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Graduation 2020 Profiles: Abbey Yates, Undergrad

As part of Scheller’s Graduation 2020 series, we interviewed a few soon-to-be graduates including Abbey Yates.
Abbey Yates

Abbey Yates

As part of Scheller’s Graduation 2020 Profiles series, we interviewed a few soon-to-be graduates from our Undergraduate program to learn about their backgrounds, why they chose Scheller College, and what they plan to do after Spring 2020 graduation.

Your Name:

Abbey Yates

Where did you intern/co-op during school? 

I interned at The Coca-Cola Company as a Digital Technology intern and at NCR Corporation as a Product Analyst intern.

Where will you be working after graduation?

I will be working for NBCUniversal as a Media Technology Associate.

Why did you choose Scheller College of Business?

I chose Scheller College of Business because I believed it would provide me with an outstanding return on my parent’s and my investment. Ultimately, colleges are meant to prepare their students to be the best professionals they can be in whichever fields they desire. I knew that between Scheller’s technology-focused curriculum, involved faculty and staff, and urban location, I would be a competitive candidate when I interviewed for my ideal full-time job.

Who was your favorite professor (and why)?

My favorite professor would be Lindsay Staar. Lindsay was not only my professor for my GT1000 course in the fall of my first year, but she was also my adviser. Throughout my time at Georgia Tech, and specifically at Scheller College of Business, Lindsay was always there to offer me advice and counsel. It was at her suggestion in the fall of my first year that I applied to be a Scheller Business Ambassador (SBA), a club that I then went on to lead in my senior year. When I switched minors in my third-year, Lindsay made certain that I had a plan outlined which would allow me to stay on course and graduate on time. Finally, as SBA President in my final year at Scheller, Lindsay has been one of the advisers of our club who has worked ceaselessly to ensure that we have the space, resources, and guidance we need to fulfill our purpose: serving the Scheller community.

What was your favorite course (and what was the biggest insight you gained about business from it)?

My favorite course at Scheller would either be Foundations of Strategy with Professor Pian Shu or Emerging Technologies with Professor Eric Overby. I really enjoyed both of these classes because they were largely discussion-based and challenged us as students to consider why companies pursue certain strategies and how larger contextual factors such as politics, societal pressure, or economic concerns impact business decision-making.

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

The Tech Square location truly encompasses the Scheller spirit. We are our own entity; however, we are also surrounded by companies and other colleges that work with us. One minute a student may be on the main campus, but with a quick walk across the Fifth Street bridge, they’re in the heart of Midtown and among businesses such as Accenture and NCR, companies which have employed me along with many of my friends. Having Scheller in this area allows business students to experience both the urban feel of a city where business is booming and the campus appeal of a university that puts innovation first.

What is your best piece of advice to an applicant hoping to get into Scheller College?

My best piece of advice to an applicant hoping to get into Scheller would be to surround yourself with people that push you to be the best you can be. I think that all of the students at Scheller are incredibly impressive because they are incredibly driven. I have friends that have started their own businesses, landed dream internships with top companies, worked on ground-breaking research projects, you name it. I would attribute this success to the College’s collective work ethic. Students here are determined and passionate and it inspires the rest of us to step up to the plate. If a prospective student hopes to get into Scheller, I would encourage them to display that passion early on in applications and essays by researching what activities, companies, organizations will best allow them to thrive when they are here.

What is the biggest myth about Scheller College?

I think that the biggest myth about Scheller College of Business is that it is secondary to the schools more widely recognized engineering programs. Though Georgia Tech is a school known for engineering, Scheller College of Business is a renowned business school. Not only do we benefit from being business students at a technologically savvy school, and thereby receive a business degree with a focus on technology, but we also help our fellow engineering students. Many engineers at Georgia Tech that I have either known or worked with have said that they benefited from having a business major on their team to assist them in matters such as finance, accounting, marketing, or even public speaking. I think that this dynamic makes all students at Georgia Tech more versatile and better prepared to enter the workforce.

Who most influenced your decision to pursue business in college? (A parent? A teacher? A role model?)

