Shreya Parajuli is a senior from Fairfax, Virginia and is finishing her undergraduate journey as a double major in Business Management, with the Management Consulting and Analytics (MCA) option and in Business Information Technology, Decision Support Systems (DSS). While attending Virginia Tech, Shreya served as the Vice President and then the President of the Nepalese Student Association. Shreya is graduating on May 15 with distinction, Magna Cum Laude, from Virginia Tech’s Pamplin College of Business and she will then begin her career with Ernst & Young (EY) as a Staff Consultant in their Performance Improvement Practice.

We recently asked Shreya to share her experiences as a Management major and as a Pamplin College of Business student.

Why did you choose Virginia Tech?  When and why did you choose MGT – MCA?

Being a first-generation college student, I felt overwhelmed with options for college. I knew I wanted to stay relatively close to home, so much of my research was colleges in Virginia. When looking into potential schools and programs I knew I wanted to do something that incorporated both a technical and business component. I talked to many different alums from different colleges in Virginia, and one name kept on being said over and over again, Virginia Tech. So I decided to do more research on Virginia Tech and found out about the Pamplin College of Business and I immediately knew that the business school was perfect for me. Pamplin had the perfect program that encapsulated what I wanted to do.  Then when I went to visit the campus I felt as though I fit right in and this was the place where I wanted to spend the next 4 years. So it was no question at all at that point that I wanted to go to Virginia Tech and be a Hokie!

In regards to picking Business Management and the Management Consulting and Analytics (MCA) option as my major, this program was the perfect blend of technological and people skills that I was looking for. I got the opportunity through my classes to learn the importance of data and being able to relay that data in a meaningful way through different tools and techniques. Additionally, I got to focus on the communication aspect of business which tied into the social component I was interested in. This further piqued my interest in the Business Management program. I knew that this program would definitely allow me to achieve my life goal of working in a field where I could interact with a wide range of people and see the difference I was making in the lives of others.

Were there any specific classes that you remember as validating your major choice to date?

There are many classes that come to mind when I think about what validated me picking Management as one of my majors. Personally, I think Management Consulting (MGT 4084) and Ethical Leadership and Corporate Social Responsibility (MGT 4334) were two classes that had the biggest impact on me. Management Consulting was an amazing class where I got the opportunity to step outside of my comfort zone and actually work with real-life clients to help solve their business problems. I really enjoyed how the class was structured in a way to provide us with full autonomy in the decisions that we make, similar to that of the real world. It really felt that I was making a difference working with my project client, Wells Fargo. Ethical Leadership and Corporate Social Responsibility was another class that really fostered my interest in Management. This class really showcased the importance of making ethical decisions especially when you get into the workplace. I felt as though my professor, Eli Jamison did a wonderful job encapsulating how it is crucial to stay true to yourself and never make any decisions that could harm others.

Has there been a faculty member or staff member within Pamplin and/or the MGT department that has served as a mentor or source of inspiration for you during your journey? 

Personally, it’s very difficult for me to choose just one faculty member who served as a source of inspiration for me during my journey within Pamplin and the Management Department. I had many faculty members who had a lasting impact. Among these faculty members, I want to thank Dr. Devi Gnyawali for being such a wonderful source of inspiration. I got to opportunity to work with Dr. Gnyawali while I was serving as the Vice President and President for the Nepalese Student Association. He definitely played an integral role in terms of my academic and personal growth. He consistently gave me feedback through working with the Nepalese Student Association that ultimately was transferable to school and life. I also want to thank my Ethical Leadership and Corporate Social Responsibility and Strategic Management professor, Eli Jamison for being such a passionate and inspirational leader. Eli structured her curriculum around class-based discussions and really allowed us to share and voice our opinions, similar to that of the real world. She did a wonderful job of teaching classroom concepts and taught me the importance of how our decisions can impact those around you.

What advice would you provide to an incoming Pamplin freshman? 

Advice that I would provide to an incoming Pamplin freshman is:

  • These 4 years will really help shape who you are and the lasting impact you want to have on others. The Pamplin College of Business does a great job in terms of helping you lay the foundation for your future. You should definitely take the time and opportunity to explore all your career options at Pamplin and really figure out what it is that you want to pursue and ultimately do!
  • Network, network, network! Whether it’s through Business Horizons, your classes, or any clubs that you are involved in, take the time to network. It can make a huge difference when you are looking for an internship or even a full-time job.
  • Get organized. In high school, the teachers would provide you with constant reminders about homework and due dates. However, in college that isn’t the case. The professor usually goes over the syllabus once and then posts the assignments. It’s up to you to remember when things are due, therefore, get organized quickly so that you don’t fall behind! I especially love to use planners and Google Calendar, but take the time to find out what works best for you.
  • Get to know your academic advisor and form a relationship with them. This is the person who will help you figure out everything for the next 4 years, from course conflicts, adding/dropping courses, deciding on majors and minors. They’re a key resource for you and they’re always willing to help!

Make the most of each and every day! You won’t even realize it but in a blink of an eye the 4 years will fly by and you’ll be graduating. Take the time to make memories, try different things, and step out of your comfort zone every once in a while. 

