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A Passion for Finance: Meet Jonathan Brooks, BSBA '24

To celebrate Georgia Tech Scheller College of Business students, we interviewed a few outstanding undergraduate students to learn more about their journey at Scheller. Meet Jonathan Brooks.
Jonathan Brooks

Jonathan Brooks, BSBA ‘24

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 2024 Commencement, we sat down with a few students to learn about their experiences and the wisdom they've gained in the process.

Meet Jonathan Brooks, who is graduating with a concentration in Finance.

Where are you from?

Columbus, Georgia

Where did you go to high school?

Harris County High School

Who most influenced your decision to pursue business in college?

My mom influenced me the most to pursue business because of our shared passion for understanding how businesses operate and the strategic thinking behind their decisions. She wanted me to pursue a degree in something I'm passionate about, so business strongly aligned with my passions and hobbies.

Why did you choose Scheller College of Business?

The Scheller College of Business prides itself on being the intersection of business and technology. I have always gravitated to technology and business but struggled to choose between the two. Choosing Scheller has allowed me to learn about the business world through a technology-focused lens, which was a big factor in my decision. Scheller is also a very collaborative and driven environment, which has been instrumental in my growth and development.

What concentration did you pursue and why?

I pursued a finance concentration because of my passion and interest in financial markets. Finance is often referred to as the core of the business world. Financial decisions impact every aspect of how businesses operate, and that was very interesting to me. Finance also incorporates many aspects of accounting, operations, and strategy, which has taught me the core functions of business.

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

Be authentic and be yourself! Your passion will shine through in your application if it's genuine. It is also very important to do your research and know why you want to pursue business at Scheller.

What is the biggest myth about Scheller College?

The biggest myth about Scheller is that being a business major is “easy” or that business students don’t work as hard as other students. Scheller students are some of the most driven and dedicated people I have ever met. Scheller truly prepares its students to excel in their careers during college and after graduation. Business students are often more prepared for their careers because of the professionalism and career prep offered by Scheller and the Undergraduate Program Office.

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

Scheller truly embodies the intersection of business and technology, as it is woven throughout each course. Most of the classes provide valuable technical skills and allow you to gain experience working with different types of software and technology. The business degree at Scheller is very focused on exposing students to technology and innovation, which is very important in the world of business.

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

My favorite course was Financial Statement Analysis taught by Dr. Ryan Blunck. It combined industry and strategy analysis with financial statement analysis of firms. It has been a great way to apply everything that I have learned over the past four years as a business major. It is incredibly important to understand how core financial statements impact each other. It has been the most enjoyable course in my time at Tech and has taught me valuable skills that are applicable to a financial analysis role.

Who was your favorite professor and why?

My favorite professor at Georgia Tech is Dr. Jacqueline Garner. She has been a vital part of my personal and professional growth over the past four years. She always brings her excitement and fun energy into the classroom, which I really enjoy. She is so supportive of her students and is always cheering for them in all aspects of life. I greatly appreciate her willingness to teach and help students learn more about the finance world. She has been a very supportive mentor, and I am so thankful and appreciative of her.

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

I have been a Scheller Business Ambassador for two years and was vice president of New Members this past year. I am also a member of the Georgia Tech Finance Society and served as its president for the past year and a half. I am also a senior analyst in the financial sector of the Georgia Tech Student Foundation’s Investments Committee. Last semester, I was a team leader for the GT1000 course, which focuses on introducing first-year students to the Scheller College of Business.

I have been a member of the Ramblin’ Reck Club for the past three years and served as football chair for the 22’-23 football season. I am also an active member of the Kappa Sigma Fraternity for the past four years. My business background had a significant impact on my extracurricular activities and allowed me to pursue leadership roles that I was passionate about. These involvements have allowed me to make an impact on Georgia Tech, and I am so grateful for these opportunities.

Where did you intern/co-op during school?

I interned at Nasdaq as a business analyst in their Atlanta office. I worked in the Investment Intelligence division, specifically Nasdaq Asset Owner Solutions. I was able to gain invaluable experience within the field of finance and learned about financial technology and institutional investors.

Where will you be working after graduation?

I will be working at Bank of America as a financial analyst within the CFO group in Charlotte, NC.

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?

The Undergraduate Career Development Program made a significant impact on my job search. The Undergraduate Program Office (UPO) posts weekly opportunities for internships and full-time roles. The advisors are also incredibly helpful and always willing to help you get the job you want. Scheller also provides an abundance of career resources to help prepare you for interviews and job searches. The UPO definitely helped me attain a role at one of my top companies. I saw the Nasdaq opportunity in one of the UPO’s announcements and applied online.

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?

I participated in an experiential learning opportunity. I took the consulting practicum course taught by Michael Lowe. I worked with a team of students for a financial services company for the semester. It was a great opportunity to gain consulting experience in an industry I was interested in. I was able to work closely with the CEO to make strategic expansion plans for the company as it was an early-phase startup company. These types of courses are a great way to get your feet wet and gain some experience working with a team of other students.

Who would you like to thank most for your success?

I would love to thank my parents most for my success. They have supported me every step of the way and have always pushed me to be the best possible version of myself. I have always tried to make them proud and to accomplish anything that I set my mind to. My parents have sacrificed so much for me, and I am so appreciative of their hard work and dedication to see me succeed.

What is a fun fact about yourself?

I ran with the bulls in Pamplona, Spain, while traveling across Europe during the Oxford Summer Study Abroad Program.

What are some of your hobbies?

I love cooking, traveling, and being outdoors. When I travel, I really enjoy exploring new countries and being immersed in new cultures. Snowboarding, hiking, cliff jumping, and kayaking are some of my favorite outdoor activities.

What are the top two items on your bucket list?

The top two items on my bucket list are to go skydiving in Switzerland and to travel to all seven continents. I am planning on going skydiving in Switzerland this summer while I travel in Europe, so hopefully, that will get checked off soon!

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