Priya Ravi’s bent toward business made itself evident long before she arrived at NJIT. The soon-to-be finance graduate shares a story from her childhood that proved telling.
“When my sister and I were children, my father watched a lot of financial news on TV and read the business sections of the newspaper. He would discuss it with my mom after he came home from work,” said Ravi, looking right at home in Martin Tuchman School of Management’s Ray Cassetta Financial Analysis Laboratory, just a few weeks before commencement. “My mom told me that from a young age, I would listen to their conversations and ask questions.”
Fast forward almost two decades and Ravi is set to start a career in business at Goldman Sachs. This July she’ll join the global company’s finance division in Jersey City, where she’ll be on the company’s controller team working on financial reporting and ensuring the firm is compliant with Global Investment Performance Standards and the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.
She got the position through her own initiative, traveling to Las Vegas last summer for the annual conference of the Association of Latino Professionals in Finance and Accounting (commonly referred to as ALPFA). There she met with recruiters for many well-known financial institutions, including Goldman Sachs. While doing a resume review at the event, one of the Goldman Sachs recruiters asked to keep her resume and by that evening she was on her way to securing a job.
“That night I actually got an email from Goldman Sachs asking for an interview,” Ravi remembered. “As soon as I saw that email, I was so excited!
Three interviews at the conference were followed by three more in Jersey City. In October, she received an offer.
Ravi is well prepared for the position after internships at Moody’s and Siemens Financial Services and a co-op at Johnson & Johnson. Her on-campus activities should prove just as helpful. She’s been president of the MTSM Business Club, a member of the school’s Accounting Club and the MTSM representative on the NJIT Student Senate, and has served on the Dean’s Executive Student Leadership Council.
She has also played an integral role in both the Cassetta Lab and the Business Analytics Lab at MTSM, writing the student manual for the former and supporting users of Salesforce and IBM software in the latter. In fact, she is a Salesforce Ambassador and attended the annual Salesforce World Tour this past December.
Her greatest achievement, she says, is being an Avanade scholar. Avanade, a joint venture between Microsoft and Accenture, is an international business consulting and solutions company that implemented the 15 for 15 STEM Scholarship for women in 2016 to celebrate its 15th anniversary. Ravi was one of just five female undergrads in the U.S. chosen from among thousands of applicants and won a generous tuition scholarship for three years.
“I am so proud to have had Avanade’s mentorship and scholarship to guide me through my undergraduate years and beyond,” she remarked.
Ravi was born in Andhra Pradesh, on the southeastern coast of India. For her father’s job as a chartered accountant, she and her family moved to Dublin when she was 8 and then relocated again to the States four years later for the higher quality of education and the abundance of opportunities.
She certainly thrived and exceled, becoming valedictorian of her high school class and then following her sister, an information technology (IT) alumna, to NJIT. Inspired by her sister, Ravi minored in IT, “because I was fascinated by the cool stuff she’d be doing for her classes, like making apps for phones, web designing and coding. I wanted to learn to do that as well and discovered my newfound interest in coding.”
Buoyed by MTSM’s “Business With the Power of STEM” platform, Ravi is sure her coding ability also enhanced her candidacy for Goldman Sachs. “There are a lot of students out there that just do finance, just do marketing,” she said. “But because I have that IT background, because I know how to code, that logical thinking aspect definitely helped me think differently — even within my finance courses — so it definitely helped me stand out.”
She plans on pursuing both an MBA and a CFA (chartered financial analyst designation) down the line. For now, she’s preparing for commencement and all its associated festivities.
“It feels really exciting! The hard work of these past four years has definitely paid off,” said Ravi, who has many fond memories of her time at NJIT, particularly her weekly pilgrimage with friends to the nearby Intrinsic Café for bubble tea.