As part of Scheller’s Countdown to Commencement series, we interviewed a few soon-to-be graduates from our undergraduate, MBA, and Ph.D. programs to learn about their backgrounds, why they chose Scheller College, and what they plan to do after Spring 2019 Commencement.
Meet Nancy Wheless. Nancy is an Evening-MBA student concentrating in Strategy & Innovation and Marketing. She’s originally from Durham, N.C. and considers herself a people-person who enjoys meeting new people and spending time with loved ones.
What is a fun fact about yourself?
I am extremely talented in the art of gift wrap!
Where will you be working after graduation?
I am currently still searching for the perfect post-MBA job. I am so passionate about finding creative, data-driven business solutions for companies with a focus on the customer experience. I am confident the right fit is just around the corner!
If you hadn’t gone to business school, what would you be doing?
If I hadn’t gone to business school, I would still be wondering what on earth I wanted to do with my life before retirement! Business school has allowed me to diversify my skill set adding analytical thought and linear frameworks to my creative background.
What are the top items on your bucket list?
Own a small boutique stationery store.
In one sentence, how would you like your peers to remember you?
I hope my peers remember me as someone who always pushes others to think outside the status quo box, someone who works tirelessly to get the job done with excellence, but also someone who is fun-loving and will be a life-long friend.
What are your hobbies?
I enjoy Letterpress Printing on my 1800s printing press, gin tasting, and patio surfing especially in the unmatched Atlanta spring.
Why did you choose Scheller College of Business?
As soon as I set foot on campus I felt at home. From the staff to the students, I knew I was more than a number, I was a part of a community.
Everything we do at Tech incorporates technology in some way.
Who was your favorite professor (and why)?
This is such a tough choice. I had so many classes that I loved because of the professor. I think the most notable would be Cem Ozturk. Professor Ozturk has a special ability to take highly complex concepts and break them into more practical, digestible pieces for students to easily understand. He also has a great sense of humor and kept the classroom lively.
What was your favorite course (and what was the biggest insight you gained about business from it?)
Hands down, the Sustainability Practicum was my favorite course. This course is a mix between Consulting 101 and Sustainability. You learn consulting practices from some of the best consultants at Accenture, we worked on challenging projects for some of the top Atlanta based companies, all through the lens of sustainability. While it took up more of my life than any other class, it was well worth the time spent.
As a business student in the heart of Tech Square, how do you think Scheller College embodies the intersection of business and technology?
Everything we do at Tech incorporates technology in some way. From the annual MarTech events to the Digital Disruption Series the program puts on, there is always an opportunity to learn how technology is changing industries and how we can be a part of these transformations.
What is your best piece of advice to an applicant hoping to get into Scheller College?
Be Yourself! If I learned nothing else, it’s that each person has a unique and very valuable perspective. Each team needs difference of thought to be successful and Scheller does an excellent job of celebrating individualization.
Who most influenced your decision to pursue business in college?
Honestly, an ex-boyfriend. I remember feeling stuck in my current professional situation. I also can still hear him saying “You don’t handle adversity well.” Those words rang true after many years of not making strides to improve my situation due to fear of failure. I was paralyzed with fear. About two months later, I was applying to Grad school and the following fall I started the transformation. I have him to thank for the start of the self-reflection that ultimately got me where I am today.
How did the extracurricular offerings at Scheller College help you during your time here?
I was extremely involved in every opportunity I had time for. I encourage people to jump in, meet people, build your network, and have a blast. If you invest in this program, it will pay off.
What activities were you involved with on or off campus, and did your business education impact those activities in any way?
I tried to dive into every avenue in the way of extra-circular. I knew building my network was invaluable. I originally started as an Ambassador because I wanted to give back to incoming students the way I was given to coming into the program. Then I moved into the Athletic Chair position and was also Co-chair of the Philanthropy club. Finally, I served on the Graduate Evening MBA Students (GEMS) Board and that was by far the most rewarding experience. I have met some of the most amazing people through these experiences and know I have created life-long friends.
Did you participate in any hands-on/experiential learning opportunities?
During the Sustainability Practicum, I was able to work with Coca-Cola on their World Without Waste initiative to recover 100% of the bottles and cans they produce annually by 2030. Our focus was around implementing recycling at convenience stores, which was more challenging than we originally thought. This project gave me extensive consulting experience and helped me learn how to not only build a business case for the client but that every stakeholder along the way had to be considered and value had to be added to be considered a successful recommendation.
Did you travel abroad during your time at Scheller? What were some of your key takeaways from the experience?
I was fortunate to attend the South Africa trip this year! It was such a great experience to see another culture and to dive deep into the ways of doing business abroad. One of my biggest takeaways is how overall infrastructure affects business and the economy of a country. We saw firsthand the effects of Load-Shedding, an interruption to the electricity supply that occurs daily in Johannesburg, and how businesses were affected by this crisis. It made me appreciate what we have in the States and see the luxuries we take for granted daily when doing business here.