Georgia Tech Scheller College of Business students come to learn, explore, and build community. As they move forward in their careers, they take everything they've learned and use it to power innovation in industries and businesses across the globe. In celebration of Spring 2023 Commencement, we sat down with a few students to learn about their experiences and the wisdom they've gained in the process. Meet Juliana Lara Casasnovas, who is graduating with a concentration in Information Technology Management and a minor in International Business Language and Culture.
Where are you from?
I am from San Jose, Costa Rica, and I moved to Atlanta in 2019 to attend Georgia Tech.
Where did you go to high school?
I went to high school in San Jose, Costa Rica. After graduating from Lincoln School, I moved to Atlanta to go to college.
Who most influenced your decision to pursue business in college?
My decision to pursue a business degree in college was greatly influenced by my grandpa. I've always admired his discipline of waking up early every day to go to work and take care of his company. I have fond memories of him explaining to me all the things he had to do and the challenges he was facing at the time. I remember him showing me his Excel files of the finances of the business, and I was fascinated by how everything was organized. All of these experiences left a lasting impression on me, and I knew from a young age that I wanted to be like him when I grew up, with the same passion and motivation to make a business succeed.
Why did you choose Scheller College of Business?
I chose to apply to Scheller because I was interested in the Information Technology program and its prestigious reputation. From the moment I stepped onto campus for a tour, I knew that Georgia Tech was where I wanted to spend the next four years of my life. I have a vivid memory of my tour of Scheller, where I was struck by how happy and helpful all of the students were. The college advisors were particularly welcoming and excited to meet me and my family, which made a lasting impression on me. It was at that moment that I knew Scheller was the right place for me, and I'm grateful that I ended up coming here!
What concentration did you pursue and why?
I pursued a concentration in Information Technology because of my strong interest in analytics and problem-solving. I have always been fascinated by the power of data and the insights it can provide, which led me to explore the field of IT. While attending Scheller, I acquired a variety of technical skills, including SQL, Python, Java, and other programming languages and skills, which equipped me with the tools needed to effectively solve IT issues. Overall, this concentration has provided me with a strong foundation in analytics, problem-solving, and innovation, which I am confident will be valuable assets in my future career.
What is your best piece of advice to an applicant hoping to get into Scheller College?
In my experience, the best advice I can give to someone considering Scheller College is to express your true self and portray your personal traits and characteristics throughout your application. I would also suggest reaching out to current or former students to learn more about their experiences in Scheller and Georgia Tech in general. It's also important to research the classes offered, concentrations and minors available, and the resources that the college provides to see if it's a good fit for you.
What is the biggest myth about Scheller College?
I would say that the biggest myth about Scheller is the notion that we are somehow disconnected from the rest of the Georgia Tech campus, which is far from the truth. Through my interactions with friends from different majors, I have come to appreciate that all students at Georgia Tech enjoy all types of opportunities on campus!
As a business student in the heart of Tech Square, how do you think Scheller College embodies the intersection of business and technology?
One of the reasons why I decided to study at Scheller was because of its integration of business and technology, which is evident in every class I took. This integration has provided me with the skills needed to thrive in our technology-driven society, including coding, data analysis, and web development. As a result, I've been able to develop practical solutions for the companies I've interned with. Additionally, my interest in problem-solving and analytics aligns perfectly with Scheller's emphasis on these areas. I thoroughly enjoy all of my classes because they allow me to explore and apply these skills to real-world situations!
What was your favorite course and what was the biggest insight you gained about business from it?
Who was your favorite professor and why?
Dongjun Wu was my favorite professor because of the combination of his positive personality, helpfulness, and strong commitment to his students' success. I took his E-Commerce class, and it was one of my favorites! He consistently demonstrates a willingness to assist and provide support to his students, making himself available for any questions or concerns they may have. Furthermore, his classes are engaging, interactive, and foster a sense of community amongst his students. Additionally, Professor Wu regularly invites distinguished guest speakers to his classes which offer valuable perspectives and insights and enables students to learn from experts in their fields. This provides an opportunity for students to make connections and build relationships with potential mentors or contacts in their desired professions. Overall, I am extremely grateful for the positive impact Professor Wu has had on my academic journey and the support he has provided me and other students.
What activities were you involved with on or off campus, and did your business education impact those activities in any way?