In my final two years of high school, I participated in a program called the Academy of Finance. This program taught me and my fellow students about the holistic world of business. We had lessons on public speaking, pitch delivery, business taxation, entrepreneurship, and more. The teacher that led this program, Mr. Steven Fortenberry, graduated from Georgia Tech himself. As I entered my final year of high school and began researching colleges, Mr. Fortenberry volunteered the idea of attending Georgia Tech, and in particular, Scheller College of Business. Thanks to his suggestion, I looked into the school, and here I am graduating from the College a little over four years later!

What activities were you involved with on or off-campus, and did your business education impact those activities in any way?

Throughout my time at Georgia Tech, I competed on the Varsity Swimming & Diving team, served as a Scheller Business Ambassador, worked as a Scheller Undergraduate Office assistant, maintained friendships as a member of greek life, and took part in various philanthropic endeavors on and off-campus. In all of these activities, I was surrounded by friends and fellow business majors that I had met thanks to Scheller College of Business.

How did the Career Center assist you with your job efforts? Did you end up working or interning for one of your top choice companies?

The career advisors at Scheller College of Business were instrumental in helping me land my full-time job. In my second year at Scheller, I sat down with Kate Zepernick and related to her my interest in pursuing a career in media, particularly at NBCUniversal, a company whose headquarters I had toured in my senior year of high school and felt determined to work for. In that same meeting, she gave me the contact information of two Georgia Tech alumni who worked in the media industry in New York City and who she believed would be willing to have a chat with me about my future. After reaching out to them and having these discussions, I felt even more determined to pursue this path. When my fourth year rolled around and it was time to search for my full-time job, I reconnected with these contacts among others and was fortunate enough to be granted an initial interview with NBCUniversal. I met with both Michael Dutcher and Stan Broome, the current Scheller career advisers, in preparation for this interview. We reviewed how I could best present my experiences, my qualifications, and myself. As the interviews continued, Michael and Stan were always there to answer questions on how best to proceed. And, when I eventually received news of a full-time offer, Michael and Stan were there to congratulate me on landing my dream first job.

Did you participate in any hands-on/experiential learning opportunities? If yes, which projects/companies did you work with and how did you help them?

In the fall semester of my third year, I worked on the Vertically Integrated Projects research team called Humor Genome. My team studied humor theory, i.e., what makes a joke funny and whether or not humor can be artificially produced. On this project, I was the business student responsible for marketing and commercializing our research. This work included creating surveys to gather data, synthesizing that data into a presentable format, and delivering the presentation to our peers at the end of the term. I thoroughly enjoyed this project because it allowed me to apply my business knowledge and skills to an entertaining, yet innovative subject matter.

What concentration did you pursue and why? How did this help prepare you for your future?

I chose to pursue an Information Technology Management concentration because I believed this topic would be taught well at Georgia Tech and provide me an advantage in searching for and working in my full-time job. It’s nearly impossible to hold a job these days without having some knowledge of the technology that supports you and your team, so I wanted to learn all I could about this subject while in school to make me a more well-rounded employee. I am glad I pursued this concentration because my knowledge of Information Technology helped me in landing my first internship as a Product Analyst intern on an e-commerce team and a Digital Technology intern on a digital integration team. My experience with these two teams then translated to me feeling confident enough to pursue and land my full-time job as a Media Technology Associate.

Fun fact about yourself:

One fun fact about me is that I am a certified cake decorator! I even have an Instagram account (@cakesbyyates_) where I showcase my creations.

“If I hadn’t gone to business school, I would be… (Complete sentence)

A cake baker/decorator!

What are the top two items on your bucket list?

First, I’d like to visit London. I’ve always been a big fan of British literature, so I’d love to see where all of my favorite writers got their inspiration. Second, I’d like to be on location for the Olympics. Every sport I have ever played, and the members of my family have played, are Summer Olympic sports. I think that the Summer Olympics would be a fascinating event to see in action and I’d love the chance to cheer on our athletes at the physical location.

In one sentence, how would you like your peers to remember you?

I would like my peers to remember me as a hard worker who was passionate about her school, her friends, and her career.

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