else’s agenda trying to persuade me. Then, in Fall 2019, as I got deeper into my finance courses, I asked Professor Simasek how to understand global markets. I’ll never forget this moment because he said the best way was to read the very stories I had been avoiding – to read the news. I had never read or seen financial news before, and once I started, I saw the world connect in a new color. It was that moment when I got hooked.
Although this one memory does not encompass all the lessons I learned from Professor Simasek, it is one that changed my life. He is my favorite professor because not only does he teach with extraordinary tenacity, but he also sits in the weeds with you to paint a clear picture of what would otherwise be the convoluted world of financial markets.
What was your favorite course (and what was the biggest insight you gained about business from it)?
My favorite course was Financial Modeling with Dr. Jacqueline Garner because she designed the course to challenge you to apply textbook concepts to real-world applications of the knowledge. I definitely learned more about why accounting concepts matter to financial models and the importance of automated models.
As a business student in the heart of Tech Square, how do you think Scheller College embodies the intersection of business and technology?
Since Tech Square is not part of the main campus, you can feel the hustle and bustle of the city more, but you are also closely tied to technology through coursework, peers, and the infrastructure utilized.
What activities were you involved with on or off-campus, and did your business education impact those activities in any way?
This past year, I joined the Financial Management Association. I also started working on a portfolio recommendation mobile app. These two activities were heavily tied to concepts I learned in class.
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?
From the application “black-hole,” as Mr. Stan Broome would put it, to networking events, I applied, interviewed, failed, and repeated the process. I’ve gotten through to final round interviews for two major investment banks where they “wine and dine” you, only to get rejected. My point is that each time I told myself it was my top choice. I now know that I was valuing the wrong things though. After working in asset management and connecting with others in this industry, I realized I am in the perfect role for me, and I only got there because I didn’t give up even when I wanted to. That wouldn’t have been possible without the immense help of the mentors and friends who pushed me to persevere.
What is your best piece advice to an applicant hoping to get into Scheller College?
Don’t compare yourself with your peers and focus on what you can control. Everyone says this, but it’s becoming more relevant as we integrate technology into our lives. Within seconds we can scroll on social media feeds to see the highlights of our friends’ lives. Seldom do we see the path or struggle to get there. It’s okay to take time. It’s okay to be different. Your experiences and beliefs are uniquely yours, and that is what creates intellectual diversity.
What is the biggest myth about Scheller College?
Scheller students can’t be engineers. Not true!
Fun fact about yourself:
I raced with a semi-pro and pro go-kart team in Tokyo.
Go-karting, flower arranging, cooking, and traveling.
If I hadn’t gone to business school, I would be a....
What are the top two items on your bucket list?
To travel through the world and make friends in each country I visit and try 100 different foods I’ve never eaten before.
In one sentence, how would you like your peers to remember you?
I want to be remembered as someone who would go above and beyond to help.