When I started my first year at Georgia Tech, I became involved in the EXCEL Program as a tutor and a teaching assistant. The program is designed to help students with disabilities achieve their academic goals and earn a degree from Georgia Tech. It was an incredibly rewarding experience because not only did I get to help others, but I also met some incredible people along the way. In addition to my involvement with EXCEL, I have been an active member of the Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers (SHPE) since my first year. During my second year, I was elected to the Executive Board, which allowed me to organize more than 10 professional and academic events with four different local high schools. Being able to promote Hispanic development and encourage more participation in STEM careers in those local high schools was an excellent opportunity.
Throughout my time at Georgia Tech, I have also participated in two different mentorship programs. These programs have been invaluable to me, as I have received advice and guidance from more experienced students while also mentoring others. During my final two years of college, I focused on gaining work experience through internships. I worked as a leasing agent for Landmark Properties and as a digital content manager and data specialist intern for One Page Thinking. My business education definitely came in handy during these experiences, as I was able to apply my skills and knowledge outside of the classroom.
Where did you intern/co-op during school?
Over the past few years, I've had the opportunity to gain valuable work experience in a variety of industries. During the summer of 2021, I completed a technical operations internship with Comcast/NBC Universal, where I had the opportunity to gain hands-on experience with Tableau and gain insight into the company's technical operations. The following year, I continued to expand my skill set by interning with Goldman Sachs as a consumer and wealth management operations intern. This experience provided me with an in-depth understanding of the financial industry and allowed me to develop critical problem-solving and analytical skills.
In addition to my internships, I also gained valuable practical experience through my part-time work as a leasing agent with Landmark Properties. This position sharpened my communication and customer service skills and helped me gain a deep understanding of the real estate industry. Moreover, my part-time internship with One Page Thinking over the course of two and a half years was a pivotal experience that exposed me to diverse business industries and allowed me to cultivate my creativity.
Where will you be working after graduation?
After graduation, I will be working at Goldman Sachs in their Dallas office as an analyst in their Global Markets division.
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?
As a Scheller student, I had access to a comprehensive career education program that helped me prepare for my future career. Starting with GT1000 in my first semester, I learned valuable skills such as resume writing, networking, and interviewing. Throughout my time at Scheller, I attended various info sessions and networking events with different companies, which gave me the opportunity to practice my networking skills and meet several employees. Additionally, during my junior year, I took the MGT 3599 Career Development Workshop to further develop my skills which gave me the motivation to pursue my dream job.
One of the most useful resources that I found was the weekly job emails that Scheller's career education program sends out, listing job openings that specifically target Scheller students. Thanks to one of these emails, I was able to find my internship at One Page Thinking, where I have been working for two and a half years. The skills and knowledge I gained through the program ultimately helped me secure an internship at my dream company, Goldman Sachs. I'm thrilled to be returning full-time, and I'm grateful for the career education program at Scheller for helping me get there.
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?
Over the past few years, I've had the opportunity to gain valuable work experience in a variety of industries. During the summer of 2021, I completed a technical operations internship with Comcast/NBC Universal.
The following year, I continued to expand my skill set by interning with Goldman Sachs as a consumer and wealth management operations intern. This experience provided me with an in-depth understanding of the financial industry and allowed me to develop critical problem-solving and analytical skills. During this internship, I was able to develop a project in Alteryx to automate a team’s weekly process, decreasing the lead time by six-plus hours. Furthermore, my team and I worked for Georgia Tech’s Office of Information Technology (OIT) in our Systems Analysis and Design class final project, helping them spread interest in the Georgia Tech Salesforce User Community Group.
Who would you like to thank most for your success?
I would like to express my gratitude to several individuals who have played a significant role in my academic journey. Primary among them are my close family members who have provided support and encouragement throughout my academic career. I am also grateful to my friends and boyfriend for their constant support and companionship, especially during challenging times.
Furthermore, I would like to thank my academic advisors, professors, mentors, my manager Les Parrette, the Office of International Education, and the Society for Hispanic Professional Engineers (SHPE) for their invaluable guidance and assistance throughout my college experience. Their support has been instrumental in helping me navigate academic and personal challenges and has contributed to making my college experience truly memorable.
What is a fun fact about yourself?
I did my first 5k race at the age of eight! After that, I lost count on all the races that I have completed but I am looking forward to completing a marathon in the upcoming years.
What are some of your hobbies?
I have several hobbies that I enjoy doing in my free time! These include working out at the gym, taking walks, or going for runs in Piedmont Park, exploring new restaurants with my friends, going to Atlanta Hawks games, and traveling during summer, winter, and spring breaks.
What are the top two items on your bucket list?
The top two items on my bucket list are running a marathon within two years and starting my own company.