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 Jolie Fouts, who is graduating with a concentration in leadership and organizational change and a minor in global development.
Where are you from?
Peachtree City, Georgia
Where did you attend high school?
McIntosh High School
What is the biggest lesson you gained from studying business?
Almost everything in life is a business in some way. Studying business has taught me how to understand why certain decisions are made, why some ideas take off and some fail, and why leadership can make or break an organization. Even business-related topics that I didn’t think were interesting in the past have given me a better grasp of my concentration courses and have been applicable to my future career. Studying business at Scheller has given me the ability to speak to other business professionals in their language and not feel completely lost in high-level conversations. I’m able to draw on each of the topics covered in our coursework to make more informed decisions in my workplace.
What advice would you give to a student looking to major in a business-related field?
Please do it! I wasn’t sure I wanted to be a business major when I entered college, but it’s proven to be one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. Majoring in business teaches you not only how to come up with your own great ideas but how to communicate them well, which is an invaluable skill. There are also so many different facets of business, so keep trying out new areas until you find 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?
Honestly, as someone with zero technical experience coming into college, enrolling in a school where there is such an emphasis on the intersection of business and technology was quite intimidating. My degree from Scheller slowly eased me into more technical subjects, and over time, it also grew my appreciation for technology in the workplace. The content has stretched me at times, but I feel like I am coming out of college with a good grasp of how technology can be used to empower a business. I am starting my career in a field not traditionally viewed as technical in nature, but Scheller has taught me how to incorporate what I’ve been taught into my new job to expand my capabilities.
What was your favorite business course?
Either “Business Ethics” or “Negotiations.” Both were extremely helpful courses and highly engaging, so I really loved going to class each week.
Who is your favorite professor?
What has surprised you most about majoring in business at Scheller?
I’ve been surprised at how willing others are to help. Staff, faculty, graduate students, and other undergrads are always willing to listen to me, offer advice and insight, and connect me to others who may be able to help. I’ve loved being a part of such a supportive community.
What were some of your extracurricular activities, community work and leadership roles during college?
I feel like I’ve been all over the map in college. I’ve been a part of Georgia Tech Athletics for four years through the Spirit program as both a dancer and a cheerleader. I’m also a member of Phi Mu, and I served on the Collegiate Panhellenic Council Executive Board as the philanthropy vice president. I also worked for the Ray C. Anderson Center for Sustainable Business for two years and I’m a Gene and Elizabeth Ussery Deans Scholar. I was deeply involved in campus ministries for my first three years of school, and I loved leading the Georgia Tech chapter of the Circle of Sisterhood Foundation. I’ve been in and out of several other organizations over the past four years, but these are where I have spent most of my time outside of work and school.
Which academic, extracurricular, or personal achievement are you most proud of?
I think becoming Ms. Georgia Tech this past year is the achievement I am most proud of. I have loved my time at Georgia Tech, and I view that award as the culmination of my college experience. The process allowed me to look back on my four years here and share my love of the Institute with others!
Where have you interned during your college career?
I’ve worked for Forza Group, which is a civil engineering and construction firm; Nucleus Global, a pharmaceutical & healthcare services consulting firm; the Ray C. Anderson Center for Sustainable Business; and Chick-fil-A, Inc.
Looking back over your experience, what is the one thing you’d do differently in business school and why?
I think I would’ve tried to take a few more data analytics classes. I didn’t realize until my senior year that I would incorporate data analytics, visualization, and programming into my job, so I would probably go back and try to learn those skills earlier.
Which classmate do you most admire?
I admire Niki Dani the most. Although we do not have many classes together, I’ve been able to watch her grow over the past few years, and I am always impressed by her. She’s the perfect balance between working hard in her classes and building relationships within the college. She always makes time for our friendship even with her busy schedule, and she’s one of the first people I go to with questions about my career!
Who would you most want to thank for your success?
There are so many people who are responsible for my success in college. I want to thank my parents for encouraging me to attend Georgia Tech and for raising me with a love for the Yellow Jackets. I also want to thank Craig Womack for his unconditional support and guidance over the last four years and for helping me figure out the kind of person and young professional that I want to be.
What are the top two items on your professional bucket list?
First, I want to move to a new city to get my MBA. Then, I would love to start my own philanthropic foundation that focuses on education equality for underserved urban populations.
What is a fun fact about yourself?
I was a performer in the Super Bowl 53 halftime show! My cheerleading and dance coach signed up my entire program to perform with Maroon 5, and it was one of the best experiences I’ve ever had in college!