Imagine going through Georgia Tech in three years. Add two internships, senior design, and co-founding a club while being a president of another to the mix. What do you get? Nishi Anand, a recent ISyE alumna who graduated with honors no less. If her track record at ISyE sounds impressive, that’s because it is. This is one of the reasons she was awarded the IIE Outstanding Senior Award at the recent ISyE Undergraduate Awards Ceremony.
While Nishididn't initially plan to graduate early, her excitement to take her core industrial engineering classes first allowed her get a leg up on completing her hours. “Looking back, I'd have to thank my parents for instilling in me a sense to always push myself. I think that's really what propelled me to graduate in three years,” said Nishi.
Nishi is now beginning her career in Atlanta with the Boston Consulting Group. Here she reflects on her time at ISyE.
What motivated you to become an industrial engineer?
I've always enjoyed math and problem solving. In college, I wanted to study a field that I could apply in real life without getting too technical. Simultaneously, I also wanted to gain business knowledge. In my junior year of high-school, my brother suggested looking into industrial engineering. Once I did, it was an easy choice.
You recently told me that one of your fondest memories was Senior Design. Tell me about it.
My teammates and I didn't know each other when we decided to work together; but by the end of the semester, we became friends. We spent most of Thanksgiving break working 12+ hours in the IE lab. But none of us was upset. Instead, we joked around throughout. It made the task at hand easier and, more importantly, fun. Overall, Senior Design gave me the opportunity to work with some of the smartest people, whom I can now call friends.
You completed your course work in three years? How did you have to rearrange your life to make this work for you?
I tried to take most of my core industrial engineering classes early on. It was challenging at times, but I genuinely enjoyed most of my IE classes. That thankfully removed the stress out of them. I also had to balance my extracurricular activities according to my course schedules. In my freshman year, I got involved in just about anything I found interesting. But going into higher level classes, I narrowed down my campus involvement to the few clubs I was really passionate about.
You completed two internships. Tell me about your experience there and what you learned?
Both my internships with Deloitte Consulting were quite different. The first summer I was on an SAP project where I had the opportunity to not only learn how to work with the software but also closely observe how technology has become a crucial component in firms' successes. The second summer I worked with a relatively small team with senior client executives. I had a chance to observe and learn from senior clients about the challenges they faced. I basically had a bird's eye view of running the business, which was quite different from the first implementation project.
You co-founded The National Organization of Business and Engineering @ GT. Why? And can you tell us about that?
Given Georgia Tech's focus on engineering, we saw an evident gap between the engineering and business disciplines on campus. As an Industrial Engineering major myself, I have had a unique opportunity to learn about business and engineering that most of my friends from other majors lacked. Hence, we started the club in order to bridge this gap and help students gain working business knowledge while strengthening their analytical, problem-solving skills. We believe this will better prepare fellow Tech students for professional success.
What are you looking forward to about starting your career?
While working as a consultant for the Boston Consulting Group, I will have the chance to work on cases related to a variety of organizational functions and a variety of industries. I look forward to these tremendous learning opportunities and gaining experience in a wide range of sectors.
What advice would you give to students trying to manage extracurricular activities, internships, and academics?
Along with academics, extracurricular activities can be a significant time commitment. It helps to narrow down your commitments to a few organizations you're really passionate about instead of taking on several roles that just look good on the resume. Given the rigor of academics at Georgia Tech, it can be difficult, and sometimes stressful, to keep up with student organization commitments one hundred percent if you're not involved in them for the right reasons.
How do you define success?
To me, success isn't about milestones. It is about being able to continually push myself and fully utilize my capabilities for the development of myself and others around me. As long as I can continue to grow and help others grow, I am successful.
Have you had a dream come true while at ISyE?
Being featured in the student spotlight series is one! My team's selection as an ISyE Senior Design finalist was another. Being able to apply our industrial engineering skills to make a positive difference in the lives of liver transplant patients was a perfect culmination of the ISyE degree.