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 Spring 2021 commencement.
Meet Ally Nastasi who is graduating with a concentration in marketing, a minor in engineering and business through the Denning Technology & Management (T&M) Program, and a minor in French.
Where are you from?
Where did you attend high school?
Lassiter High School.
What is the biggest lesson you gained from studying business?
Know your brand (this applies to both a personal and business level). By having a strong sense of self and knowing your interests, it makes job hunting and networking much easier and more meaningful. Paying attention to my own individual interests helped me formulate my vision for my future career and understand how my experience is relevant to the teams I work on and the jobs I apply to. On a larger scale, companies that take a bold stand on their brand are more memorable, create loyal followings, and are a part of meaningful conversations positioning themselves for change.
What advice would you give to a student looking to major in a business-related field?
Talk to as many people as possible. Utilize the Scheller network to learn from older students and alumni to gather as much information as possible about the areas you are interested in. A business degree opens a lot of doors and can be very broad. By talking to numerous people, I have been able to learn so much about the many opportunities that exist, and this has helped me figure out how I can marry my personal interests into a professional job. Networking and talking to new people can be hard, awkward, and uncomfortable at times, but being a student opens so many doors to meet new people. Having conversations with new people has helped me practice my speaking skills, understand my story, and be better prepared to speak confidently in interviews.
As a business student in the heart of Tech Square, how do you think Scheller College embodies the intersection of business and technology?
Scheller embodies this mantra “at the intersection of business and technology” by leaning into modern technologies while also stressing the importance of leadership skills in business. By incorporating real-world projects into our classroom studies, Scheller students gain experience collaborating in diverse teams while solving real problems and seeing results. The coursework puts an emphasis on emerging technologies and trends and grounding decision-making in research and data analysis. Scheller has a strong sense of community and its own personality beyond Georgia Tech that encourages networking and collaboration among students and alumni.
What was your favorite business course?
Strategic Brand Management with Aaron Hackett.
Who is your favorite professor?
Dr. John Cressler is an electrical engineer who teaches nanotechnology to business majors through the T&M Program. I took his class in Fall 2020, one of the few in-person classes offered that semester. Not only did he teach the class with both patience and enthusiasm, but more importantly, he cares deeply about his students. In a time when I felt distant from my classmates and professors, Dr. Cressler was able to foster open conversations about ethical dilemmas brought on by modern society’s advancement in digital technologies. Taking this class made me think deeply about what affect I can have by the careers I pursue in my future. He cares so deeply about all his students and even on my worst days, the class was a bright spot. Every day, he would ask each student how they were and genuinely cared about our individual well-being and turned our 24-person class into a community when we needed it the most.
What has surprised you most about majoring in business at Scheller College?
The impact first impressions and networking can have. I had no idea until I reached my senior year how memorable your interactions can be. By showing genuine interest and a desire to learn, you can take advantage of being a student and talk to so many people. Some of those conversations can have a major impact on the rest of your education and career.
What are some of your extracurricular activities, community work, and leadership roles during college?
Georgia Tech Swim Club secretary, swim meet director, Best Sportsmanship Award, College Club Swimming national title holder.
Which academic, extracurricular, or personal achievement are you most proud of?
Applying to and getting into the T&M Program was one of my biggest accomplishments because it signified a turning point in my college career. I felt that the decision to apply and then accept my spot in the program was the first time I could picture a future beyond school. It was the point in my college career that I was able to make professional career goals and begin taking steps to actively achieve them. This decision led me to start taking the initiative to forge my career path in a way that was unique to me.
Where have you interned during your college career?
Marketing intern, NCR, marketing intern, Five Stand Capital, undergraduate student assistant for the Scheller College of Business marketing and communications team.
Where will you be working after graduation?
I will be working at Brown Bag Marketing as a digital marketing analyst.
Looking back over your experience, what is the one thing you’d do differently in business school and why?
Looking back, I would have liked to have pursued a certificate in business analytics. From gaining more insight into what a marketing career looks like, I see so many opportunities to combine data analytics with marketing insights. Data drives decision making and using it effectively is the best way to gain buy-in for creative and innovative ideas. I notice data analysis skills needed in every job opening I see.
Which classmate do you most admire?
At Scheller, I most admire my classmate Emily Salmond. Emily is a dedicated and hardworking student and yet she always finds the time to have meaningful conversations with friends and goes out of her way to build relationships with younger students. Emily is very confident in her career goals and it is amazing to see her working hard and achieving these goals at the same time. I am constantly amazed by her ability to juggle her classes, jobs (yes multiple!), and leadership positions on campus. Her smile is infectious, and she is a person you want on your team.
Who would you most want to thank for your success?
I most want to thank my sister, Sarah, for my success. She has been by my side through high school and college and will continue to be there for me for the rest of my life. She offers me advice, encouragement, and a healthy competitiveness that keeps us both working hard. It has been both a unique and valuable experience to have her by my side throughout college and experiencing many things for the first time together.
What are the top two items on your professional bucket list?
I want to work in a foreign country. I would love the opportunity to explore a new place while also being able to gain a new perspective by learning from people with entirely different experiences than my own. I want to work in both an agency and a corporate marketing role. I think both kinds of positions offer great learning opportunities that I want to experience.
What are your hobbies?
Swimming, making baked goods and ice cream, playing Settlers of Catan with friends.
Fun fact about yourself:
I am a triplet. My sister will be graduating from Georgia Tech with me from the College of Civil Engineering and my brother attends the University of Georgia.