What/who is your inspiration for leadership?  

One of my biggest inspirations for leadership is my former boss and mentor, Jeffrey Beck. I got the opportunity to work with him during my internship at CACI International Inc. as a Business Analyst Intern. Jeff constantly helped push me outside of my comfort zone and tackle new challenges every day. He helped me figure out what my interests were and always provided feedback so that I could better myself. He also took the time out of his day to teach me new things that he was working on so that I could expand my knowledge and skill set. Working alongside him I got the opportunity to find my interests and pursue my dreams. I’m very thankful for everything Jeff has done for me.

Another big inspiration for leadership is my parents. My parents have sacrificed so much to get me to where I am today and they have always pushed me to be a better version of myself. My parents have both emphasized the importance of always striving for greatness and always having a drive to achieve your goals. I am so thankful to have loving parents who have pushed me to work hard and become someone who can change the world. Everything I am and everything I will do in the future is because of them! They are my biggest inspiration. Thank you, mom and dad, I love you!

Personally, I believe that the Pamplin College of Business is one of the best business schools in the country, that shapes you to become leaders in today’s world. The faculty and staff in Pamplin is passionate about what they do and they strive to give students the knowledge and tools for them to change the world. The Management Department provides students with a wide range of skills and knowledge that can be applied to multiple facets of business. The curriculum really strives to help students step out of their comfort zone and understand the impact that their decisions can make.

Please provide a brief summary of your summer internship - who, when, how did you approach the process?

My sophomore year I was a Business Analyst Intern with CACI International Inc. in Chantilly, Virginia. I got the opportunity through Business Horizons in the fall semester. I submitted my resume to the recruiters and then I was called to the Chantilly location for an interview. I got the internship and I started working over winter break and then remotely throughout the spring semester. On a day to day basis, I got to shadow the Project Manager and learn and apply different skills that I had learned in the classroom. I frequently utilized Excel to analyze data and create meaningful reports about what the data was conveying. I also got to focus on Agile methodologies and got the chance to document and report how using an Agile Project Management tool (Atlassian Jira) could be beneficial to the company. This internship really allowed me to use textbook concepts in the real world, where I could see the difference I was making.

My junior year I was a Contract Analyst Intern with Leidos in Reston, Virginia. I also got this opportunity through Business Horizons. I went during the spring Business Horizons and talked to a recruiter and then applied on Handshake. Then I had a phone interview and I got a summer internship at the headquarters. On a day to day basis, I got the opportunity to learn more about contracts and the different laws and clauses that impact these contracts. I worked alongside my Manager to help locate different property (i.e. laptops, chargers, submarines, cellphones) within the different facilities and got to analyze and closeout completed contracts using Excel and Oracle Hyperion. This internship also allowed me to incorporate tools and skills I had learned in the classroom such as Excel Pivot Tables and SQL queries.

What are your plans after your senior year?

My plans after my senior year include working for Ernst & Young (EY) as a Staff Consultant in their Performance Improvement Practice. I had always wanted to work for a Big 4 company out of college and I am excited about this new chapter in my life. I know Ernst & Young (EY) will provide many wonderful opportunities for me to grow and learn new things. Besides that, I want to be able to come back to Virginia Tech and give back to Pamplin. I felt as though Pamplin prepared me so well to enter into the real world and I want to give back to the school that has given me so many wonderful friends and opportunities. I also want to come back to Virginia Tech with all my friends to attend the football games and also go hiking in the area. Virginia Tech has been and always will be home and I am thankful for all the opportunities this school has given me.

Any other words of wisdom or insights that you can provide us about you, your journey, the value of your education?

My journey here at Virginia Tech has been an amazing one and I am forever grateful despite it being cut short due to COVID-19. The Pamplin College of Business has given me a wide breadth of knowledge as well as the courage to pursue my dreams. Pamplin has helped shape me to be the person I am today. Throughout my time in Pamplin, I got the opportunity to try new things and step up as a leader in the classroom. These leadership skills that I gained ultimately helped me create a lasting impact on the Nepalese Student Association where I was the Vice President and then the President. Being a part of this organization really allowed me to tackle new challenges while also interacting and impacting the lives of students within the organization. I got the chance to help educate others about Nepal and also helped students build their cultural identity. I would highly recommend and encourage everyone to get involved in an organization at Virginia Tech. Yes, you learn a lot in the classroom, however, being a part of an organization that piques your interest really allows you to grow and gain skills that are invaluable and also helps you create lasting friendships.

Know that throughout these four years you will constantly change and grow. College gives you the opportunity to discover who you are, what interests you, the memories you want to create, and more. We all come into college as strangers, scared and timid, and a little nervous about how big and overwhelming everything is. However, when it comes time to leave, everything feels small and you end up growing to cherish all the memories you have created. Throughout your time here at Virginia Tech you will learn that everyone has their own journey and you’ll meet people from all walks of life. Don’t be intimidated and know that your journey will be unique to you. As my time at Virginia Tech comes to an end, I want to leave everyone with a quote, “Four years from now when you graduate, you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do.” So take this time to explore new opportunities, discover your interests, and continue to dream big.