Undergraduate Student Leaders

Feb 16, 2021 | Atlanta, GA

Nearly one in 10 graduates of the H. Milton Stewart School of Industrial and Systems Engineering (ISyE) will rise to the top position in his or her respective organization, and it’s no surprise that many students start at the campus level. Here we highlight five ISyE students and recent alumni who became leaders during their time at Georgia Tech and made an impact on the individuals they served. 

Samantha Guada // IE 2020 
Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers 

“As a first-year, I looked up to the president, and I just knew I would be in that position one day. As president, I wanted to have a similar impact.”  

Originally from Venezuela, Guada and her family emigrated to Panama to avoid the economic challenges and political strife taking place in her home country. As an international student at Georgia Tech, Guada found an extensive support system through the Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers (SHPE), which aims to empower Hispanics in STEM fields. She immediately began applying for leadership positions. By her second semester, Guada was planning the group’s events and overseeing the mentorship program. Older members encouraged her to keep leading, which culminated in becoming SHPE president her final year at the Institute. Guada graduated in May 2020 and moved to Seattle, Washington, to work for Microsoft as a program manager. She plans on remaining involved in SHPE on a larger scale so she can continue to give back to others.  

Ilesh Jain // IE 2020 
Student Alumni Association 

“Everything on campus is influenced by alumni in one way or another, and they make a big contribution to the students. It's very empowering for me to potentially make an impact on a large portion of the student population, both undergrad and grad.” 

With over 6,000 members, Georgia Tech’s Student Alumni Association (SAA) is the Institute’s largest organization and connects current students with Tech alumni to foster personal and professional growth. Jain served as SAA president during the 2019-20 school year. He came to Georgia Tech on an alumni-funded scholarship, so the importance of alumni giving back to students stuck with him. His journey to the presidency was natural, beginning when he joined the organization the fourth week of his first semester. One of Jain’s goals as president was to better understand what students wanted from SAA and to provide correlated programming and events. This past spring, he graduated from the Institute and plans on being an active alumnus. Jain started as a full-time consultant for the Boston Consulting Group in January 2021.  

Ndeyanta Jallow // IE 2020
Georgia Tech Society of Black Engineers 

“I’ve never wanted to get involved in something just to have a line on my resume. I really want to help others get to where they want to be. It has been a way I give back to the organization and the people who gave so much to me.” 

The Georgia Tech Society of Black Engineers (GTSBE) equips its members with the confidence to succeed professionally and academically. Jallow joined GTSBE her first semester and eventually held three executive board positions, including president. Jallow originally focused on her academic pursuits, and she thought a leadership position would be too much of a time commitment. However, with the support of GTSBE’s past two presidents, she was inspired to apply for an executive position her second year. From these leadership experiences Jallow learned how the world works, how to interact with people, and how to successfully lead an organization. She graduated in May 2020 and is working for Accenture in Atlanta as a strategy analyst.  

Pooja Juvekar
SGA President 

“For me, being a leader has always been about being open-minded, ambitious, and putting other people first. I’ve learned that as a leader, it’s important to listen more than you talk, have empathy, and that it matters how you choose to both uplift the people around you and how you execute on tasks and initiatives.” 

Pooja Juvekar’s FreShGA experience began her love for the Student Government Association (SGA). From there, Juvekar became freshman and then sophomore representative in the Undergraduate House of Representatives and, eventually, vice president of internal affairs. Taking all these experiences into consideration, she ran for and won the role of president. Her platform focused on introducing more art to Tech’s primarily STEM-focused campus; improving and evaluating existing mental health programs; and collaborating with student organizations to improve communication between the administration and the student body. She used her ISyE skills in the use of data to implement changes on campus, and tracking trends over time to seek problems and solutions. Juvekar will graduate in December and hopes to work in a field that combines her passions for policy and technology. 

Stavan Shah
Startup Exchange 

“Having been on Startup Exchange’s executive team for three years, it's been exciting to see the rise of student entrepreneurship on campus. More than ever before, students feel as though they have the resources and network to build out their own ideas here in Atlanta.” 

 Startup Exchange is an organization dedicated to building up the start-up community among Georgia Tech students. Shah became interested in entrepreneurship as a high school student, and when he arrived on campus, he knew he wanted to empower the Institute’s enterprising students. He was drawn to Startup Exchange, which provides extensive networking opportunities for students with all majors and interests. Two years ago, Shah himself developed and implemented the Startup Exchange Membership Program for first-year and second-year students. The program teaches the basics of starting a company — everything from handling legal issues to marketing. This semester, he has moved to an advisory role for the organization. Shah graduated in December 2020 and works as a business technology analyst for Deloitte in Atlanta. He hopes to eventually start his own endeavor. 

Compiled and edited by Taylor Hunter