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 2022 commencement.
Meet Conor Walsh, who is graduating with a concentration in finance, a minor in computing and intelligence from the College of Computing, a minor in engineering and business from the Denning Technology & Management (T&M) Program, and a certificate in business analytics.
Where are you from?
Where did you attend high school?
What is the biggest lesson you gained from studying business? Business touches everything. The principles that you learn at Scheller can be used in literally any organization, from a Fortune 500 company to a non-profit organization. A business degree teaches you how to create a strategy, evaluate the needs of stakeholders, and think critically about important decisions, which is useful no matter what field you go into.
What advice would you give to a student looking to major in a business-related field?
Go out and get experience. You’ll never know if you truly want to pursue something if you don’t try it out. This can be through internships or extracurriculars; all that matters is that you try it outside of the classroom. There are countless jobs you can get with a business degree, so experiment with a few different areas to see what you like.
As a business student in the heart of Tech Square, how do you think Scheller embodies the intersection of business and technology?
I think in today’s world, one cannot succeed in business without a strong understanding of technology. Technology touches every part of a business and will only continue to do so over time. Scheller, more than other undergrad business schools, understands this, and strives to equip its students to be leaders in a technology-driven world. Classes and extracurriculars focus heavily on how to leverage technology to develop a business edge, and students are encouraged to pursue internships and experiences that connect what they learn in the classroom to the technology they see in the world.
What was your favorite business course?
My favorite business course was a MGT 4803 special topics class called “Active Hedge Fund Management.” The class is especially valuable because it is taught by Michael Messner, who ran one of the most successful hedge funds on Wall Street for over 20 years. We learned how to analyze a stock and prepare weekly pitches to present to the class, as well as learn from guest speakers including a former president of the Atlanta Federal Reserve and the investor relations teams from companies such as The Coca-Cola Company, NCR, and Delta. While this class is fast-paced, the opportunity to learn from Mr. Messner is incredible, and I would highly recommend that any student interested in equity analysis consider this class.
Who is your favorite professor?
My favorite professor at Georgia Tech is Dr. John Cressler. He teaches a course called “Introduction to the Microelectronics and Nanotechnology Revolution.” I took this class as a part of the Denning Technology & Management Program (T&M), which allows Scheller students to obtain a minor in engineering and business. This course was extremely interesting and changed the way I view technology in my daily life, but the biggest thing that stood out to me was the way Dr. Cressler conducted the class. He clearly cared very deeply for his students, and he would go out of his way to intentionally make sure we were doing well. I took this course during the Covid-19 pandemic, which was obviously an isolating time, but Dr. Cressler made sure that his students knew they were cared for.
What has surprised you most about majoring in business at Scheller?
The thing that has surprised me the most about Scheller is how intertwined all the classes are, even across different concentrations. It is not uncommon to apply what you learned in your strategy class to a finance project, or to see crossover in your organizational behavior and international business classes. Seeing these topics come up again and again highlights how in the professional world, we will be combining many different lessons when making decisions, something which Scheller prepares us for very well.
What were some of your extracurricular activities, community work, and leadership roles during college?
The Georgia Tech Student Foundation Investments Committee as director of continuing education, Georgia Tech Student Foundation Board of Trustees member, Beta Theta Pi Fraternity president, Accel Program member, Catholic Center Bible study leader, and the Denning Technology & Management Program (T&M).
Which academic, extracurricular, or personal achievement are you most proud of?
When I first came to campus, I remember a FASET orientation leader telling me to “find an organization you care about, and lead it one day.” I was lucky to find the Georgia Tech Student Foundation Investments Committee and my fraternity, Beta Theta Pi, during my freshman year, and I was eventually able to lead both of those organizations, as a director of the Investments Committee and the president of my fraternity. While I am proud of the work I did in these organizations, I am even more proud that I can look back on my freshman-year- knowing that I set goals I was able to accomplish..
Where have you interned during your college career?
AppVault, PwC Ireland, and Bain & Company
Where will you be working after graduation?
Bain & Company as an associate consultant.
Looking back over your experience, what is the one thing you’d do differently in business school and why?
One thing I would do differently is to take advantage of Georgia Tech’s strong entrepreneurial culture. Given the chance to do it again, I would love to participate in a start-up lab or entrepreneurship classes. Georgia Tech is full of innovation, and it would be cool to help bring a product to life.
Which classmate do you most admire?
Two classmates that I admire greatly are Akash Prasad (BSBA ’22) and Ben Shappard (BSBA ’22). We all have come up together through the Georgia Tech Student Foundation Investments Committee, and it has been fantastic to see us all learn so much and grow as leaders during the past four years. They have two of the strongest work ethics I have ever seen, and they have both made dramatic impacts on every organization they’ve touched. I am excited to see what they do in their careers, and I am grateful for the way they have pushed me over these past four years.
Who would you most want to thank for your success?
Everything that I have been able to achieve goes back to my parents. They worked tirelessly for years so that I could have the best life possible, and that is a debt I can never repay. I am extremely grateful for their support and love throughout my life.
What are the top two items on your professional bucket list?
The two things that I would like to accomplish are starting my own company several years down the line and creating a non-profit organization to give back to the community that has given me so much.
What is a fun fact about yourself?
I love basketball and once got dunked on by Anthony Edwards, who was the first overall pick in the 2020 NBA draft.